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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > June 2016 > Growing old glamorously

Growing old glamorously

For some women turning 50 can herald a stylish rebirth, finds Jane Shilling

The Middlepause: On Turning 50

by Marina Benjamin (Scribe, £14.99)

Carmen Dell’Orefice on the catwalk in New York in her mid-seventies

These are peak times, apparently, for middle-aged women. As a cohort, we enjoyed both free university education and jobs (with pensions attached) in which we might choose to remain for years—even decades. While still in our twenties or thirties even those of us with modest incomes could afford to buy a flat, gradually trading up to the family homes to which our children now return as young adults, reclaiming their childhood bedrooms so that they can save for the remote possibility of one day being able to afford a place of their own.

All that saving means that we parents have disposable income, a fact of which the fashion, cosmetics and entertainment industries are acutely aware. Clothes manufacturers from high street to haute couture vie to include middle-aged and older women in their advertisements. The faces of Helen Mirren (70), Joan Didion (81) and Iris Apfel (94) gaze from the pages of glossy magazines. Each season, some young model is hailed as the new Kate Moss before being reabsorbed into the mass of beautiful young women, while the old Kate Moss, now 42, appears on the cover of Vogue with undiminished regularity.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s June issue: Bronwen Maddox lays out the case for Britain to stay in Europe—the position taken by the magazine. Mikhail Gorbachev explains his hopes for Russia, suggesting that the claim democracy is bad for Russia is “balderdash.” Rachel Sylvester looks at the Conservative Party and explores what might happen to the Tories after the EU referendum. Also in this issue: Nicholas Shaxson and Alex Cobham unpick the world of hidden money and what Britain can do about tax havens. Neil Kinnock argues that Labour isn’t making progress under Jeremy Corbyn and Jason Burke examines Islamic State and the networks that underpin their attacks. Plus Stephen Bayley asks was BritArt any good?