Dodging the Wrecking Ball

The recent train wrecks amongst our more junior celebrities has caused me to ponder the advice that I would now give to my 20 year old self about to who to date and how to conduct myself.

Although there’s plenty to learn from in my own history, learning from one’s own mistakes is nowhere near as much fun as indulging in celebrity disaster stories. Besides, mine aren’t plastered across the interwebs for google to find (and my facebook account only goes back to 2008)

Dear 20 year old version of 40s chick, 

Have vision

I know you have no apparent psychic tendencies, but you need to be aware that what is appealing now can turn bad as quickly as you can say Disney starlet meltdown.




There’s a theme here – it’s the talented clean-cut ones that seem to go horribly wrong. Pick a Mr Average and they are unlikely to do a Bieber on you.

Resist the bad-boy

Just as every head of lustrous locks could be sheltering inner demons and beneath glossy sparkling skin there could lurk a layer of festering rebellion, there’s no reason to go the opposite direction and date the out-and-out bad boy. It might seem like dating the unapologetic damaged rock star or your local recreational weed smoker at least means you know what you are up against, but no.

Take Pete Doherty, lead singer of a band that no one can remember, proven to be even too rock and roll for Kate Moss in her hard core rock chick days. Largely credited with Amy Winehouse’s downfall. You don’t want this.

You might find your local equivalent of a Charlie Sheen, refreshingly upfront about his womanising tactics, to be a known quantity and consider a dabble on a light hearted basis. Consider his philandering ways as an inbuilt safeguard which will eventually grow tiresome for you, hopefully long before he starts to look like someone you’d report to the police if he was hanging round a primary school when the kiddies are let out.


Never overlook the power of a decent wardrobe and a haircut

Even with the beer goggles on, there are some candidates you would never give a second glance. I don’t want to be all Nanna about judging and books and covers, but remind yourself that it is ALL ABOUT THE RAW MATERIAL.

Poor Jon only needed to tone down the animal print and barber the bouffant.


Even George was in trouble whilst he was dabbling with polka dots and a mullet and benefited greatly from letting go of the eyebrows and indulging in some stubble.


Recognise that a moustache is disposable – just know there’s a risk they’ll re-grow it in the 2013 hipster craze


Dear younger version of 40s chick – I promise you, someday the 80s will end

For you? Here a are couple of words of advice.

No vodka before lunch

Much can be learned from the tribulations of Lilo. Most notably, that booze before lunch is a slippery slope. Start early knocking off the vodka and OJs, everything starts to resemble your favourite tipple – orange tan, orange hair


orange jumpsuit


Above all, embrace your inner Disney Princess

Bear in mind that there is nothing wrong with hair extensions, a friendly smile and some prom style fashion.


Shiny polyester in a nude colour does no one any favours and the only person who thinks Miley Cyrus looks better in the second photo is Miley Cyrus.

Good luck!
Love 40s chick xo

If you are taking your online dating a little more seriously than this blog, check out this website for fabulously simple online dating advice.

The mid-40s makeover

At some point after becoming suddenly single in your 40s, you WILL stop staring into the tub of Ben and Jerry’s* and turn your mind to assessing your date-ability.

(*Although, if it were possible to marry a pint of B&Js Clusterfluff in all its peanut buttery marshmallow glory there would simply be no need to move from the couch. Ever)


The safest entrée to this pursuit is to skip the dangerous, if insightful, territory of emotional introspection and spend time on the less-perilous ground of whether you need a wardrobe and image makeover.  If the last time you were single was when Justin and Britney were rocking double denim, you may wish to do a little examination of your image in case it has remained a little stubbornly wedged in that same era.

britney and justin double denim

It is important, however, to understand that less is more when it comes to the makeover, and illustration is often the best way to describe where that line falls.  Much as I detest joining the majority in taking cheap shots and lampooning foolish celebrities, I’m declaring all bets off as its Friday night, I’m alone under a rug on the couch watching the footy, so such tomfoolery seems justifiable, if not NECESSARY,  in the name of pure entertainment.

Freakishly, there is a single celebrity that comes to mind as the iconic cautionary tale when it comes to the mid 40s makeover and that is our Aussie cricketer Shane Warne. You may know him as the other half of Liz Hurley, and one suspects his transformation may not have occurred had he taken up with Cheryl from Fountain Lakes, but regardless of whether his transformation occurred off his own bat or at the urgings of Ms Hurley, the lessons still remain.

Here are four areas where you are encouraged to indulge in a makeover, with the Warnie caveats to help you understand where to stop.


If you were ever in doubt that what you wore out and about when dating in your 20s was NOT appropriate now, take a brief look back at Brit and JT and come back to this spot.  OK? Right.  If you are still not sure, start with the casual first-date staple – jeans – and eliminate all that are in your wardrobe that resemble those worn by the cast of 90210 (the original series)


Apply similar improvements to other aspects of your wardrobe, using 90s American TV if necessary as a reference point on what you need to eliminate.

Its important to move on, but it is only an invitation to ridicule at the hands of your nearest and dearest if you move TOO FAR along the spectrum to a point where you are not even in the same universe as your original style.

Case in point.

two warnes


Nothing screams ‘I’ve moved on to some new levels of fabulousness’ than a great new hairstyle.  Again, if you’ve hung on to something a bit Billy Ray Cyrus, then you could certainly do with a move towards Bradley Cooper.

BR and BRC

If you are female, the inequities of womanhood means it will cost you about seven times as much for your follicular transformation, but if you are male, you will achieve this relatively cheaply and easily in a single hairdresser visit, albeit with probably a fair amount of take-home product.  If you persist with the lovely chap with the venue displaying the barber’s pole that you’ve been seeing for 20 years, please do be specific so that you don’t just end up with a neater version of the Billy Ray.

My hairdresser and I already have a pact, that if ever I go in and ask her to HACK IT ALL OFF that she will send me away for two weeks to have a think about it, in case I am in a Ben and Jerry’s sugar coma or once again trying to replicate my boyfriend’s ex

If you don’t have a pre-existing arrangement around major hair transformation, just be gradual.  eg Shane – always needed to move on from here

hair 1

Should have stopped here

could have stopped here

Went here

went here


Nothing is guaranteed to make you look more subtly sprightly than a dental makeover.  Whilst an overhaul involving crowns, straightening and the full enchilada will cost more than putting your first-born through private school, a simple whitening treatment will do wonders in erasing your late night red wine and long black coffee habits.  You can undertake at-home treatments that involve dental molds full of something toxic-bleachy that you soak your teeth in, but be sure to cease and desist if you do manage to entice someone back into your boudoir – revealing these types of night time habits are not for early-stage dating.  Better to succumb to yet another example of our instant-gratification culture and get your fangs nuked in the dentist chair in the same time as it would take you to get a takeaway coffee and sandwich.

JUST. DON’T. OVERDO. IT.  Also – be wary of your degree of teeth bleachedness vs your degree of fake-tannedness.

shane warne teeth

Social media

When you were last single, the greatest evolution in communication was in the form of the mobile phone – and it had only just moved from being brick-like to the look of a medium sized dictionary.  Now we have drunk texting, facebook faux pas, instagram oversharing and twitter fails.  Although you might think these are outside the scope of a blog on physical transformation, all this social media becomes the online manifestation of your physical form.  Once out there, its out there forever.  So take a moment to acquaint yourself with these tools, sort out your privacy settings, NEVER LOG ON under the influence of alcohol and develop a healthy cringe-ometer before you post.

Yes Shane, I’m talking to you….


If you are not sure you can manage it, stay on the couch with ice cream for a week or two longer….

**** Apologies Liz and Shane.  I do feel a bit bad about this.  But it was either you or Miss Utah, and my last post had a reference to another unfortunate beauty pageant speech so I couldn’t go there again.