30. Those two little numbers, when squished together can freak out even the most accomplished twenty-something woman. A year ago, it was splashed across every pop ‘rag in town, “Kim Kardashian Fears She’ll Fall Off Planet At Thirty.” And despite repeatedly stating that she would never pose nude (sex tape aside, of course), all it took was the threat of her oncoming 30th to have her ripping off her clothes for W Magazine, her last chance to document those ginormous buns in all their glory, stating “there are some things you can’t do after you turn 30.” After she rang in the turning of her new decade, single, she set off on a star-studded dating spree, locking in the tallest choice and making him her husband – all before the clock struck 31. Of course, we all know how that ended. Her hasty decision to hurry up the fairytale had her nabbing the wrong prince. On their E! wedding special, Kris Humphries accuses her of not caring who the groom is, saying she just wants to marry someone.
I don’t write this to judge Kim Kardashian. There’s enough people doing that. I do this to say, girl, I feel you.
As overdramatic and impetuous as her statements and actions may seem, she’s not alone. Thirty has sent many of us scrambling to get our shit in line by this landmark age. Because if we haven’t checked all the boxes on the adult list, we feel like we’ve somehow failed. And for actresses and singers and others who work in front of the camera, I can only imagine the thirties are particularly daunting. Their livelihoods can hinge more on their physical appearance than their talent – a beauty they worry is on its way out. Of course, with a performance like 42-year-old Jennifer Lopez’s at the AMA’s this weekend, stripping down to a shimmering nearly-nude body suit and looking like as much of a fly-girl as her “In Living Color” start, it goes to show maybe the fat lady doesn’t sing at 30.
And from the look of things, thirty’s just getting warmed up.
Check out the impressively attractive graduating class of ’81 babies: Victoria’s Secret Angel Adriana Lima, Alexis Bledel (if the kid from Gilmore Girls is 30, I don’t feel so bad), Alicia Keys, Anna Kournikova, Beyonce Knowles, Britney Spears, Elijah Wood, Josh Groban, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Hudson, Ivanka Trump, Natasha Bedingfield, Nicole Richie, Natalie Portman, Paris Hilton, Rachel Bilson, Sienna Miller and Serena Williams to name a few.
THIRTY HAS NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD
Beyonce Knowles:“This is such a pivotal moment in my life! I’m transitioning as a woman, and I’m finally able to express myself as I am.”
Britney Spears:“I think the older you get, the wiser you get and the more you know what you want.”
Paris Hilton:“I’m freaking out! I can’t believe I’m going to be 30! But at least I still look like I’m 20!”
Justin Timberlake:“I’m excited about my thirties. Well, I don’t really have a choice. But I’m excited.”
So, maybe the take-away from the Kardashian Cautionary Tale is this: Thirty can seem like it carries more significance than it does. You’re not actually out of time. If you focus too much on hurrying to get the dream by a certain age, you might settle for anything. As JT says, you don’t have a choice, aging is inevitable, unless you’re dead and then you have bigger fish to fry, so rather than dwell on a youth gone by, look forward to what’s next – there’s a reason they say it keeps getting better – and use the wisdom of your experiences to build a life of value. Yes, you may not be able to pass for a college student anymore (I thought I could until I was on campus last weekend and realized what they actually look like), but you are far from past your prime. And in pretty damn fine company, if I do say so myself.