Michelle Obama’s big day: 5 things to love about turning 50

TODAY - Michelle Obama is turning 50 Friday. For some, it's the big FIVE-OH-NO, an age burdened with stereotypes: you're either a crotchety witch or an over-sexed cougar...

Michelle Obama is turning 50 Friday. For some, it’s the big FIVE-OH-NO, an age burdened with stereotypes: you’re either a crotchety witch or an over-sexed cougar. Or you get asked about plastic surgery or menopause, as the First Lady was in an exclusive interview with People magazine interview this week.


In reality, for the majority of women, being 50 is no big deal. Regarding her upcoming birthday Obama told Parade Magazine: “I have never felt more confident in myself, more clear on who I am as a woman.”

Some other reasons 50 is a lot more fab than frumpy:

It’s the ‘perfect’ age

“If you could skip time and live forever in good health at a particular age, what age would you like to live at?” Based on a recent Harris Interactive Poll, it’s 50.

That’s not surprising to midlife blogger Emma Nicholson who turned 50 last year.

Nicholson got her massage therapy license at age 45, and has raised two adult children. The thought of being in her 20s or 30s again makes her “want to barf,” she says. “I wouldn’t go through all the angst again ever for anything.”

Nicholson, like Mrs. Obama, says she is also more confident, so confident in fact that she felt perfectly fine going to a Pearl Jam concert by herself when her husband was too busy with work.

“It was pretty cool since there were a bunch of other 50-something women sitting around me,” she says. “We all looked at each other and laughed and pretty much drooled over Eddie” [Vedder: age 49].

More control and greater well-being

Life rocks for most people between the ages of 40 and 60, according to a 1999 study from the MacArthur Foundation Research Network. They felt a greater sense of control and reported more positive emotions than negative emotions.

More recent research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found we feel happier as we age (barring of course those in extremely stressful situations or those suffering from dementia.)

For 58-year-old Lynette Padwa, the half-century mark was actually “a second youth.”

“You still have a ton of energy, more experience, most of your physical capabilities and if things aren’t making you happy, you change them,” says the author of “Quick Answer Me Before I Forget The Question: Everything You Need to Know About Turning 50.”

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