You know you’re getting old when no one wants your body

I get that now I’m 41, I’m practically middle-aged (hoping to live a long life here). I get that I am no longer eligible for ‘young’ initiatives, such as the young filmmakers funding shortlist I once made, which has a cut-off age of 35. When I went looking for an office last year, I found I was too old for some co-working spaces that only wanted ‘young’ entrepreneurs.

But I’ve recently discovered that, apart from my husband (bless him) and my small children who still can’t get enough of putting their hands down my top, there are a bunch of people who no longer want anything to do with my body.

A couple of months ago I looked into bone marrow donation. My uncle needed a bone marrow transplant and I investigated joining the register to be a donor, but discovered I was too old.

Then this week, inspired by a friend who chopped off her long ponytail and donated it to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program that makes wigs for cancer patients, I was going to do the same. In the carpark outside the salon, with just a couple of minutes until my appointment, I quickly looked online on my phone to see just how long the ponytail had to be.

Minimum 20 centimetres – check.

No dyes, bleaches or chemicals – err…

No more than 5% grey – I’m assuming that under my dyes, bleaches and chemicals, I might be a tad more than 5% grey.

So that was the end of that. They didn’t want my old lady hair.

On my driver’s licence I’ve ticked the box for organ donation, so it seems I’ll need to wait until the very end before anyone wants my body again.

Perhaps you have a teenage daughter with long hair that isn’t dyed pink or black who is considering the chop for summer? I’m sure the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program would love to hear from her. (And if the Pantene people aren’t talking with the Shave for a Cure people, someone’s not doing their job.)

Have you had a moment lately when you’ve realised you’re too old for something?



  1. Hah! Well I’m hitting 49 this year and apparently bits of me think 49 is the new 70!

    FYBFing. And sleep deprived.

  2. Even I don’t want my body anymore, but my wife won;t let me have another.

  3. I will turn 35 next year which means I am eligible for seniors tennis. SENIORS!!!!! It’s hard to see young 20-somethings and realise that you’re not one of them anymore. I still feel it!? On the plus side, good on you for being a donor! I am too! 🙂

  4. I am probably too old for a lot of the silly stuff I do!

    Shame about the rules for hair donation. My hair is quite short but I was planning to grow it so I could donate it as think its such a good idea. I def have more that 5% grey though – probably even more by the time I grow 20cm!

    • I was telling my hairdresser about it, and cried “only my roots are grey”. He looked at me like I was an idiot. Which of course I was. The only reason why the ends aren’t grey is because they are dyed.

  5. I feel it all the time – i hear the beat of the drum as i march down the road to gastp 50! I would like to have donated my eggs so that other mums who can’t conceive could have a chance, but I was too old when I learnt about the program. I’d also liked to have worked in France for a year but the working visa cut off is younger than I am. Obviously i can’t change my physical attributes for things like egg donation but what about 30 being the new 50? Surely this should be taken into consideration given we now live to at least 84?

    • Ah, working visas for the middle aged. That would be fantastic! But would you still need to stay in dorms in crusty backpackers or in squats of fellow Aussie travellers or could we upgrade a bit?

  6. what a great cause!!! Noted I have dyed my hair since I was 16.. so not sure it will ever do!! What a great idea for a fundraiser through schools though!!

    Popping over from FYBF 🙂

  7. You’ve just reminded me of a FFS-worthy point that I forgot to include in this week’s post….

    I was on a bus for the first time in forever. As I got on, a teenager stood up so that I could have his seat. I said thanks, but I’d just go sit up the back. He said that I didn’t have to walk all the way back there, that he would go to the back. So I had to sit in his seat, this lovely polite teenage boy….who clearly bunched me in with the senior citizens who were seated all around me.

    I’m 33 FFS

  8. I haven’t realised yet – but I am in denial and will remain that way forever 🙂 Rachel xx

  9. When I was in my early 40’s I read an article about someone looking for a surrogate. I wanted to volunteer – they only wanted people under 35 !!! I was highly insulted – there was nothing wrong with my body – perfectly capable of carrying a child – certainly it had done a great job of carrying my own child a few years earlier. Since then I have had a burning desire to be a surrogate but nobody is interested. Now I am 47 they are sort of laughing at me which I think is a bit mean !!!
    Have the best day !

  10. I’m don’t feel old, although being a high school teacher makes me feel old sometimes and I’ve been told i’m an old soul.

    You have such lovely intentions, at least you tried 🙂

  11. Oh love the rejection! I’m trying to ignore the various stages of disrepair and decay my body is starting to exhibit and instead am telling myself I’m a fine wine getting better with maturity. Sadly, I think I’m the only one buying that story.

  12. It’s always a weird feeling when you realise there are certain things you can actually never do in your life. We like to think that there’s always time, always a way. I found out awhile back that I can’t give blood due to having lived in the UK while the whole mad cow thing was going down. So that’s it. I can’t ever, ever give blood! That feels really strange to me as it’s something I believe is a good thing to do. Anyway, I am visiting from FYBF and I’m now going to go and circulate the Pantene site. I hadn’t heard of it and it’s a great initiative (for youngsters…)

  13. No more Contiki for you and I.
    Love Mumabulous

  14. Trouble is most of us were so self involved during our youth, when we had viable organs, eggs and hair, it didn’t occur to us it was more rewarding to give than to receive (or was that just me being totally selfish?). Now we’re seeing the big middle years on the horizon, we know what’s important. Shame we become a shadow of our former shiny young self. Bugger, my arse just dropped another inch!

  15. We may have bodies that are considered ‘old’ but our minds are far more valuable now! I’m 46 and while the bod doesn’t look as taut as it used to, I’m happier within my skin than I was in my 20’s. I used to worry about all kinds of silly stuff back then. I wouldn’t want to go back to those days for all the ‘pertness of youth’ in the world!

    Yes, we’re getting older – embrace it, I say!

  16. I tried on a top at my favourite boutique and the owner also happens to be a good friend. She actually told me I was “too old for the top”. Oh. My. Lord!
    It just about broke my heart. Mainly because I knew she was right.
    Love from another (young at heart) 41 year old xxx

  17. I remember when 40 used to seem ancient but now suddenly I feel it’s quite young! Yay to organ donation, and Contiki tours suck. I’m off to the Pantene website (close to your age but just scrape through on the gray stakes 🙂

  18. What?!?! Nobody wants my hair? But I was growing it!

    Yeah well – at 40 and 1084 days old (which if you do the math is almost 43) I guess I am too old for lots of things. Nobody stops to look at me anymore no matter how much boob I show, and it seems I lost my knees somewhere a few years back. Kneeless tree trunks in a mini are not a good look.

    Ho hum – I do feel young of mind though! And thank God for hair colour.

    But really, nobody wants my pony tail? Or my bone marrow?



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