Kylie Minogue announces new boyfriend, proves 50 is the new 20

Kylie Minogue and I go back a long way. I met her in the 80’s, when she was Dannii Minogue’s big sister and I was obsessed with Young Talent Time. She didn’t meet me, but that didn’t stop us from becoming firm friends in my own head. We are the same age, we both hail from Melbourne, we both have fathers called Ronald, and we have the same middle name, Ann. (Except that I don’t have a middle name, but people call me Kerri-Anne all the time. I have no idea why.)

We have both known loss and trauma. Kylie survived breast cancer; I survived the death of my beloved sister (who, incidentally, was Dannii’s age.) We have both been through seriously painful breakups in the public eye with spectacularly attractive men. (Though my public is considerably smaller, and my exes aren’t really that attractive).

Kylie and Dannii Minogue at Logies in 1987.

And now, we are both single. Sort of.

My point is, we have lived parallel lives, except that Kylie is a superstar and I’m not. This year, we both turn 50 – well, she just did, on monday – and we have both struggled with that milestone. I know I’ve struggled, because I have access to my own thoughts. And I know Kylie has struggled, because I have access to Vogue.

“I was just telling my friend,” she told the mag earlier this month, “fifty is a lot of years on planet Earth!”

Fifty is a real turning point, particularly for women. Forty is the new 30, and 30 is the new 20, and 20 is young and sexy and gorgeous. But 50 is the age of grandparents and early retirees; it is grey hairs and wrinkles and reading glasses; it is bowel cancer screening and the hot flushes of menopause. And I’m not ready for it, or at least, I’m not ready for that version.

And so it is genuinely comforting to know my friend Kylie has reached the milestone before me. Because I’m comfortable being the age of Kylie Minogue. I want to be her type of 50.

Kylie Minogue wearing glasses, but not, like, granny glasses or anything.

Kylie is vibrant and beautiful and still rocks a pair of gold shorts. She’s still knocking career goals out of the park, releasing new albums and reinventing herself. She demonstrates that middle aged women can be dynamic and successful, and that life doesn’t stop, or even slow down, as we age.

But it’s not just about looks, and it’s not just about achievement. Kylie represents, to me, an acceptance of the hand we are dealt, and a determination to play our cards as well as is humanly possible. She is a breast cancer survivor, who is open and honest about the toll the illness took on her fertility. She is a veteran of several very public relationships, who is open and honest about the toll her breakups took on her life. And despite these setbacks, she demonstrates an irrepressible optimism that I find genuinely inspiring. She dusts herself off, acknowledges her pain and loneliness and fear, and then gets back out there and pushes on ahead.

She’s resilient, and it is this quality that I admire most in any other human being.

When asked about turning 50, Kylie had this to say:

“But to be at this age and still have possibilities and having been through some ups and downs, you know, being unwell was the biggest. So, I don’t even know how to answer that question. But I would like to think that I’ll just embrace life more, as much as possible. Yeah!”

It’s not the most eloquent of responses (clearly, I’m the words person in this relationship), but one phrase really stood out. To be this age and still have possibilities. This –possibilities – is what Kylie represents to me. She reminds me that life is long, and changes all the time. She reminds me that there is good and bad, and it’s your attitude that counts. She reminds me that when one door closes (Kylie never was offered a gig on Young Talent Time) another door inevitably opens. You’ve just got to walk on through.

On her 50th birthday, Kylie announced her new relationship on Instagram, more than two years after her split from Sasse. The man in photo is reportedly British GQ magazine creative director Paul Solomons, 43, who posted the same pic to his Instagram account.

Though it means that she and I now have slightly less in common (I’m still single, and still not a superstar), I am thrilled for her. Possibilities have opened up for Kylie, and I have no doubt they’ll open for me, too.

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