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For women over 50: Bikinis, botox and bling?

By Carol Costello, CNN
January 17, 2014 -- Updated 2202 GMT (0602 HKT)
First lady Michelle Obama was featured on the cover of Ladies' Home Journal's December/January 2014 issue. See other magazines that have featured her on their cover. First lady Michelle Obama was featured on the cover of Ladies' Home Journal's December/January 2014 issue. See other magazines that have featured her on their cover.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Michelle Obama, turning 50, was pictured on cover of People magazine
  • Costello: Would Barack Obama be asked about plastic surgery and exercise routine at 50?
  • She says some women fight to be taken seriously at 20 and not to be at 50
  • Costello: First lady is right that women should have freedom to feel good about themselves

Editor's note: Carol Costello anchors the 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (ET) edition of CNN Newsroom each weekday.

(CNN) -- Mrs. Obama is on the cover of People Magazine this week.

Not to tout her new education initiative or lament the country's wage gap, but because she's 50.

Carol Costello
Carol Costello

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy that Mrs. Obama is able to celebrate her special day with loved ones, but articles about women turning the big 5-0 often get under my skin. And not in a good way.

Including this one.

People not only asked Mrs. Obama if she had "peaked at 50," but whether she would consider plastic surgery or Botox. The magazine also touched on how the extremely buff Mrs. Obama would change her exercise routine in light of her advancing age.

Seriously?

Michelle Obama is 'fifty and fabulous'

I don't recall anyone asking Mr. Obama, when he turned 50, whether he'd consider "fillers" to plump his thin cheeks or quit playing basketball.

Michelle Obama talks about turning 50
First lady celebrates turning 50

Honestly, I never think about being 50 until I read articles either informing me "I can still be sexy at 50 if I do a little something, something, ..." or "become a proud cougar and date a younger man."

In yesterday's MailOnline, there was an article about the "Real Housewives of Melbourne."

Women in their late 40s and 50s are pictured in tiny bikinis and gold bling.

Janet Roach, one of the "Housewives," is pictured beside a hunky, younger man. The article reads, "The blonde bombshell is remarkably youthful for her 55 years, and that may be well to a little help from the surgeon's knife."

I'm happy Janet is living her life the way she chooses, but I can't help but think of that Molly Shannon's Sally O'Malley character on Saturday Night Live when I look at her.

Remember her? Sally wore tight, high-waisted pants and carried a leopard handbag. She took every opportunity to "strut her stuff," proclaiming, "My name is Sally O'Malley. I'm proud to say I'm 50 years old. I'm one of those gals who likes to tell her real age. And I like to kick! Stretch! And kick! I'm 50. Fifty years old!"

Funny, how attractive women spend their 20s trying to be taken seriously, only to wish not to be taken seriously when they hit 50.

I'll end my rant by saying happy birthday, Mrs. Obama. And thank you for answering People's Botox question like this: "Women should have the freedom to do whatever they need to do to feel good about themselves. Right now, I don't imagine that I would go that route, but I've also learned never to say never."

You go, girl.

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Carol Costello.

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