Middle-aged teenagers, fantasy or reality?

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Quinquado (Middle-aged teenagers): a French word made up of « quinqua » (fifty-year-old) and « ado » (teenager) that describes 45-55 year olds living as 30-year-olds, according to France’s Ipsos opinion poll organization. French magazine Marianne defines « quinquados » as »those seniors who don’t accept their age, grannies wearing jeans, grandpas showing off with younger girlfriends ».

Who are these « quinquados »? These are women who go shopping with their daughters, and share fashion and beauty tips. They sometimes get divorced, enjoying being single again. They go out with other girls, go to discos again, but not necessarily to pick up younger men as Jeanine declared to French paper Le Parisien: « I am 56 and I fully accept my age. If I were to describe myself, I would say I’m not classic, or cougar! » She had just split up with her husband and added: « I have never felt as free as today. I want independence, to be on my own for a while… and no men, I have given them enough! » But does enjoying life at 50 make these women teenagers?

Don’t Call Me a Middle-Aged Teenager!

« I hate that word « quinquado »! exclaimed Lucile. It is ridiculous. We are not teenagers because we want to have fun! We feel free, we stand on our own two feet, at ease with ourselves, modern. This has got nothing to do with adolescent crisis. » Lucile fully accepts being 50, but does not feel like a 30-year old. « I feel young, active, but it does not mean that I am going to behave like a youngster. We have to adapt to your age, and not try to look younger at all costs, added Clothilde, who faces Lucile. It is not because we are seniors, as they say, and that we can’t have fun anymore! »

Fashion is a perfect reflection of this mindset. Lucile and Clothilde go shopping with their daughters, they listen to their opinions, but do not try to dress like them. « I don’t feel like a quinquado. I do wear jeans, but I don’t want to dress like my 17-year-old, even though she steals my clothes sometimes, told Lucille. « I went shopping today, and I know that tonight, that little sweater I bought will end up in her wardrobe! I need her perspective, not to make mistakes, not to do like her and not dress as an old granny. »

« Sometimes, when I come back from shopping, she frowns, and this is when I realized that I made the wrong choice » joked Clothilde. « But for Desigual, no way, I love that brand and she hates it! »

Call Me « Majuscule »

Clothilde and Lucile hate being defined as quinquado. What about seniors? « I also hate the term senior, it sounds like an old granny, explained Lucile. I cannot identify with this word, added Clothilde. I prefer « Majuscule » (capital letter in French), used by the Femme Majuscule magazine (a French magazine for women 45+). I identified to the term and adhered to it at the first read. I feel Majuscule, 50, dynamic, modern and I accept my age. » Brigitte and Lucile, among the magazine’s readers, approve.

Being classified as seniors at 55 and until the rest of your life, this is nonsense, explained Murièle Roos, who founded the magazine. A new name had to be found. Murièle and her team organized a study to measure the value of the term Majuscule in the mind of the 45+ and the study revealed that 73% of the women questioned identified with the term. So don’t you ever call them quinquados or seniors again!

Sources (French language) :
– Marianne: http://www.marianne.net/ils-ont-50-ans-vivent-trentenaires-enquete-les-quinquados-100243098.html
– Le Parisien: http://www.leparisien.fr/laparisienne/societe/qui-sont-les-quinquados-10-11-2013-3303027.php
– Testimonial of Clothilde, Lucile and Brigitte: meeting between Damart and Femme Majuscule readers, September 2016. Names have been changed to respect anonymity.

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