But times, apparently, they are a-changing. In the world of heterosexuals to go out with an older man, a man old enough to be your father, is understandable. Perhaps you're shallow and a gold digger, or maybe he's just all the hotter for a few extra laughter lines and distinguished grey hairs around the temples.
To go out with a women old enough to be your mother though...kinda pervy. Unless of course she has really, I mean really, looked after herself. We're talking Death Becomes Her looked after herself. The 42 year old man is allowed to look 42. The 42 year old woman is not.
Which is where Junod's suggestion that feminism made 42 desirable slightly falls down. 42 is hot now not because we value experience and visible ageing in a woman, but because Junod notes women try harder for longer.
Of course there is nothing quintessentially feministabout either allowing yourself to age or fighting the ageing process.
Of course there is nothing quintessentially feminist (not withstanding lazy feminist stereotyping) about either allowing yourself to age or fighting the ageing process. What's feminist is not having fear or feeling you have to excuse either action. So you want to maintain the body and face you're most familiar with, or you don't. So what.
Interestingly the celebrity female 42 year olds Junod cites as good examples of why 42 is now worthy of praise, Carla Gugino, Christina Applegate, Jennifer Garner, Maya Rudolph, Cameron Diaz, Sofia Vergara, Leslie Mann, Amy Poehler are all known for their comic turns: "It is no accident that every woman mentioned here has comic as well as carnal appeal, and entices with the promise of lust with laughs."
Perhaps it is not so much their skills at preservation through pilates but their personality that makes these 42 year olds seem more vital and appealing. In which case we have nothing to fear about 42 or any age as long as we keep valuing humour and talent. Which seems pretty progressive.
However the point is probably that Esquire is still ranking what the best age for a woman is. There's nothing progressive or mature about that.