Sparky British supermodel Agyness Dean has just admitted she’s been lying about her age.
She isn’t 23; she’s 29.
Register shock, horror and prepare to pass her a zimmer frame, folks. But she of the granny name spelt in a trendy yoof-ful way isn’t the only famous woman who has lopped off the years in a calculated deception.
Actress Amanda Redman did. And stupidly, she gave interviews to women’s magazines about her dread of preparing to turn 50 - when she’d done so two years earlier.
She got found out by a newspaper, which surely is every age-cheat’s worst fear.
And probably why singer Anastacia outed herself just before her 40th birthday in 2008.
Last year, GMTV presenter Kate Garraway did the same thing. “A landmark birthday was passing and I couldn’t even share it with the people around me because I’d trapped myself in this silly nonsense,” she said.
Meanwhile, mystery still surrounds the age of many famous women, including Nancy Dell’Olio - she could be anywhere between 50 and 56, depending on what article you read - and Sinitta. She claims to be 44. Not so natch-o, though?
The Daily Mirror reckon she’s about to turn 49...
The bizarre thing is, all of the above look brilliant for their real age. And surely the very best feeling is to tell someone how old you are, then radiate in a glow of compliments. An astonished “Noo, REALLY?” does far more for your ego than down-sizing the birthday stack does.
So, why do women do it?
It’s not about vanity; it’s about being forced to play dirty in an ageist society. Youth is prized above all else and it’s damned unfair.
Agyness says she did it when a New York model agency signed her.
She didn’t want them to know she had reached the grand old age of 24 - ancient in a world where girls as young as 14 are sent down runways in clothes only affordable to women at least three decades older.
Anastacia’s lie was pushed upon her when she signed her first record deal at 30.
Amanda did it so she could carry on landing roles for longer in an industry where male wrinkles bring character, but female wrinkles bring unemployment.
Publicist Max Clifford reckons 90 per cent of celebrities lie about their age.
Tom Anderson, the guy who co-founded MySpace, did it, presumably because it sounded better for a hot new social networking site to have been the brainwave of a 27-year-old than a 32-year-old.
I did it on a dating site when my real age only attracted men a decade older than me.
But the ageism that makes liars of us just so we can be accepted is going to have to stop; soon the population will be dominated by healthy, hard-working old people.
They will be the norm, real age, wrinkles and all.