Dannii: ‘I’m 50 and I want to shout it from the rooftops’

From dancing her way on to Young Talent Time at the age of 10 to helming some of the world’s biggest reality shows over her four decades on-screen, Dannii Minogue has literally grown up in front of us.

It’s never polite to talk about a woman’s age, but we promise Body+Soul was told you’d be happy to talk about it because we hear you’ve got a very exciting birthday coming up?

I am approaching my five zeros, and I’m more than excited. There’s that taboo about asking, because there are so many people who don’t want to talk about their age.

And it seems particularly linked with stories about women. But it’s my birthday and I’m excited, and I’ve never had any problem talking about my age.

I have so much appreciation for being able to turn 50.

The only thing I’ll be grumbling about is: are we in lockdown, are we out of lockdown? But I feel like one of the lucky ones to have had all these beautiful birthdays.

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You’re right. It’s about reframing age in our minds, really. To embrace that reaching 50, or any age, is a privilege. If the past couple of years has taught us anything, it’s that we should be grateful for our health at the very least. So how do you see 50 now that it’s here?

I used to think people at 50 were really old and very disconnected from young people; it feels like the world has changed so much since I was that young girl.

For me, being involved in shows that are very youthful or family shows like The X Factor… My mum didn’t get to see many other women out there in media, on TV or in film who were over 50 and portrayed as vibrant women, but that narrative has changed so much.

For me being able to be 50, I think it’s important to shout it from the rooftops for other women who may not be so sure what 50 is going to be like. Because we all help lift each other up.

Having been in the public eye since you were 10, you’re going to make a lot of other people take stock of their own age at the same time when they realise you’re turning 50. So you’re almost holding a mirror up to us, as well.

Having grown up with an audience of people through different shows – many of them right back from the very beginning of Young Talent Time – yeah, it’s gonna be a harsh reality.

I’m sure they’ll go, “Oh, God, she was that little girl from TV. And now she’s 50?!”

You’ve clearly got longevity in the family, given that your grandmother is 101 and thriving.

[The longevity] is on my mother’s side, which is my Welsh background. My grandma grew up on a dairy farm and she ate very healthily.

What do you think the next 10 years will look like for you?

A friend sent me an interview that I’d done maybe when I was 17 and they asked me, “What is it that you want to do when you’re older?”

And I said, “If I can, I’d love to do fashion, and still do television.” I don’t remember saying that.

Sure, there may have been interest, but I didn’t realise I was that direct. This is what I want to do. And I always said, “If I can”, and that actually hasn’t changed.

If I can still do those things together, I would love that. It was amazing to watch myself put it out there all those years ago and make it happen.

Dannii on looking “ageless”

My health has been on a Covid roller-coaster. Some days I’m exercising, other days it’s whatever goes. I’ve packed on the kilos, and I just have to keep reminding myself that I’m doing the best I can.

I’ve got a girl-crush on JLo, but I look at her, and all of that working out and all of that dedication is not me.

My happy balance is family time. I love food – cooking it, eating it. And I have to try to squeeze in exercise. But I tell you, I have been shocking for the past few months.

After this most recent and sixth lockdown, I gave up.

I’m like, “I’m done now. I’m not playing ball with anything right now. I just need to get through this lockdown.”

I guess you try to find your own balance that works for you, and you do look towards other women who are exceedingly vibrant and sparkling and think, what does JLo do? But JLo does what works for her. And I think it’s got to be that custom fit.

We have to be inspired by these people, but the magic number, the magic ingredient, the magic recipe is just looking at yourself and trying to work out what works for you.

Women’s worth

Dannii Minogue reflects on the health and beauty lessons she has learnt from the most important women in her life.

  • My grandma: is known as “Nain” to me, as that is Welsh for Grandmother. She grew up on a farm that provided milk. She is super healthy and tells me she only had sweets once a year, in her Christmas stocking. There was nothing processed in her diet – just natural, and they used everything. I can look in the fridge and say, “There’s nothing to eat,” and Nain will whip up an amazing meal from whatever is there. She has a great sense of humour, and I think that has helped her survive the many challenges that emerge over 101 years.
  • My mother: loves healthy, natural options, and has always been a fountain of knowledge for the balance of healthy food and vitamins.
  • My sister: Kylie and I can sleep anywhere, and at any time of day or night. You just have to, in the job we have, that has required a tonne of international travel over the years. If you’re tired, find some quiet time. Either sleep or rest. It revives everything: your mind, body and your outlook on projects you need to complete.
  • Me: Beauty is confidence, and all of the women in my family have helped contribute to my feeling of confidence. I don’t always have to be right, but I love being confident in any situation and not being afraid to have an opinion. I get a lot of reaction from fans about beauty. But I think it comes from the deep place of flying the flag for confidence, and showing what that looks like.

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