Seven Canadian women talk about what it means to be 3O today

Seven Canadian women talk about what it means to be 30 today

Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson turned 30 this year


Thirty. Say it out loud. It’s big and round and used to sound scary—like a door closing. Now it’s all about open horizons, though not always clear skies. Our dalliance with 30 is like any relationship: exciting, complicated, ever in transition. FLARE spoke to several Canadian women who have just turned—or are on the cusp of turning—the big 3-O, like Hollywood starlet Kate Hudson, and discovered what this milestone means to them.

The Wayfarer: Fiona Solon lives in Whitehorse, where she’s a government payroll clerk by day and a burlesque artist and singer by night.

What’s the coolest thing about being 30? Getting ID’d at the liquor store.

What’s the scariest thing about being 30? People constantly asking me if I’m “ready to settle down now.”

How has the big 3-0 affected your style? I’ve started to show my feminine side more in the last couple of years. Of course, wearing a corset and fishnets on stage may have had a hand in that…

Is doing something as ballsy as being a burlesque artist something you could have done a decade ago? I had stage fright until I was 25. I sang a bit before that, but lacked the confidence to progress as an artist. Since producing, singing, and dancing in my own burlesque variety shows, I realize I can do anything! I have also started singing and recording with numerous bands.

What’s next for you? My next goal is touring Varietease across Canada. I also want to learn to play my great-grandma’s auto harp. And I’m keen to get a degree. When I was in my 20’s, I was much too busy traveling around the world to be able to commit to four years in one place. I can control the urge to just up and leave now, so it seems like the perfect time to go back to school.

The Careerista: Lindsay Everitt is married and the director of communications at a top law firm in Toronto.

What’s the coolest thing about being 30? It’s liberating to realize I don’t have to settle. Not in relationships, friendships, or in a career that doesn’t satisfy me.

What’s the scariest thing about being 30? Knowing life can be shorter than you think, and at any point you can be robbed of something or someone. Turning 30 has been a wake up call to not take what I have, or the people I love, for granted. Everything in life is a gift.

You have very high-powered career. What did you do in your 20s to get where you are now? I’m always working on things, whether it’s my friendships, my marriage, or my career. If everything seems easy, it probably means you aren’t trying hard enough. For me, that’s not an option. I also realized early on, the importance of strong mentors. Having someone to challenge you, bounce ideas off of, and be your cheerleader is an invaluable gift.

How do you imagine being 30 today is probably different from a generation ago? Professionally, we’ve made significant advances. And topics that were once taboo are fair game today. Last week at a girls’ dinner, we covered Friend A’s sexual (mis)adventures, Friend B’s pro and con list for cosmetic surgery and Friend C’s trip to her therapist – and that was before our mains arrived! Women in their 30s today have a stronger sense of confidence about ourselves and the choices we make.

The Model Student: Stephanie Shaver is a model living in Montreal who is starting her second year in university as an engineering student.

What’s the coolest thing about being 30? The shock on people’s faces when I tell them!

What’s the scariest thing about being 30? Hearing other people complain about their fears of what being 30 means. How has the big 3-0 affected your style? I don’t travel as much as I once did and don’t live out of a suitcase for months at a time, so now I have a larger selection of clothes to choose from. I love dresses that flow in the breeze, and I have a lot of them now.

Is turning 30 daunting for a model? I’m not sure it’s as daunting as 24 was. I turned 24 while I was traveling to Milan and had worried I’d be considered “too old” for an agency to take on. In the end, numbers don’t mean much. I will continue to model for as long as it’s something I want to pursue. At 30, you’re going back to school! Yes, I’m in my second year of Mechanical Engineering at Concordia University. Engineering is something that’s interested me since high school and I’m fortunate to have the time to study now.

How do you think being 30 today is probably different from a generation ago? I think there would’ve been more of a negative stigma in an earlier era. The idea that unless you were married with children and set on your life and career paths, there was something wrong with you.

The Maverick: Sara Smith is an openly gay basketball coach living in Vancouver, BC.

What’s the coolest thing about being 30? Taking charge of my life and the direction I’m moving in. I’ve become very goal-oriented and feel my hard work is starting to pay off.

What’s the scariest thing about being 30? Feeling the pressure to sort everything out and create a stable life!

You’re a lesbian. Do you think the big 3-0 may mean different things to straight and gay women? I think there’s more external [pressure] on straight women to have children and settle down, whereas the only pressure I’ve felt to have children and settle down has come from within. Do you think about marriage? Having been married once already to a woman (we are now legally separated), I think I’m looking to take a different approach to marriage from now on. My first wedding was beautiful and everything a person could dream up, so I think it would be very hard to put the energy in for a second one! If I do get married again it will be a very quiet affair.

What’s next for you? I’d like to really establish myself in my profession and continue to work at all of my relationships. It’s important for me to re-connect with my two sisters, as all three of us have been in different corners of the world for some time. One works in Manhattan and the other resides in California and is working in Peru. And perhaps have children if that works out for me.

The Heartland Mom: Crystal Arthur is stay-at-home mom to two kids and four step-kids in Carievale, Sask. She is currently living with her boyfriend and is in the process of getting a divorce from her first husband.

What’s the coolest thing about being 30? Being able to look back and see all the things that I’ve learned – and having the opportunity to learn from them in a whole new decade.

What’s the scariest thing? To lose the opportunity to say “Ha! I’m still in my 20s”!

How has the big 3-0 affected your style? No. I’m still me. Why change something like that if it would change who I am?

What’s it like to be going through a divorce? It feels enlightening. I learned so much because of that marriage – and the divorce. I can start over and be proud.

You’ve got a new man, and besides being mom to two, you have four step-kids. Could you have managed this in your 20s? I don’t think I could have done it. I think it all happens at a time for a reason. I was ready to take this on. Turning 30 means I’ve learned a lot of things – and I’m still learning. Having all of these kids in my life has been an absolute blessing. They make me turning 30 seem easy!

What’s next for you? To just continue to try and be the best mom to my kids – and to not let life slow me down when it starts to get rough. And I want to have vacations with my family. I never gave myself that chance because I started my family early, and we didn’t have the money, and then just life became too busy!

Kate Hudson, Claire Danes and Evangeline Lilly—stars who all turn 30 this year—prove that turning 30 looks hot. But is the gorgeous confidence they exude fact or fiction?

Our overall observation? Your 30th birthday is the start of the rest of your life.

“30 Years Bold” has been edited for FLARE.com; the complete story appears in the September 2009 issue of FLARE.

Celebrity photography by George Pimentel