I know it is too late to introduce this term, but I am getting more nervous than before when I come across it. That is because I am starting to care about my age. Oh what shall I do? Someone, please stop the time!
I’m sorry, I’ve got to stop whining, haven’t I? Okay, let’s get down to the topic. This term was actually one of the yearly famous words last year, and there was the same title TV drama series called Around 40～注文の多いオンナたち～[Around 40 -Demanding Women-]. In this drama, the heroine is a 39-year-old psychologist who is worried about being single. And most of the other leads are women aged around 40 years, and this story depicts what the real happiness for women is. We Japanese shall abbreviate around 40 as アラフォー[aro-four], and for some reason(or because of this drama?) this term got popular. Having said that, there was another word before this word came, that is アラサー[aro-thir], or women aged around 30 years. Yes, アラフォー stems from アラサー, and started since 2007. As you may know, these are Japanese-English[和製英語], so around 40 in English does not work the same way in Japanese. Technically, アラフォー indicates any women who are from 35 to 44. Those women at this status seem to pursue some even higher career thanks to Equal Employment Opportunity Act for Men and Women(1986)[男女雇用機会均等法]. This act could give all the women more chances to come to the society. Even that, there is some invisible sexual barrier left though. Anyway, at the same time this act might have given another option that they don’t need to hurry to marriage. Because of this, they might be worried about the following future while they are working well if they are single. Yes, the far important thing is a delivery thing. The older they get, the harder delivery is. If they are childless, they would have to consider how they live after they retire.
So I am not sure if アラフォー is a honorable word or an ironic one. The good side is that they are professional women, but the bad side is that they are desperate women.
Speaking of アラフォー, I can think of the certain Japanese celebrity. She is Ayako Nishikawa[西川史子], and everybody calls her 西川女医[Dr. Nishikawa]. She is a cosmetic surgeon while she often works as a celebrity. I wonder when she works as a surgeon because she shows on TV too much. She is thick-skinned and powerful. And she definitely wants men to make over forty million yen a year(年収4000万以上の男性). As far as I know, she is still single though she is about 37 or so.
Here is something we should discuss. In my opinion, even if such a man exists, I doubt he is willing to marry a woman like her. Dr. Nishikawa already makes a killing as a doctor, so most men would give her up. I don’t know exactly how much her annual income is, but it must be more than over twenty million yen. At this point, most men have nothing on her. Also, even if a man whose annual income is better than hers showed, he would not be willing to marry her(of course if he loves her, things would be different), I suppose so. Because she is too smart. 男を立てるってことが出来ないタイプの女性…って英語で何て言うの？Well, a woman like her is not able to put a man up forward みたいな…So I doubt even such a rich guy can get along with her. So he might choose other girls who easily fawn on him, his money.
So after all, men who come to a woman like her are good-for-nothing[ダメ男], gigolo[ヒモ], or ドエム[doemu]. That should be pretty easier for a woman like her. She just gets such a man and treats him as a pet, that’s it. So that is why it is not unusual to see a pairing of a rich woman and a shabby host. うっ、夜王の見過ぎかな俺（笑）.
Come to think of it, I still remember an interesting song. That is 夏が来る[Summer comes(1994)] by Maki Ohguro[大黒摩季]. This song depicts a woman who is waiting for her prince coming. Although she is doing her best, no chance comes to her or something like that. Here is some quotation;
“何が足りない どこが良くない” どんなに努力し続けても[what do I lack? How can I improve myself? No matter how much I keep trying to do my best,]
選ばれるのは ああ結局 何にも出来ないお嬢様[the chosen one is, ah eventually, a helpless indoor princess]
残されるのは ああ結局 何でも知ってる女王様[the spinster is, ah eventually, a queen who knows how the world works]
When I heard this song, I was still 13 or so. But now I can understand what this is supposed to mean. The more perfect she is, the less men comes to her.
Smarts and wealth don’t necessarily bring about happiness, that’s what I believe. Ugh, I am already an アラサーcosplayer! GYAAAAA!! どどどどーしよー！！Hey, I am sounding like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. Can I be a writer? lol
All hail, アラフォー！！アラフォー万歳！
Sex and the City