Joanne Froggatt has said she feels “fantastic” after turning 40, despite the fact it is perceived as a “negative milestone” for women.
The actress said that in the run-up to her birthday she was “constantly” asked how she felt about approaching the landmark age.
She added that her age has been “public knowledge” ever since she started working as an actress at 16.
This meant lying about her age was not an option but “it is also something I never wanted to do”, Froggatt said.
“As a woman (especially in the industry I’m in) I felt that 40 was seen as this negative milestone,” she wrote on Instagram.
She said people have asked whether she is “fearful of losing your looks” or if she is worried about being a woman of that age working as an actress.
Froggatt said she feels “so incredibly grateful for my first 40 years of life”.
“I feel the happiest and most comfortable in my own skin that I have ever felt,” she said.
“I am wiser, calmer, more confident in myself and my own decisions than I was in my 20s.
“I am so fortunate to have the most wonderful people in my life, who have gone out of their way to make me feel special and loved.”
Age “is not something to be feared it is something to be celebrated”, the Downton Abbey star added.
Froggatt said she was not able to celebrate by having a party as she had hoped, or see many of her loved ones.