By Rebecca Barker

MEN, the old saying goes, age like a fine wine, while women age like milk.

But if by “fine wine” you mean with a paunch, hairy ears/nostrils/shoulders and outdated opinions, then I’ll pass.

Give me a young, fruity Riesling any day over a heavily tanned merlot.

And it turns out, I’m not the only aging pint of milk who would plump for a younger man.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell has joined the elite rank of cougars when it was revealed this week she was spotted out with the much younger Liam Payne.

With 23 years between them, Campbell was said to have enjoyed a cozy meal with Cheryl Tweedy’s former pop star lover.

And while I think it’s great Campbell can have her pick of young bucks, I do feel rather sorry for poor old Liam — with the phrase “lamb to the slaughter” springing to mind.

Renowned for her fiery temper and her equally fiery romances with the likes of boxer Mike Tyson, U2’s Adam Clayton and rock wildman Tommy Lee (to name but a few), the 49-year-old Campbell will surely chew him up and spit him out.

Once a pejorative term, the word “cougar” is being reclaimed by stylish, older women like Campbell who know what they want and aren’t afraid to go after it.

And while she may have once quipped that she “doesn’t date younger men”, Campbell certainly seems to be taking her new cougar status in her stride with reports that the pair are “smitten” with one another.

Of course, beautiful celebrities dating much younger and equally beautiful boy toys is nothing new.

Madonna, ever the trailblazer, has dated a string of young 20-something backing dancers, while both actress Demi Moore and artist Sam Taylor-Wood married younger, male actors.

And sure, why the hell not? If you’ve got it, go for it.

But why are more women dating younger men? According to Susan Winter, co-author of the book Older Women, Younger Men: New Options for Love and Romance, younger men come with less baggage and have more liberal views.

Winter revealed: “Older successful men are used to being in control of a woman, and that doesn’t sit well with modern women.

Younger men have grown up with working women and have worked for female bosses, so they’re more likely to treat women equally.”

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