Gwen Stefani's midriff and Gavin Rossdale at the 'PUNK: Chaos to Couture' Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Arrivals

Gwen Stefani’s midriff is a treasure that must be hidden away.

How would any of us know when to put away our childish things, like bikinis and long hair, if not for body-snarking surveys conducted on the Internet?

The Daily Mail is covered in photos of 82-year-old model Carmen Dell’Orefice with a flowing crown of gray hair and of Uma Thurman looking gorgeous as ever in a bikini in St. Tropez, but the same paper says a new survey says neither of those women should be going around looking like that because they’re just too old for long hair and bikinis. They might look fantastic, but it’s still not OK because … actually we haven’t figured that part out yet.

According to The Daily Mail, most women think clothes come with a wear-by date beyond which it is unconscionable to wear them, regardless of how fit, toned, or conventionally attractive a person might be. Crop tops, for example, should never be worn by anyone over the age of 34. Mini skirts are similarly denounced for anyone over 35.

Women over 40 should just be wearing flowing shawls at all times, preferably with sensible shoes. Because women over 40, according to the survey, should not be wearing bikinis, crop tops, leggings, mini skirts, stiletto heels, long hair, and belly button piercings. (I’m not personally a fan of belly button piercings in general, but not for a certain age.)

The survey also says that women shouldn’t bare their stomachs if they have stretch marks or scars, are married, pregnant, or have children. A more exhaustive survey would probably have found that people also think it’s unacceptable to wear a bare midriff if one has eaten a large meal or if one has a weird tan line.

The survey results are especially confusing because the “best celebrity tummy” field was dominated by women over 40. Gwen Stefani took the stop spot, and she’s 43 and has two children. Not far behind her were Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston, and Halle Berry.

Basically, the takeaway from this survey is that the Internet is not a hivemind and does not know what the hell it wants, so it should be roundly ignored.

Via The Daily Mail/Photo: WENN