WHO SAYS WOMEN OVER 50 DON’T HAVE FUN OR DON’T LOVE THEIR AGE? AND WHO SAYS THEY ARE “OVER THE HILL”?
On the cusp of her 50th birthday, Katie Couric became the first female solo anchor of a national evening news show, and today is making inroads in the new format of online news at Yahoo.
At 57, Diane Keaton produced her seventh movie and played the heartthrob to 39-year-old Keanu Reeves in “Something’s Gotta Give”.
At 61, actress Susan Sarandon is still the American prototype for the sexy older woman, a title she claimed in her 40s.
“A seasoned woman is spicy,” writes Gail Sheehy, the over-50-and-proud author of Passages and founder of the Seasoned Women’s Network online. “She has been marinated in life experience. She is at the peak of her influence and power. She is committed to living fully and passionately in the second half of life, despite failures and false starts.”
What do women think is the best thing about turning 50?
To find out, WEBMD’s Jeanie Lerch Davis asked WebMD readers, as well as a doctor (Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom); a clinical psychologist (Nancy O’Reilly, PsyD); and a retirement lifestyle specialist (Cynthia Barnett, EdD). We also checked out what prominent authors Shirley W. Mitchell (Fabulous After 50 and Sensational After 60) and Jane Ganahl (Naked on the Page: The Misadventures of My Unmarried Midlife) had to say about women aging, then sprinkled in a few observations from 60 Minutes’ crusty humorist Andy Rooney.
Women Over 50 Are Freer
1. After turning 50 I felt liberated. I felt like I could say what I wanted to say, do things I wanted to do, and wear things I wanted to wear. — WebMD:Suezee52
2. At 50, if you use condoms it’s for safe sex, not for avoiding pregnancy. What a relief when that’s not a worry anymore! — J. Ganahl
3. We don’t sweat the little things any more — and we’ve learned that darn near everything is a little thing! WebMD: — Clara38
4. The woman over 50 makes her relationship with herself No. 1. The kids are grown. She’s learned to let them go and stopped worrying about them. — N. O’Reilly
5. You say “screw it” to plastic surgery. I read somewhere that more women in their 40s get plastic surgery than in their 50s. I think it’s because once you hit 50, you don’t care. You say, “I am who I am.” — J. Ganahl
6. In their 50s, women realize they don’t have to have a mate. They realize it’s OK not to have a date everywhere you go. — N. O’Reilly
7. You get new hair, new clothes, to match who you want to be. You don’t feel old, look old, or act old. — S. Mitchell
8. Nobody’s going to fault her for using Botox, dermabrasion, getting a nip and tuck. She can be who she wants to be, make her own choices. She can be a redhead one week, a blonde the next. You can tell her you like or don’t like it — but that doesn’t mean she’s going to follow your advice. — N. O’Reilly
Women Over 50 Are Powerful
9. A world of opportunities opens up when you turn 50. Today, there are entire web sites, companies, and services devoted to the over-50 demographic. Find your niche in that market. — S. Mitchell
10. Women over 50 are a powerful market force in today’s economy. Women buy 80% of consumer goods and services, and among the 80 million baby boomers, that’s power. — N. O’Reilly
11. Women over 50 are president, CEO, and the star of their own lives. If you have the attitude that life is precious, that life is grandiose, that you don’t want to waste any time, you will make this quality time. — S. Mitchell
12. The entrepreneurial spirit is booming in 50-year-old women. She’s following her dreams, starting her own business. She’s forming partnerships with other women’s businesses. She knows that collaboration is a valuable part of being successful. — N. O’Reilly
Women Over 50 Are Self-Assured
13. You know what you like and what you don’t like. If someone is trying to talk you into wearing pink because it’s trendy, you don’t let them influence you. There’s wonderful self-trust when you hit 50. — C. Northrup
14. You’ve learned that you can depend on yourself and you are open to new opportunities. You can accept change, tackle life, and move on. — S. Mitchell
15. There’s no such thing as “dressing 50.” We’re past the point when someone can say you’re dressing too young. Women know themselves, what looks good on them, and dress to complement the assets they have. — N. O’Reilly
Women Over 50 Are Sexy
16. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 50 is far sexier than her younger counterpart. — A. Rooney
17. I look better today than when I was in my 30s. I am 87 lbs. lighter and dress to show my figure-8 curves. — WebMD: Edie90601
18. Women in their 50s make great lovers. Going through menopause can be extremely freeing. As she ages, her sexuality becomes more important, and she is better able to enjoy it. — N. O’Reilly
19. You’ve gotten over the “nice girls don’t” thing. Hopefully you’ve finally gotten over that! You know yourself sexually — and if you don’t, this is the time to find out. — C. Northrup
20. I am working out, shopping, traveling, and enjoying my friends more and often. I lost weight and my style of dressing has changed. I am now wearing hip-hugging jeans, leather — everything. Even my sex life has improved. — WebMD: Jackson922
21. A woman over 50 looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women or drag queens. — A. Rooney
Women Over 50 Have More Fun
22. You can finally get the car you’ve always wanted. You can toss the minivan and really indulge yourself. — J. Ganahl
23. We’ve learned that being older is the perfect excuse to get out of something we didn’t want to do anyway. — WebMD: Clara38
24. You’ve learned to appreciate spontaneous humor, for it gives life a spicy flavor. You laugh a lot, and laugh out loud. You let the child within you play. You don’t have to be “perfect” because no one’s perfect. — S. Mitchell
25. I am self-employed and having fun. I am taking classes at the local university and surprisingly made friends with students of all ages. — WebMD: Edie90601
26. When you’re over 50, you have the freedom to date for the fun of it. It’s more about do we have chemistry and am I hot for him? — J. Ganahl
27. You recognize that talent does not know age. You learn the value of taking risks, pushing your personal comfort level, reinventing yourself. — S. Mitchell
28. At this age, almost all men are younger than you, so might as well date them. People look at you less askance for dating younger men. — J. Ganahl
29. A woman over 50 will not lay next to you in bed and ask “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think. — A. Rooney
30. You learn to fuel your life from your inner wisdom, from your soul. Your life only works well if it’s fueled from what’s really true inside, not from what’s current in magazines. — C. Northrup