“At the end of 2020, instead of 30 Under 30 and NextGen lists, please profile middle-aged people who just got their big breaks. I want to read about a mother of 2 who published her first novel, a director who released their first studio feature at 47, THAT’S THE LIST WE WANT.” – Melissa Hunter @melissaFTW
The above tweet went viral and for good reason.
Once you hit 40, some assume your future contributions are nil, but oh so wrong they are. The responses were amazing and inspirational.
Since crossing the 40-yard line of life myself, I exited a cushy corporate job, started a business, wrote three books, a 4th one coming in 2020 and have watched both of my sons graduate college. In addition to being a certified life coach for empty nest moms (or those on the verge of becoming one), I also now volunteer as a grief support facilitator for widows -one of my ways of paying it forward after becoming a widow more than a decade ago.
Some people questioned why there were repeated references to both Shakira’s (43) & Jennifer Lopez’s (50) ages following Sunday’s Super Bowl performance, assuming it was to shame them. While there may be some who had this ill-intent in mind, I believe the real intent was quite the opposite. Contrary to the narrow-minded amongst us, many women are aging gracefully and are quite proud of it.
Just recently, an Instagram troll attempted to take a jab at actress and mother of two, Eva Mendes after she debuted a new haircut. The social media user’s comment read: “She’s getting old.” The actress, who turns 46 next month, saw the comment and responded, agreeing that’s she’s indeed aging… and loving it.
“Yes, your right. Thank God I’m getting old. That means I’m still here,” she responded. “I’m gonna be 46 soon and grateful every day that I’m aging. Was your comment suppose to make me feel bad? It didn’t. It makes me feel grateful. So thank you for the reminder that I’m still here, ❤️❤️❤️” she added.
We live in a youth-obsessed society, and in many cases, one where ageism, age discrimination, call it what you like- is quite prevalent. The misconception that once you reach 40, life is over. Or when your offspring are out of the house, your Mom title is no longer relevant. Oh, the wreaking of BS in it all!
I have come to learn that people treat you the way that they witness you treating yourself.
All the more reason why I refuse to fall back, fade to black, stay in society’s designated “has-been” lane, etc. I also understand that self-care is not selfish; it’s a must.
We are surrounded by many women of a certain age range… 40, 50, 60, 70……who are incredible specimens.
These women are kicking ass, making moves, and remaining oh so relevant. They are often overlooked as influencers. American women 50 and older are the healthiest, wealthiest and most active generation of women in history. (Source: Demographics by Mark Miller)
You are as young as you feel, and if your energy level says unstoppable, be just that. UnfreakingSTOPPABLE.
If businesses and brands don’t cater to your needs, find those who will. Hell, create your own!
There is a multitude of women who are reminding the world and the powers that be that age is just a number. Christie Brinkley, Angela Bassett, Suzanne Somers, Michelle Obama, Halle Berry, Soledad O’Brien, Oprah Winfrey, Vera Wang, and Ellen DeGeneres, just to name a few others.
70 is the new 50, wisdom and experience are priceless, and the definition of old is subjective- only idiots view us this group of women as dispensable.
Some of us have hair that is gray, but never forget -our money is green. Brands would be wise to respect and recognize.
I am a mom of two millennials, and I love how we collectively mesh our differences and similarities to become better humans. It’s all about open, objective, communication.
None of this conversation is an attempt to dismiss other generations, as that would be completely disrespectful and hypocritical. It’s just simply a reminder that we are here, it’s never too late to follow your dreams, we matter, and don’t you dare count us out.