We all want to look good, regardless of our age. The problem comes in when we run from age. Although getting older is part of natural evolution very few people accept the ageing process. Whether retouching their picture for a dating website or playing around with graduation dates on a résumé hoping to get the job, most ladies simply lie about their age, working hard to disguise those years. Why? Because ageism sucks. In a world that often praises youth more than wisdom, women in midlife feel they have their own good reasons to hide their age. As a result, they prevent themselves to fully embrace a stage of a life that many studies identify as the happiest.
In her book “This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism,” activist Ashton Applewhite devotes a chapter to urging readers to “claim your age,” calling it an act that builds self-acceptance instead of self-denial. “To go through life feeling like your worth diminishes as you get older is poisonous, individually and collectively,” said Applewhite. “By attempting to hide the number, we reinforce the idea that humans have expiration dates and we don’t challenge or change the culture.”
When I was younger, 50 seemed pretty old to me. Now that I’m approaching this milestone, my perspective has changed quite a bit: I’m glad I’ve survived the turbulence of the past and have more experience now under my belt. What’s more, I’ve succeeded in building a life around the real Michela and that feels good. I love the idea of growing older, not only because I feel more confident about what I want and who I am, but also because I’ve realised that the well-celebrated youth has no history to speak of and not enough stored up wisdom.
For me, life doesn’t end, or begin, at 50 it just continues brilliantly with more self-knowledge and a certain carefree attitude. After all, age can come with certain advantages. We might become invisible to someone as we get older but we have finally found our inner voice for sure, ready to use it at will. Claiming our age is a tribute to that strength we achieved over the years, is proof of self-love, and a badge of pride.
As Gina Barreca PhD, author of several bestsellers including ‘They Used to Call Me Snow White But I Drifted: Women’s Strategic Use of Humor‘ says: “The plan of life is to make sure that the absurdities of the world as they are, are something that you feel you can play with, that you can mock, that you can circle around and have various perspectives on without letting them corrupt your sense of pleasure and joy in the world. Every day is funny“.
The truth of the matter is that women are cool at every age — not in spite of the number, but often because of it. Yes, I am proudly fifty. How old are you?