That was the punch line for a recent article in the Dallas Morning News, written by Liza Mundy (journalist and book author). Her examples: Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Janet Yellen, Angela Merkel. I added Carly Fiorina (60), Irene Rosenfeld (62), Christine LaGarde (59), Meg Whitman (59), Diana Nyad (65).
Most of us know that our 60+ generation has more education, experience and financial worth than any generation of women prior. By the time we are in our 60s, we are not afraid to challenge the status quo. We are not afraid to create and take on opportunities that were not possible earlier on. We’ve developed the resilience and strength to deal with life’s disappointments, and we know we are in control of our destinies. According to Liza Mundy and the research she quoted, findings by social psychologists discovered that older people fit into a stereotype of warm and lovable which led to more findings that people of both sexes may feel more comfortable with ambitious older women than ambitious younger ones.
Almost none of us actually “retire” anymore but go on to other endeavors – entrepreneurship, philanthropy, consulting, politics, teaching – things we always wanted to do or try. We tweet, blog, Facebook, Instagram, etc. on social media. We return to college for advanced degrees. We want to look our best – we are redefining “age appropriate” clothing and are embracing new cosmetic procedures to help us look our best. We understand more about nutrition, exercise and keeping ourselves active and healthy. We are still testing our limits in sports – running, biking, swimming, skiing, climbing, tennis, golf, etc. etc. In other words, we are redefining what it is to be a 60-something woman.
As I looked through the articles on the internet on “women in their 60s,” I laughed out loud at the comments of several 60+ women interviewed for an article entitled “How Do You Feel About Aging? Secrets From Ladies In Their 60s.”
Here are some of the best:
Question: What are your concerns with your appearance as you get older?
Answer: Nora Ephron said it best. “I feel bad about my neck.”
Question: Are you worried about wrinkles and aging skin?
Answer: I’m not sitting around chewing my fingernails over it. That would make my fingernails look old.
Question: What are your thoughts on gray hair?
Answer: It looks good on other women.
Question: Any advice for others concerned with aging?
Answer: Don’t wear old-lady pants with elastic waist bands
As we contemplate our future as we progress into our 60s and beyond, it is great to know that us Baby Boomer women continue to explore uncharted territory and create opportunities for ourselves that never existed before. As Liza Mundy put it, “Whatever the reason older women were put on this Earth, maybe the time has come for them to run it.”