The New York Times, bless their hearts, published an article by Emily Eakin, entitled “70 and Female is the New Cool.” Like we weren’t before!
And I am just thrilled to see that other publications (print and online newspapers, magazines, and books) are taking note of the promise and possibilities for women 70 plus. We are doing our best to stay relevant because we want to and because we are not going to stop accomplishing and learning and doing. And guess what else – yes, we are the happiest if you believe all of the studies on this subject. When I was growing up 50 was old, 60 was ancient, 70 was “you’re not dead yet??”. So it’s really disappointing when people say things like “Isn’t she a little, you know, mature for that?” – translation: too old, move on.
Today women in their 70s and up are lawmakers, mayors, governors, CEOs and Corporate Directors, entrepreneurs, authors, athletes, inventors, professionals of all kinds and if they do retire, they are already into something else. I just had a conversation with a friend who was one of the top execs of a major corporation who retired, stayed at home for a while, and now is back doing consulting and loving her life. Several other friends are going back to college and having a blast. And even though 32% are single, some have remarried and “Gasp” to guys who are much younger!!
It’s great to see some powerful women over the age of 70 on television and in publications – Martha Stewart, Ina Garten, Jane Fonda, Diana Ross, Lauren Hutton, Rita Moreno, Grace Jones – but the numbers are small. Then there’s Colleen Barrett (featured) who is President Emerita and Corporate Secretary of Southwest Airlines and still going strong.
We women in our 70s first had to suffer from sexism – now just add ageism to the mix. Women in their early 70s are part of the bleeding edge of Baby Boomers and since many of us were the first to be able to have executive and professional careers, start and grow our own businesses and serve on corporate boards — we are wired differently. We may not want another high-pressure career, but we want to be actively engaged in meaningful activities. With all of the attention on younger, and with the realization that we are no longer even close to that demographic, we can tend to get a little put out with outdated perceptions of our status.
Although this publication, Prime Women, is created for women age 50 and up when things really start to change with menopause, hormones, eyesight, you name it – ageism really starts to kick in in the late 60s and 70s.
With over 19 million women age 70 and above and with 32% having no partner, we have to realize that sitting in our rocking chairs on our porches with or without spouses, is not a good strategy for our aging lives. We are still healthy and active – yes we might have more aches and pains but still function at a high level.
This publication, Prime Women, started by women in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, is a reflection of the growing interest in powerful women continuing to be involved in creative endeavors, pursuing challenges, and making things happen as we’ve always done. There’s nothing like the feeling of a new challenge, a new direction, a new discovery – meeting new people and making new friends and starting on a journey that leads to new possibilities that keep arising. There is no age ceiling to accomplishment so we shouldn’t give in when society tries to diminish our capabilities. Stereotypes exist in every age group, ethnic group, gender group, etc. and we are all aware they exist, but very hard to overcome.
Because we saw the need, Prime Women is starting our “Second Acts” program to assess, counsel, and group women together to begin the conversation about what’s possible as we age. So many women have been wrapped up in careers that they haven’t taken the time to think about their “Second Act” and want to learn from others.
We know for a fact that we must and should maintain physical activity, spend time with other women who are active and involved, nurture a sense of purpose, and continue to learn to keep our minds sharp. Take a look at the article by our writer Sandy Dominy who just reviewed a delightful book, Women Rowing North, by Mary Pipher who gives her personal experience on aging.
We at Prime Women are also planning more experiences, trips, and events that target the needs of women 50 plus. We are also rolling out PLATE – Portion Control, Lifestyle, Accountability, Timing, and Exercise – a weight management program for those of us who know that to maintain our healthy weight, we need what PLATE has to offer. Check it out at PrimeWomenPlate.com.
It is our desire at Prime Women, to change the perception of aging and provide tools, programs, and ways of connecting to other Prime Women who want to continue to live fulfilling, vibrant and interesting lives.
The world is changing, aging is changing and powerful women 70 plus are way cool!!!
As Maye Musk (model, age 70) said in her Cover Girl commercial “They say at a certain age, you just stop caring. I wonder what age that is!”
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