Despite how it may sometimes seem, the age positive movement is thriving.
Feminist icons and famous women’s rights activists like Gloria Steinem, Margaret Atwood (author, The Handmaid’s Tale) and Alice Walker (author, The Colour Purple) are still tackling gender-based stigma into their 80’s… their 80’s! The movement is strong — you just need to know where to find it.
Studies from the American Psychological Association found that in general, people tend to be happier when their personal values are consistent with dominant cultural values.
But, as Helen Garner explained to the Guardian: with expectations of women over 55 including “being erased from a culture that equates youth and beauty with value”, it’s difficult to see how the above findings could possibly apply to us.
Don’t lose hope; women all over the world are owning age-negative stereotypes and turning them into tools of empowerment. The #GreyHairRevolution is strong on Instagram, as is #GrowingOldWithGrace, #WomenofSteel and #AgePositive.
From social media accounts like @grey_so_what and @elisainmontreal encouraging change through lifestyle blogging, to women like Bella Garson, Nadine Bush and Helen Garner engraving their stories in the pages of national publications like the Guardian and the Telegraph.
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✨True story, bruh. I was asked to describe myself. Willful, spirited, fun, loving, sharp, intelligent, quick, cool, beautiful, sexy. The lady who is writing this down, looks up from her paper and states that it’s the first time she didn’t have to prod for an answer. I AM SO FUCKEN PROUD OF ME ??? WAIT, wait. Now, your turn. Describe yourself below and I will give your page a shout out, deal? ? #dontbeafraidofyourpower #soproudofme #greyhair #greyhairtransition #grayhairtransition #grombre #voguemagazine #womanmagazine #womeninfashion #conceptual #visualization #whitehairpower #greyhairpower #grayhairpower #italianwoman #latinawomen #womenintheir50 #products #makeup #makinggreysexy #makinggreysexy
Fashion icons like Julie Christie, Diane Keaton and Priscilla Presley have a huge influence in popular culture, using red carpets and magazine covers to show off their gorgeous mature physiques. Female political figures do not hesitate in spreading positivity on a world stage — think Michelle Obama, Mary Robinson, Mary McAleese and Hillary Clinton.
Activism and wider cultural downfalls like these might seem too big to change. But doing your part is a lot simpler than you think. Follow these women on social media, read and share their articles, vote for them in elections, wear whatever you want and embrace this stage of life.
Surround yourself with positive people, unfollow anyone who makes you doubt yourself on social media and spend time with those you love.
Mature women are raising their voices and they are being heard. Life gets a hell of a lot more exciting after 55, so if there was ever a time to shout from the rooftops with pride, it is now.