On the cusp of her 50th
birthday, Katie Couric became the first female solo anchor of a national evening news show.
At 57, Diane Keaton produced her seventh movie and played the heartthrob of 39-year-old Hollywood heartthrob Keanu Reeves in Something's Gotta Give.
At 61, actress Susan Sarandon is still the American prototype for the sexy older woman, a title she claimed in her 40s.
"A seasoned woman is spicy," writes Gail Sheehy, the over-50-and-proud author of Passages and founder of the Seasoned Women's Network online. "She has been marinated in life experience. She is at the peak of her influence and power. She is committed to living fully and passionately in the second half of life, despite failures and false starts."
What do other women think is the best thing about turning 50? To find out, we asked WebMD readers, as well as a doctor (Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom); a clinical psychologist (Nancy O'Reilly, PsyD); and a retirement lifestyle specialist (Cynthia Barnett, EdD). We also checked out what prominent authors Shirley W. Mitchell (Fabulous After 50 and Sensational After 60) and Jane Ganahl (Naked on the Page: The Misadventures of My Unmarried Midlife) had to say about women aging, then sprinkled in a few observations from 60 Minutes' crusty humorist Andy Rooney.
Women Over 50 Are Freer
1. After turning 50 I felt liberated. I felt like I could say what I wanted to say, do things I wanted to do, and wear things I wanted to wear. -- WebMD:Suezee52
2. At 50, if you use condoms it's for safe sex, not for avoiding pregnancy. What a relief when that's not a worry anymore! -- J. Ganahl
3. We don't sweat the little things any more -- and we've learned that darn near everything is a little thing! WebMD: -- Clara38
4. The woman over 50 makes her relationship with herself No. 1. The kids are grown. She's learned to let them go and stopped worrying about them. -- N. O'Reilly
5. You say "screw it" to plastic surgery. I read somewhere that more women in their 40s get plastic surgery than in their 50s. I think it's because once you hit 50, you don't care. You say, "I am who I am." -- J. Ganahl