50 Great Things About Women Over 50

From the WebMD Archives

Who says women over 50 can't have fun?

  • 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

Continued

6. In their 50s, women realize they don't have to have a mate. They realize it's OK not to have a date everywhere you go. -- N. O'Reilly

7. You know that the clock is the great leveler. Those 20-somethings with their perfect bodies, looking at yours with pity, will someday have their own cellulite to contend with. -- C. Northrup

8. You get new hair, new clothes, to match who you want to be. You don't feel old, look old, or act old. -- S. Mitchell

9. Nobody's going to fault her for using Botox, dermabrasion, getting a nip and tuck. She can be who she wants to be. She can be a redhead one week, a blonde the next. You can tell her you like or don't like it -- but that doesn't mean she's going to follow your advice. -- N. O'Reilly

Women Over 50 Are Powerful

10. A world of opportunities opens up when you turn 50. Today, there are entire web sites, companies, and services devoted to the over-50 demographic. Find your niche in that market. -- S. Mitchell

11. Women over 50 are a powerful market force in today's economy. Women buy 80% of consumer goods and services, and among the 80 million baby boomers, that's power. -- N. O'Reilly

12. Women over 50 are president, CEO, and the star of their own lives. If you have the attitude that life is precious, that life is grandiose, that you don't want to waste any time, you will make this quality time. -- S. Mitchell

13. The entrepreneurial spirit is booming in 50-year-old women. She's following her dreams, starting her own business. She's forming partnerships with other women's businesses. She knows that collaboration is a valuable part of being successful. -- N. O'Reilly

Women Over 50 Are Self-Assured

14. You know what you like and what you don't like. If someone is trying to talk you into wearing pink because it's trendy, you don't let them influence you. There's wonderful self-trust when you hit 50. -- C. Northrup

15. You've learned that you can depend on yourself and you are open to new opportunities. You can accept change, tackle life, and move on. -- S. Mitchell

16. There's no such thing as "dressing 50." We're past the point when someone can say you're dressing too young. Women know themselves, what looks good on them, and dress to complement the assets they have. -- N. O'Reilly

Continued

Women Over 50 Are Sexy

17. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 50 is far sexier than her younger counterpart. -- A. Rooney

18. I look better today than when I was in my 30s. I am 87 lbs. lighter and dress to show my figure-8 curves. -- WebMD: Edie90601

19. Women in their 50s make great lovers. Going through menopause can be extremely freeing. As she ages, her sexuality becomes more important, and she is better able to enjoy it. -- N. O'Reilly

20. You've gotten over the "nice girls don't" thing. Hopefully you've finally gotten over that! You know yourself sexually -- and if you don't, this is the time to find out. -- C. Northrup

21. I am working out, shopping, traveling, and enjoying my friends more and often. I lost weight and my style of dressing has changed. I am now wearing hip-hugging jeans, leather -- everything. Even my sex life has improved. -- WebMD: Jackson922

22. A woman over 50 looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women or drag queens. -- A. Rooney

Women Over 50 Have More Fun

23. You can finally get the car you've always wanted. You can toss the minivan and really indulge yourself. -- J. Ganahl

24. We've learned that being older is the perfect excuse to get out of something we didn't want to do anyway. -- WebMD: Clara38

25. You've learned to appreciate spontaneous humor, for it gives life a spicy flavor. You laugh a lot, and laugh out loud. You let the child within you play. You don't have to be "perfect" because no one's perfect. -- S. Mitchell

26. I am self-employed and having fun. I am taking classes at the local university and surprisingly made friends with students of all ages. -- WebMD: Edie90601

27. When you're over 50, you have the freedom to date for the fun of it. It's more about do we have chemistry and am I hot for him? -- J. Ganahl

28. We've discovered that we can act like teenagers whenever we feel like it, and people think it's nifty. -- WebMD: Clara 38

Continued

29. You're finally kid-free. For some people, that is very sad. But I don't know a single person who didn't come around to "look at all my free time. I can totally take art classes, I'm not tied to the carpool." -- J. Ganahl

30. You recognize that talent does not know age. You learn the value of taking risks, pushing your personal comfort level, reinventing yourself. -- S. Mitchell

31. At this age, almost all men are younger than you, so might as well date them. People look at you less askance for dating younger men. -- J. Ganahl

32. A woman over 50 will not lay next to you in bed and ask "What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think. -- A. Rooney

Women Over 50 Know What They Like

33. You learn to fuel your life from your inner wisdom, from your soul. Your life only works well if it's fueled from what's really true inside, not from what's current in magazines. -- C. Northrup

34. You might participate in a current trend, but what's true must be from what's in you. -- C. Northrup

35. Your sense of personal style comes together. After decades of experimenting, you learn what feels comfortable, what looks dazzling. -- J. Ganahl

36. If a woman over 50 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it's usually something more interesting. -- A. Rooney

37. You really have learned who you are as a person, what your likes and dislikes are. It makes life ever so much more pleasant and joyful and simpler when you know. The downside is, it makes it hard to find people to date because you're so much more selective. -- J. Ganahl

Women Over 50 Are Wise

38. At 50, you realize that life is big, much bigger than you ever knew. You see that life has this ability to be very healing, that the full implications of events aren't always evident. What you might think is awful can turn out to be a blessing. -- C. Northrup

Continued

39. Women get psychic with age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 50. They always know. -- A. Rooney

40. It's a time of self-reflection. You thought the glass ceiling would make you happy and fulfilled. Now you're looking for your purpose in life, looking for work you love to do. -- C. Barnett

41. She knows the value of mentoring. There are younger women out there who want role models. A woman over 50 has wisdom to offer. -- N. O'Reilly

42. You know the wisdom of surrender. You're right that your ex-husband wronged you. You can spend the rest of your life beating that drum, but that's the road to bitterness. There is wisdom in letting go of your grievances. You begin to know what's important and what isn't. You know what hill to die on. -- C. Northrup

43. When you turn 50, mortality rears its face. Women start looking for their mission in life. The whole arena of giving back to society becomes their focus. -- C. Barnett

44. You have more compassion, more acceptance, for yourself and other people. You are no longer shamed by your own humanity. You learn to see the humor in your own foibles. -- C. Northrup

Women Over 50 Are Just Getting Started

45. I'm definitely not the same person my mother was at 50! With the knowledge we have now, the sky's the limit. I ride horses, scuba dive, zip line! -- WebMD: Mustang1956

46. There's something really bracing about being 50. You realize how young you are. And you realize how much more to life there is. -- C. Northrup

47. At 50, you learn the value of being passionate about something -- a lover, a career, your life. Passion is what makes you jump out of bed every morning, makes you love every moment in the day. -- S. Mitchell

48. You look forward to meeting your grandchildren. When that happens, it will be the best thing of my life. -- J. Ganahl

49. A woman over 50 knows the value of celebrating life. She's sizzling, not fizzling. She's savvy, not sad. -- S. Mitchell

50. I am loving life and it's only going to get better. -- WebMD: Jackson922

WebMD Feature Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on March 22, 2007

Sources

SOURCES: Gail Sheehy, author, Passages; founder, Seasoned Women's Network online, seasonedwomansnetwork.com. Christiane Northrup,MD,author,Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom. Jane Ganahl, author, Naked on the Page: The Misadventures of My Unmarried Midlife. Shirley W. Mitchell, contributor, 101 Great Waysto Improve Your Life; author, Fabulous After Fifty. Nancy O'Reilly, PsyD, psychologist and life coach. Cynthia Barnett, EdD, retirement specialist.

© 2007 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.

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