On the cusp of her
Katie Couric became the first female solo anchor of a national evening news
At 57, Diane Keaton
produced her seventh movie and played the heartthrob of 39-year-old
Hollywood heartthrob Keanu Reeves in Something's Gotta
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
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.
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. --