I find this FASCINATING!
I came across this piece in the Huffington Post last night and it made me stop and think. It’s one in an ongoing series of articles by Barbara Hannah Grufferman who I actually met while we were both taping The Dr. Oz radio show. She was talking her book, The Best of Everything After 50 and since I was about to turn 48, she gave me a copy. It’s a fun, how-to book about making the most out of 50 and beyond.
But back to the article, Grufferman asks if women embrace aging better than men and points to a piece in Psychology Today that supports that theory, at least in some regards.
It seems odd doesn’t it, in this youth-obsessed society where women go to great lengths to keep themselves looking young (present company included) that studies would show women would actually be happier with their mature selves. Turns out women become more satisfied with their lives and with that they experience decreased rates of suicide, depression and anxiety. They are able to draw on the traits that come naturally to them, friendship, caring and compassion, which in turn helps them live longer, healthier lives.
But it’s not just all in their heads; apparently post-50 women feel pretty damn good about their bodies too, associating more positive feelings with them as they move to middle age and beyond. I think this really boils down to a tale of two women. Kim Kardashian and Susan Sarandon
Kim Kardashian. Big booty, 65 million dollars and that’s about it. Will you be able to have a conversation with her about Libya or unemployment? If so, it will be short. Susan Sarandon, still looks fantastic and you know what? She’s whip-smart too. Probably choosy about whom she spends time with and if she does decide it’s you, you’ll find she can talk about more than just herself. That confidence comes from being okay with who you are, wrinkles and all and it is utterly intoxicating! Mature women have been around the block a time or two, are unflappable because they know how it turns out and really don’t give a shit if it doesn’t. I see it in Susan, not so much Kim.
I am moving into the Susan Sarandon camp and honestly I think it would be sad not to be. However, there are some women, and I know a few personally, who get to this age, have lived this long and still worry way too much about what other people think of them. In other words, they surrender their power to people who don’t really matter. They’re like a tight little ball of insecurity; constantly checking the mirror and going to the bathroom with friends and God forbid they should ever eat a meal alone. But a woman who can go out with minimal make-up, hair piled in a messy bun and without a potty posse, now that’s confidence, that’s sexy and that’s something that only comes with age and wisdom.
As you age, are you looking forward to becoming Susan Sarandon or looking back at Kim Kardashian (and wishing for her backside)? Do you appreciate the bumps and bruises life has administered along the way or would you still rather be smooth and malleable, reactive to whatever is put in your path?
As you move into your mature years, can you look in the mirror and say you’re happy with what you see, inside and out?