Is 50 the new 30? This phrase has made the rounds for years, especially lately after Jennifer Lopez made her stunning Super Bowl performance last year looking slim, agile, and amazing for someone over 50 years old. Similar half-century plus performers seem similarly blessed with great genes that keep them looking like women almost half their age.
Is 50 the new 30?
Yet, if you’re over 50, you know the hype isn’t exactly true. Even major journalists call bullsh*t on the notion that 50 is the new 30. In many ways, 50 is way better than being 30.
Is life better with age?
For instance, Huffington Post argues that, in some ways, women over 50 are even better than in their 30s. They’re more confident and secure; more ready to speak their minds and stand up for themselves and other women. Another great advantage of being over 50 is that you’re kids are grown, or at least mostly grown, which frees up an enormous amount of time for doing the things you really love, rather than changing diapers, running carpool to games and practices, and attending PTA meetings.
Of course, the corollary to our aging is that our parents are aging, too. That means those over 50, especially women find themselves part of the so-called sandwich generation. Caught between caring for children who still live with us (and in the pandemic more older children moved home as they lost jobs, many bringing their own children) and our parents who can no longer live totally independent lives. Even though our parents might not share our homes, they still need help with shopping (especially given their high-risk during the pandemic), driving to doctor’s appointments, and other daily tasks they once accomplished without any help.
Hence, in other ways, we know this isn’t true and the notion that 50 is the new 30 is just what it sounds like; hype.
Is getting old all bad?
For instance, there’s no way to get around physical and mental aging, despite creams and exercise that make our bodies great, maybe even better than they were when we were 30 and struggling to build a career, having our babies, and stressing over things that we now take in stride. We feel more aches and pains, our eyes need more light, and we find sleeping much harder. Which is normal.
But, psychologists celebrate middle age as a time when there’s less drama in our lives as we’ve learned to roll with the punches and we’re less concerned with adhering to what society tells us we should be. Instead, we’re more comfortable in our own skin, making our own decisions.
The pressure to look young
Women, especially women over 50 (although this is true at any age) feel pressure to look younger (thinner, more attractive).
Face it. The entire fashion industry lives and dies by telling us 50 the new 30 is real and pressuring us to maintain the image of vivacious 30 year-olds. After all, they can’t sell us stuff if we’re happy with the stuff we have.
The industry must sell us creams to make our skin look dewy fresh, like when we were 30 or even 20. We need more makeup; concealers and stuff to hide the small lines that form around our eyes and laugh lines. Even our clothes must change since we “can’t” wear the same thing we did when we were 30 or we look like we’re trying too hard.
Yet, objectively, there’s nothing so attractive as a woman with confidence and the security to go down her own path. A smart woman who knows what she wants and goes out to and gets it is attractive despite what the tabloids tell us.
In fact, a recent poll by Today found that most American’s believe 50 is the best age there is.
When is 50 the new 30?
If you face the reality that age is just a number and stop worrying about whether 50 the new 30 is real or a made-up slogan dreamed up by folks who want us to act a certain way at a certain age, you’ll feel much better about yourself at whatever age you are.
OK, enough for today.
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