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How are women over 50 supposed to look?

How are women over 50 supposed to look imageArticle by Ceri Wheeldon

This weekend went with my husband to a reunion dinner with four families who had all holidayed together over a period of 15 years while the children were growing up . Interestingly, the older generation (all now in their 80s) commented on how none of the younger generation looked our ages.  Lovely to be complimented, but is it true, or is it just that perceptions of how women over live and look today just haven’t caught up with reality?

Is it just that those of us in our 50s today have a more youthful attitude to life in general than the generations before us, and hence look more youthful too?  From the clothes we wear to the way we style our hair, we have so many more options open to us.  We are far more likely to have developed our own individual styles and dress accordingly. We are not restricted to the choice of twinsets, crimplene dresses and sensible shoes of our mothers and grandmothers – in fact my own mother looks younger in her 70s that she ever looked in her 50s now that she has stopped having her hair ‘set’ every week and added a bit of colour and style to her wardrobe.

There are no rules to say how women over 50 should look

So, back to my opening question, how are women over 50 supposed to look?  There are no ‘rules’ to follow in respect to hair length and colour or the clothes we wear. With so many different skincare and cosmetic products available we can work wonders to even out skin tone and highlight our best features.  Do I look as though I’m in my fifties? Absolutely – I believe it’s the perception of 50 that hasn’t changed to keep up.

What are your thoughts on this?


Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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  1. Jan King

    January 30, 2013

    I so agree Ceri! I read something in Vibrant Nation the other day from someone who believed that no woman over 45 should wear either mini skirts or knee-high boots. As I happened to be wearing both at the time (and I’m 63) I felt this was a glaring example of how attitudes to how mature women ‘ought’ to look have failed to keep up with reality.

  2. twitter_LynetteBenton

    September 23, 2013

    People 50 and over can wear more flattering makeup and clothing than in the past—there’s so much more more information available than there was 30 years ago. I think we also put a lot more emphasis on working out, although I have to admit that my mother, with fewer labor-saving items and more walking in her days, certainly got her exercise and looked good into her later life.
    Women also use hair color much more liberally than in previous generations, which might be one of the biggest reasons people say “You don’t look 50!”

    At any age, the point is to look as good as you can and want to—but mostly to FEEL good.

    And yes, it’s the perception of 50 that hasn’t kept up.

    So glad I found your site!

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