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As Julia Roberts turns 50, will perceptions of women over 50 and ageing change?

Article by Ceri Wheeldon

It’s hard to believe that it’s 27 years since Pretty Woman hit our screens, or that it’s start Julia Roberts will turn 50 this month. Time flies!

julia roberts age 50 image harpers bazaar

As Julia is featured on the cover of this month’s Harper’s Bazaar- looking fabulous and ageless, will this image of such a vibrant women help to challenge perceptions of what it means to be 50 today. Such images are a far cry from matronly images still used by many to represent women over 50 in the media – and a million miles away from memories of Norah Batty and her wrinkled stockings.

It has long been said that 50 is the new 30, but really we should just be saying that 50 is the new 50 – and women reaching 50 are far from being over the hill – and certainly no longer invisible.

I first started Fab after Fifty nearly 8 years ago – it was very much a rallying cry to challenge perceptions –  thank goodness things have progressed a little since then. Every time I went to a meeting the only ‘over 50’ names mentioned were Helen Mirren and Judi Dench – both fabulous but significantly older than 50. At that time Michele Pfeiffer, Sharon Stone and Madonna had all hit the big 5-0 , but for some reason they were rarely mentioned,  or if they were they were viewed as the exception rather than the rule.

Now we have a number of Hollywood favourites including Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock and Julianne Moore  over 50 and still playing leading roles – hopefully this will help to ‘reset’ the perception button.

I sincerely hope that the more we see such ‘ageless’ women such as Julia Roberts embrace turning 50, we will see a ripple effect in all areas of life . 50 is not old. At 50 we are coming into our prime, with the energy and determination to make the second half the best half.

Happy 50th Birthday Julia Roberts. Here’s to being fabulous!!

Harpers Bazaar interview: http://www.harpersbazaar.co.uk/fashion/fashion-news/news/a44109/julia-roberts-harpers-bazaar-cover-interview/



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. Diane Priestley

    October 5, 2017

    Thanks for this excellent article, Ceri. Yes I agree cultural perceptions of how a woman looks, thinks, feels and acts over the age of 50 are changing. And I agree there’s no need to use the term “the new 30” or “the new 40” because this implies there’s something wrong with 50! Plenty of us look younger because of an inner youthfulness and we are sure dynamic and achieving at this empowered stage of life.
    It is helpful to have actors over 50 looking attractive and sexy and playing interesting, intelligent roles in movies. But us ordinary women can do extraordinary things in the real world, on the stage of life, leading social change and Making A Difference.

    • Ceri Wheeldon

      October 9, 2017

      So agree Diane – we are a force to be reckoned with!

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