This topic has been on my mind a lot lately, because I used to be so judgmental about women who wouldn’t reveal their age, our outright lie about it. But now I’m thinking that our culture places such a premium on youth—certainly in the workplace, but in many other avenues of life as well—that lying is possibly just good thinking. What are your thoughts? Please share.
Off the cuff, I would put this in the same category as other topics that are personal and should be irrelevant to others, such as weight, shoe size, do I Botox, did I get a facelift, do I use extensions, are these my real boobs? I guess that means I would lie about my age. It’s a judge-y, youth-obsessed world out there, so women can keep that detail to themselves. On that note, my friends and I have a joke: we BOOST our age by 10 years, i.e. on someone’s 50th birthday, the comment: “You look AMAZING for 60!” And indeed it is true.
I like the joke you have with your friends! I am 51 and last year went out with some friends for my birthday. One of them gifted me with a giant “29 AGAIN” wine glass which made me laugh and we instantly put it to use. After a glass or two our rather young server asked “Which 29th birthday is it?” and I confidently said “My 31st!” and after the server walked away without comment my friend (who is clearly better at math than I) said “You just told her you are 60!” and the best/worst part is that no one did the obligatory “You look good for 60!”. Oh well! All this to say that while it sometimes blows my mind that I am as old as I am, I hope I get to be much older! My grandmother in her 90s said she would often wash her face in the morning and wonder “Who is that old lady in the mirror?!” so I think we often have a mental age that we associate with ourselves which can be different than our actual age. I think you can share or not as you please!
I have been struggling with this a little lately – I am 45 and fortunate enough to just now be starting to see gray hairs. I started to do a semi-permanent color, but it was expensive, time-consuming, and didn’t really last. I feel like by committing to color my hair now, I am kind of lying about my age. I mean, if I was going gray in my 20’s, of course I would color it, but isn’t it entirely normal to be going gray at 45? And if I start seriously coloring now, then when do I stop? When I am 60? 70? 90? But then again, see the picture of Julianne Moore – would she look so fabulous at 58 without her gorgeous red hair?
I stopped coloring about a year ago, at 51. It’s quite liberating.
It is a struggle, because Julianne looks beautiful. But I always remind myself that 25 gazillion people look at famous women like her, and no one is judging my hair except me. I have to be willing to face the un-dyed hair in the mirror every morning. Some days it is easier than others.
If I can’t face my natural, graying hair (or my wrinkles or ???) then maybe I need to work on some other parts of me, separate from my appearance. Because I do think it is a slippery slope and there will never be an “end” point. And older women who have done years of stuff to themselves just look rather sad, in my POV.
I agree that it is no one’s business what my age is, especially in the workplace. But I’m not going to lie to anyone about it. We are each as young as we want to be and nothing can stop the years…(I’m 57 btw)
I’m struggling with this one as well. At 46 I’m way over 50% grey and would LOVE to stop colouring it but I know it would age me and that’s why I just can’t commit to doing it. If we ALL let our grey show maybe it would change the idea of what beauty is but I can’t see that ever happening. I feel like I’ll need to colour it until I’m at least 55. ugh.
I’m lucky to have a stylist who talked me into going gray 6 years ago—no small thing since she made a fortune doing my highlights! I’m lucky to have thick hair and lots of it; we never stop experimenting with the style—currently asymmetrical undercut—and I use purple shampoo to keep it from getting brassy. Frankly, I’ve never looked better.
Few people ask my age; I volunteer it on occasion (55) because I refuse to be embarrassed by it. And when people say I don’t “look” 55, I follow Gloria Steinem and day, “this is what 55 looks like.” The best thing about being 55 is having no f*cks left to give.
Hi sister! Oddly I don’t color my silver and I also have an asymmetrical with an undercut and use purple shampoo.
I went gray around my temples in my 20s and stopped coloring my hair in my in my mid 30s b/c gray roots felt worse than gray hair. And coloring my hair was a HUGE money and time suck. But Im a social worker in health care, if I had a job that put more of a premium on youth, it would be much harder.
I am uncomfortable when I am asked my age in the workplace, as a marketing executive who works at a competitive company and conscientiously decided NOT to race up the corporate ladder. I have been told I look younger than my years (thank you face sunscreen since I was 19) and I am fine with being 45 but I want to be the healthiest version of 45 I can be. So that’s where it starts to come off the rails for me. Weight gain and softening muscles plagued me recently and that is the hardest part of aging for me. The rest of it? I can live with the laugh lines and I do choose to dye my grey hair. Also, a tip I learned, update your makeup bag just as do your wardrobe as you age. I have found swapping out make up for more creams, different formulations, etc. REALLY makes a difference in again me trying to look like the healthiest version of myself. Ok, now that I type all this I find myself asking, “is looking ‘healthy’ my version of the old obsession of looking young?” Did I just call it something different and slightly more acceptable but then saddle myself with similar impossible standards?
i chased the up the corporate ladder until i had a serious set back at 45…it took me a year or two to realize i was happier being a step back with the ability to still manage a business and train people but with MUCH less dreading when the phone rings because now those calls go to my boss LOL! but it does make it harder when all the “younguns” are struggling to get noticed and get a promotion….like you, i work in a very competitive business, with very young people, so i don’t volunteer my age, and just say old if directly asked and with enough attitude that people rarely ask again
I really like that. Thanks for commenting.
I guess I don’t lie but I also won’t answer the question. I find a lot of younger women are smug about age. I hate to break it to them but I was also 35 at one point and they haven’t cornered the market! It’s silly, I know. We can’t exactly change the date on which we were born and aging is something that happens to us all.
I don’t offer my age often. If someone asks me, I usually counter and ask, “How old do you think I am?” I’m lucky in that I look younger than 49. Unfortunately, I’ve put on some weight and am not as fit as I used to be, which is more of an issue for me than laugh lines are gray hairs, honestly. Living on the west coast, I used to feel like one of the women who was in the middle of it all, doing fun things, going out all the time, turning heads. I’ve slowed down in that regard and have now noticed that my town is a “younger” town… I feel like a lot of women my age kinda disappear. Not because they’ve become unnoticeable, but because they don’t get out there and do things. I’m still out there, doing what I can to stay relevant, but I’ll admit, ageism is a real thing. I’m thinking of making a big move soon and that means job interviews, and I’m kinda worried about that being a hindrance.
Also, stumbled across this article today which spoke to this topic. https://adage.com/article/opinion/opinion-eight-ways-turn-ageism-its-head/2174851
I really relate to this….I feel like in Europe it is SO DIFFERENT.
I wish I could wear that smoky eye but it just makes me look tired.
Remember, Lynn, this pic of JM is photoshopped – you can’t see her freckles! She probably looks tired, too. 😉
As CC notes above, I would add “how old are you” to similar inappropriately personal questions (along with “how much money do you make” — really, I am astonished at how often I am asked that) that don’t require an answer of any kind, honest or not. It depends on context, though. The worst is when someone (usually but not always a man) says something like, “you’re too young to think about retirement,” “you’re too young to be full professor,” etc., my general response is, “take whatever age you think I am and add ten years.” That usually stops the conversation in its tracks.
But if, say, I meet someone new and we’re just having a friendly chat and the issue of age comes up in a more natural way, I’m honest (I’m 48).
So I guess that goes to say – I wouldn’t like about my age, but whether or not I reveal my age is conditional upon the situation, and depends on whether I feel the person asking has a right to know that or any other personal information about me.
Two out of two Heathers agree!
Another Heather agrees too! (Also 48 — clearly our names place us in an age group 🙂 )
I’m turning 46 in a few months. I’ve tried for a long time to be completely frank about my age…but of course it’s getting harder! lol I lied once when I turned 30, and the moment I did it, realized I wouldn’t do it again. Just didn’t seem to fit. (Not judging anyone, I certainly know that we become invisible.)
And just like I’m being more vocal than ever when I see rude, creepy behaviour from men, I do think it’s important to take care of and set a good example for younger women. I don’t want to lie about my age. I claim every last year of my life.
I’ve almost/sometimes reached the point where I’m proud of my age. I don’t think I look 51, and why not be proud of it? It’s better than the alternative! I did avoid telling my age when I was in graduate school in my 30s, and felt so much older than the 23 year olds. If I only knew then how young I was!
I don’t give a sh*t about telling people how old I am (I’ll be 54 in September). I think actions speak louder than words or numbers – age is a mindset and how you live your life reflects your true age, not the days on a calendar. I especially do not mind telling younger people how old I am because I want them to see that THIS is what being in your 50’s looks like, wrinkles and all. Stay youthful in your heart, keep active, make friends with people who are younger (and older) than you and let the rest go. I feel like I’ve earned the right to stop keeping up appearances for complete strangers or colleagues – I love makeup and great clothes and still search for the perfect high heels but now it’s about making choices that make me happy, not to fit some concept of what I “should” be at this age.
This. Not lying about my age is a choice that I make for me because it’s just what I’m most comfortable with, but it’s also for the younger women — they need to see the good, the bad and the ugly! Plus I just feel like normalization is the key to reducing the discrimination we’re all facing. Maybe if more of us are more honest about it, we can change the story that being old = being irrelevant. I know we’re all here because we love style and beauty, but we’re so much more than our looks.
Hell YES re normalization of aging. Men don’t lie about their age, they’re not penalized socially for aging. And most of them don’t surgically change themselves as they age. For me, the most empowering, activist thing I can do for myself and other women is to be frank about my age. I’m turning 60 in a couple of months and I’ll be having a party to celebrate the accomplishment.
I hope you notice that women in their 50’s seem overall more confident in their replies. That is an interesting flip. I am a geriatrician and I see many many women in their 80s, 90s and low 100’s. One of my very favorite ladies (MaryJo, in her 80s)and I would discuss beauty. She had been in the entertainment industry and always looked just terrific. Of course it was her smile, her wry sense of humor and her laugh, but she always had a good haircut, nice accessories and a little lipstick. That was it. She was in a wheelchair and had disabling arthritis. “You know, I think I was my prettiest when I was 50. That was really great. I was really sexy.” she would tell me. Now that I am 50, I know she’s right. MaryJo died last year at 89. I am always thankful for the gift of her insight.
My shrink says your 50’s is when you really start liking yourself. I agree. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
“For me, the most empowering, activist thing I can do for myself and other women is to be frank about my age.”
Y’all are inspirations. I love these comments so much. And am looking to 50 more than ever. <3
I’m pretty proud of my age actually and find myself almost bragging about it to my younger co-workers. To them the nineties is some cool decade that they never were really a part of because they were babies and I’m all like “yeah, I was at Lollapalooza in 1992 and saw Nirvana play in Seattle”. I actually feel sorry for them because they missed out on so much. Also I feel there is some cache with being a Gen-Xer. Yay us!
I’m proud of it too. I was born at the beginning of t (1965 – 80 I think) but so identify with being an Xer.
Double nickels on Sunday…I think it might be time to freeze the disclosure clock lol
In my opinion, as women we are undervalued and underpaid and discriminated against every day of our lives, and the age issue is just a subset of that. As we are primates, I do not see this ever going away completely – it is imo instinctual behavior for humans to have these prejudices. **para**
Having said that, we can still fight back against misogynism in many ways, such as by supporting other women in business. We have a great deal more power than we realize if we work as a group. Primal instincts are just one part of the human story. We have brains for a reason! (btw I hope I spelled misogynism correctly – I managed to turn off safari autocorrect but maaaaybe too soon) **para**
As for age, I agree with those who think it is a rude question to ask, especially given the very real economic consequences of age and sex prejudice. (Fe, I do not think men ask themselves these questions very often, although that is less true than it used to be, which is … SAD!) I think the people who feel confident are probably also the ones who have their financial situation in hand, and I am happy for them. I would like to see a world where such security was more widely available. And there is no good reason we cannot have it. **para**
On a personal level, I guess we’ll all just have to find nice European men to date. (Kidding – I don’t think the situation is quite that dire.)
shoot! misogyny. it’s a word. eeesh
I don’t like lying. I also don’t feel shy about saying my age (42) and I do work in a fairly agist industry (don’t we all? but the fitness industry tends to be pretty brutal.) I went grey when I was about 21 (and yeah, I’ve colored my hair ever since, as I didn’t feel like myself). I really don’t mind when people are surprised to learn how “old” I am. A client recently just flat out asked my age, so I told her. Maybe someday it’ll bother me, but right now, it doesn’t. I don’t ask, but I do like to know how old people are! I have no idea why.
I’ve always been if anything overly honest about my age – not because I don’t care, not because I haven’t noticed the changes, but because I want people to know I’m strong enough not to feel shame.
Very interesting points of discussion here. I have to agree with the comments about who is asking and why. As I get older (57 this year), my tolerance toward people overstepping the ‘need to know’ line is sharply declining and I am not afraid to call them on it. And that doesn’t just go with the age question. Yep, I’m gonna be one of THOSE old ladies.
I stopped coloring (and cutting!) my hair three years ago and it’s now silver and halfway down my back. I DO look older but then again my old brunette hair with tasteful highlights was not the youth-enhancer I tried to convince myself it was. Your skin changes color as you age and your dyejob juxg might not go with it anymore. I’m 59 and guess I do look my age–but I look fantastic! Except sometimes, if the person asking my age is some rando I’ll never meet again, I lie and say I’m 65 and they tell me how great I look.
Always agreed with that. Our faces do not lie. Nothing wrong with hair color matching how young we feel.
I will be 58 in September. I’m extremely lucky to come from a good gene pool and have been told I look 10 years younger than my age. At this point, though I’m not sure what “my age” is supposed to look or feel like. I color my hair and worry about using concealer that doesn’t crease in my face but other than that I don’t try to hide anything. Most people are surprised when my age comes up, but in general it’s not something I get asked about.
What I’ve run into is this: I’ve considered leaving my job and my spot in Portland for various reasons, but mostly because of affordability issues. But whenever I think about job hunting, I have to face the fact that I will likely face job discrimination due to my age and that is daunting and keeps me here. I don’t put the year I graduated from college on my resume anymore, but even with basic calculation, when you figure my 3 most relevant and significant jobs total 30 years of employment, a potential employer is guessing I’m in my early 50s. I feel like that’s a barrier to getting a job worth uprooting my life for.
I work in construction, and apparently I present much younger on the phone and in email – occasionally the men I deal with will come to our office for something and the surprise on their face when we meet is obvious. The women are unfazed.
53 and completely. And for most of the last year keeping company with a 30 year old. Who was disappointing but cute. I look good for my age, at five foot one and 290 lbs. I don’t care if others lie, it doesn’t matter, but I think it’s nice for people to know that it isn’t scary.
Proud to be 53 with slight enhancements. I am still a single digit size, stay on age appropriate trends, wear lot’s of color and lipstick. I love when I tell people how old I am and they say “what?!”
I don’t like personal questions from people I don’t have a personal friendship with BUT I do tell people my age when it’s relevant to the conversation. For me it’s about busting the shame we have about age as women.
So, for me. I highlight my hair because I don’t like dull. Now that I’m more grey I’ve been asking my colorist how we can incorporate the grey into the blonde. As much as It’s not that I’m thrilled about getting older. I’d like to look younger than I do, I don’t use fillers or Botox … I’m not wealthy and if it’s a choice between my face or spending on Pilates and travel, and saving for retirement, well …. guess what wins? I do Pilates 2-3x per week to reduce pain and increase my ability to go out and DO. I’m proud to be almost 60 and strong.
I talk about freely about my age AND about how much money I make. I think we have been told, as women, that we aren’t supposed to comment on those things, that there are certain topics that are off limits and “unladylike” to discuss. Now that I’m 47, I realize that’s a bunch of bullshit. We’re encouraged to lie or keep quiet about our age because older women are POWERFUL, and the patriarchy doesn’t want women to be powerful. And we’re told to keep quiet about money because women who are informed about how much money they should be asking for are POWERFUL, and god knows the patriarchy doesn’t want women to make too much money.
Secrets are for hiding our power and our agency. I say fuck secrets.
Good points. I guess my issue around salary is that question primarily came from random strangers and/or guys i had just begun dating — in either case, people for whom my finances were decidedly none of their business. I do discuss salary with colleagues, etc.
OMG, yes. So, so important to break down old taboos! Women will never, as a class, earn what we’re worth until we can all talk about money honestly. Likewise, age *shouldn’t* be something we have to hide to be valued. There’s tons of headway to make on that front, but we’ll never make progress if we’re not frank about our ages … I also hold the strong (if possibly unpopular) opinion that any sort of cosmetic work done should pretty much be required to be printed on one’s driver’s license! It’s ridiculous and pathetic to do expensive, painful, artificial stuff to hide one’s age (via surgery, fillers, Botox, etc.), and not be open about it. It’s false advertising, and gives younger women the WRONG impression of what it means to be human. If someone’s going to the effort and expense of sculpting a “flawless” face or figure in middle or old age, why not be proud of the results? Why not *brag* about what she’s chosen and been able to afford to do — the beauty she’s created of her own volition?? Of course famous actors like Julianne Moore — and the entire coterie of beautiful women now in their fifties in Hollywood — have to get work done to stay in business under current conditions; but the ones worth admiring are those who admit every needle they’ve injected. The shiny-faced women who claim not to have touched their faces, or who’ve turned into full-on wax figurines like Nicole Kidman and Kate Beckinsale (both gorgeous and talented, but obviously sporting completely artificial head suits at this point) are so saddening.
I have never lied about my age, even when it would have been advantageous to do so. If everyone keeps lying, nothing will ever change, whether it’s no one else’s business or not. I reached a transition point in my career as a performer where I could either gracefully wind down or dye my hair, do the make-up, pretend to be younger, and basically re-invent myself. The thought of that made me so exhausted that it was a clear sign that it wasn’t for me, Madonna notwithstanding. (I’d rather she had talent other than reinvention) Getting something good always involves giving something else up, and after I gave up the idea of trying to be younger my life changed utterly for the good. I’m now 59, grey, healthy, happy, productive in a different part of my previous field and ready for the next chapter……..
I’ve never lied about my age. I’m proudly 48. Plus, can you really even get away with that in the day of social media? A great deal majority of my high school graduating class are my Facebook friends.
I’m very active at my daughters’ school where I am also an alumna, so obviously everyone knows exactly how old I am (it says ’82 on my id badge) and I’m proud of it!
We all look great for our ages and probably feel much younger than we are. I have been lying about my age for years – I will hang on to my 40s as long as I can.
I’m Julianne Moore years old and I never lie about it. Sometimes it’s a gut punch to realize that I’ve been practicing law for 30 years, but I just try to frame it as being experienced and wise. I focus on staying fit and eating well. And having a husband who’s 9 years younger than me helps …
I see ZERO reason to lie about my age! Why would I say I’m younger? I’m 62. I look good for 62. Let’s say I told people I’m in my 40s…I don’t look so good for someone in their 40s, lol! If I was going to lie, I’d go up “Yep, I’m 72. Please tell me how fantastic I look for 72!!” 😀
I had to smile reading all the comments from GOACAers in their 40s, including a woman who predicted she might stop dying her hair at 55. I’m 71 and figure I might go grey when I’m 80. Ha! When I was 47 and newly divorced I got a very desirable new job. I didn’t talk about my age then with my co-workers, most of whom were much younger, and no one asked. I didn’t lie to men I dated. I was in a lovely relationship for a while with a guy 13 years younger who didn’t want to know. Now I live in a resort town where many people are retired or semi-retired. I’m proud of taking good care of myself inside and out, being a very low single digit size and an athlete, so I often reveal my age, even if not asked. The other day a new friend told me when we first met she thought I was 58. That’s nice. If I were still in the professional world I doubt I’d reveal my age. If I were single and dating online I’m not sure what I would do. Studies have found that most baby boomers think they look younger than their peers so perhaps I’m similarly delusional. I would be afraid that what most people envision when they think of a 71-year old wouldn’t be me. But there’s something icky about lying. I will say that the older you get, the more ridiculous fudging the number feels. Would it thrill me to pass myself off as not a day over 64? I doubt it. And who would I be kidding and why?
I try to always speak the truth. I try to unwork shame where I find it in myself; it does me no good and feels lousy! If someone wants to think less of me because of my age, that says more about them than me.
I’m proud of my middle age. I earned this! A lot of my dearest have not made it this far, and I am so glad to be alive. Looking tremendously forward to turning 50 this year.
I don’t lie about my age – but I also don’t proactively offer it in a corporate setting. Age bias is real (for women in particular) and at 51 – I would not get the same opportunities if people actually did the math and figured out how old I really am. And I don’t look my age…and I stay current
I am a childless teacher and used to tell students it is not polite to ask an adult woman her age in response to the question when they asked. Now I freely tell kids that I am 43. I figure I am doing my small part in trying to combat our youth-obsessed culture. We’ll see how I feel in another 10,20,30 years…if I am lucky enough, that is…
I’ve always taken very good care of myself…proper sleep, exercise, and diet. I’m 58 and most days I’m comfortable with it, and telling the truth about my age. Sure there are fleeting moments I might feel a little melancholy about the aging process, but mostly I think aging is beautiful, and I’m disappointed in our culture that it’s not celebrated more. Be at peace and power on!
I just tell people I identify with 32.
It never occurs to me to lie, but I don’t judge people who do. I do judge people who conduct job interviews in which they penalize candidates for not having resumes that correspond with the biological narrative of a healthy white dude in 1956. Having been brought up by a wonderful single mother and having just ended two punishing years of fertility treatment, I try my best to treat people in general and women in particular by the compassionate principle of AGDNF(a good daughter never forgets).
That’s a great acronym! I’ve never heard it before and will go google it as soon as I leave here.
It is also my goal to treat other people as well as I can. Fe, I haven’t run into this “them” business yet, and I don’t think I could use that, since… they are still a single person. My plan is to just work harder at remembering their first name and use that. But anything reasonable I can do to avoid making someone else feel bad, esp over things that don’t really matter and aren’t my business, I’ll do. (But someone needs to explain it to me first, perhaps.)
(I too have many issues with hiring processes and HR people. Bit of a tangent though.)
I have zero issues telling people my age, but it helps that I’m in an industry where age DOES connote experience (real estate) and no longer in my prior industry (tech). I think if I had stayed in tech, I’d hesitate a bit more because it very well could have professional repercussions. That said, it rarely comes up. Oddly, my younger husband has much more of a complex about his age than I do. It’s both endearing and irritating.
I also color my hair and have no idea when I’ll stop. Mine is just because I was born a redhead on the inside, but my outside failed to reflect it. I’ve avoided gray so far—my mom is in her 70s and still has very little gray—so I can go between dying sessions without it being too obvious.
ive Been struggling with this as well. I’m 48 and just started dying my hair a bit more on the blond side. Lucky for me I haven’t gone grey but I can see it looming in the future. I’m all about prevention and wish I had started some of the skin care I’m doing now 10 years ago. And I just started botax and love it!!! It’s a mood enhancer as well as getting rid of those worry lines that I found depressing to look at.
Seems like Julienne Moore has a few things going for her: 1) she can’t really lie, the internet will find her out, 2) she started beautiful so has more room to “fall” (those of us whose faces are aging into pudding aren’t quite as lucky) and while her roles may dry up, her retirement is probably set. For the rest of us/me, while I don’t wear elaborate makeup or dye my hair at 51 I don’t think doing either of those things would really fool anyone. My life experience would find me out. I work in tech with a crew of 2o-something — that I have teenagers and a memory of the Y2K problem pretty much identifies me as “older than you.” I actually find it hard to remember that they DON’T have the perspective I have, and are taking things more seriously than I do (because I’ve been through this 100 x). I’m lucky though – the senior managers in my group are mostly 40 + year old women! 🙂
I *love* to volunteer my age and I’ve been rounding UP by 3-5 years since my thirties. Back in the day I needed to be taken seriously in the male-dominated fields in which I’ve always worked. These days, I love to say I’m fifty, and when people say I look great for fifty, that’s a much happier reaction than no reaction when they hear my age. Win.
With many of my clients, ever curious about my age, I’ve responded, “What’s unfuckable, to you? Is that fifty, fifty-five? Sixty? Just decide I’m that age.” And that’s all they need to hear about it.
Old is way better than dead. Call me old all day long, don’t fash me none.
Bahahah I love this response/question. Totally using that.
Am loving reading all of your answers, folks.
I’m 53 and own a MedSpa-type business that, well, helps aging skin look younger and does some body sculpting. And I’ve gained 30 pounds in stress eating over the past few years. Personally, I do noninvasive treatments on face and body and don’t dye, but whoa, it’s complicated.
I was just pretty enough for it to be a thing (nicer treatment, not job offers or anything big), and not having that crutch is all kinds of uncomfortable now, too.
And I’m unreasonably amused to see how many of you-all are around my age. Not sure why I’m surprised.
You sound nice. I’ve never felt comfortable in salon-type environments, but you sound like a good egg. I bet you look much better than you think. To me, skin care is about reversing sun damage and preventing more of it. I don’t even know how to do that yet! I have been trying the mineral sunscreens and not liking them much yet.
Thank you. We try.
I am 44, single, childless, have big wild graying hair, and F it, man. I get a compliment nearly daily on my hair because it’s different. I delight in telling people my age, because that’s how we demystify it. And I live in Los Angeles! Not everyone is 28. In fact, most people aren’t.
No, I will tell my age if asked. What can I say, I’m old but I saw all the great bands.
Did anyone else see Emma Thompson on Colbert last night?? She is, to me, the epitome of aging #goals! At 60, she’s vibrant, hilarious, energetic, and stylish, with a gorgeous shock of short silver hair, and clothes that are clearly not cutting off her circulation. She even wore fancy sneakers to be (the female equivalent of) knighted!! If she’s had work done on her face — I didn’t stop to google this — it’s quite subtle … As for me, at 48, I’ve never lied about my age, height, or weight; honesty is important on every front, and I wouldn’t want to cultivate any sort of relationship based on fibs. While online dating in my late 30s, I found it bizarre that many men would show up to a first date, clearly three inches shorter, 20 pounds heavier, and 10 years older than they’d claimed. Had I done the same, I would *not* have wanted to see the disappointment on faces when I arrived! (Also, since I’m 5′ 11″, a deal-breaker for most men, I felt that the real number should be in writing.) That said, I *was* disappointed at the time, after having been asked out by a stunningly handsome and very nice PhD guy outside the gym, and going on five dates during which I really grew to like him, to have him nearly fall over in shock and say he couldn’t see me anymore when I told him my age — it turned out he was 28 to my 37, and horrified to learn I wasn’t his peer. So I do understand why women sometimes feel impelled to lie – – but wouldn’t it be worse to have a guy find out later, and be dropped after emotionally invested?? Also, I understand that there’s a lot of ageism in the professional sphere, but believe it’s one of the more important aspects of feminism to attempt to fight that … As for physical interventions, I know I would never have cosmetic surgery, but do find hair color a conundrum. Naturally blonde until nearly 30, I’d decided firmly never to color my hair — intending to go straight from blonde to silver. However, surprised and displeased by the hideous dishwatery non-color that descended upon my head by my mid-30s (a color that looked perfectly fine on c. 1992 Hugh Grant, and on a whole batch of c. 2002 J. Crew models, but which did *not* flatter a rosacea-fied face with blonde eyelashes), I started highlighting at 36 to look more like myself again. Over a decade later, with grays starting to grow in front, but very few in back, where the natural color is now dark, I’m dying to stop highlighting and just go gray — but the hairdresser says the contrast between three colors is too great, and I need to wait. Am now aiming to stop chemical interventions by 50! … I will add that an *extremely* sudden 15-pound perimenopausal weight gain that hit in January bothers me much more than I ever thought such a thing could or should. Lean and athletic, but never fashionably skinny, I wasn’t raised to think women had to be waifs to be attractive — so the fact that try as I might, I cannot get rid of a single pound of the new chub, and simultaneously can’t stop being dismayed by it, is bothersome. Won’t lie about my age, but would like to find a way to become lean-ish again, and age gracefully and actively!
I am 64 and stopped dying my hair about 4 years ago. It’s now silver and I love it- totally fierce. I think I look the best I’ve ever looked. There are FB groups of hair transitioning women that are helpful and supportive. Try checking them out. I think it’s important to appear like you make some kind of effort. Go to a hairdresser that gets gray hair and get a modern cut. I get botox -not a lot but expertly done. I also dumped some competitive girlfriends (yes they are out there even in your 60s)- the ones with the snarky comments that feel threatened by the silver hair and whatever else. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin-which might account for Emma Thompson’s vibrance. And being your most authentic self.
I cannot imagine lying (54) but I’m not in the workforce so i don’t have those issues . I’ve always thought an unfit physique, bad haircut & makeup (& too much botox) are all far more aging than gray hair or wrinkles so I devote $ & brainspace to the gym& skincare. Au courant accessories help too.
Thanks all you wonderful women out there. I am 49 (and a half) and while I agree that it’s nobody’s business, I would offer up my age. I *will* use the response, “This is what xx looks like!” the next time someone says I don’t look xx age. That being said, I’m holding off on letting myself go fully gray. Most of the women in my life that have stopped coloring look fantastic. Why can’t I see it in myself? I have another year at least. Maybe once I’m 50 (and a half).
I just turned 60 in March. I never lie because I am bad at math and would never be able to remember what year I was supposed to have graduated from high school. Sometimes when I tell people my age they seem surprised, but I think that has less to do with my looks (which are pretty good, lots of sunscreen and exercise) but more to do with my personality and attitude. My 20 something daughters like to hang out with me and we genuinely have fun. I have no patience with friends who live in the past. I certainly get discouraged at times – I was laid off from my healthcare administration position in 2017 and have been unable to find work since – and I absolutely know it’s ageism. Very frustrating because I have a lot to offer and no employer seems to want it. But I’m healthy and have a great family and my friends and I get into all sorts of trouble so I am grateful for what I have.
“How old do you think I am?” Keep them guessing with Oil of Okay.
Old ad slogan, changed to Okay. It’s okay not to answer rude, intrusive questions. It’s okay to be whatever age you are.
Having said that, my husband didn’t know how old his mother was.
Well, I turned 60 in March. I can’t lie about my age because I suck at math and would no doubt forget what year I was supposed to have graduated from high school. And I never believed in age discrimination but I was laid off in January 2017 from a healthcare management position and despite hundreds of applications and dozens of interviews I remain unemployed. The only difference between now and the last time I was unemployed is that I have a better resume and I’m 12 years older.
Anyway, what’s the point of lying about my age?
Well, I turned 60 in March. I can’t lie about my age because I suck at math and would no doubt forget what year I was supposed to have graduated from high school. And I never believed in age discrimination but I was laid off in January 2017 from a healthcare management position and despite hundreds of applications and dozens of interviews I remain unemployed. The only difference between now and the last time I was unemployed is that I have a better resume and I’m 12 years older. But after a certain age. you are no longer of any interest to employers.
Anyway, what’s the point of lying? Who am I trying to fool? I like being 60. (except for the job stuff). I look great, feel great, and I am grateful for all the good things in my life.
I’m 58 and have never lied about my age…. well, I did when I was young so I could get into “21 and over” clubs.
I can put my foot behind my head, do splits, I kayak once a week, hike often, yoga several times a week. I’m healthy as f*$k…. except the brain tumor! Often, instead of saying I’m 58, I’ll say “I’m pushing 60, dude”…. that always gets a shocked look. My friends (the ones around my age) hate that I say I’m almost 60…. but I am! And I like how I look…. most of the time. I’ve had no botox or anything done to my face, like most of my friends have. I do die my hair, and I dress comfortably but always stylish.
Would I prefer to be 35 again? Yes, but I feel lucky to be this age, especially since I’ve had a craniotomy, radiation, and chemo on a huge brain tumor…. and I’m here to tell the tale…. My biggest problem isn’t aging, it’s the difficulty the brain tumor has brought on – memory (not like getting old memory problems, serious “Memento” kind of problems , although I’m not quite that bad but…), cognitive stuff, dizziness, seizures…. other than that, I’m great! I try not to stress about things.
I can look in the mirror and forgive myself for aging and find the beauty that others seem to see….. that I never saw when I was young.
Unlike Europe, the US places such an emphasis on youth. I’m a 58 year old African-American woman who thanks to melanin, can pull off looking 8 to 10 years younger. My hair is probably 50 to 70% gray – I have never colored it. With all this being said, I don’t give a flying fuck about aging. However, if I was let go from my job, I’m sure the workplace would let me know exactly how old I am – no one would hire me – what a scary feeling that is. Here we are at this time in our lives, after being wives, mothers, caretakers, etc. – we got to worry about we are perceived – absolute bullshit
I’ll be 57 in August. I’m happy and confident with who I am yet surprised that I’ve racked up 57 years already. How did that happen??? Time goes by all too quickly and I give myself gentle reminders to enjoy every single day.
I feel the best that I have in years. Menopause is over, the weight has fallen off and I’m wearing clothes hidden for years in the “skinny” area of my closet. No more hot flashes or mood swings. I smile alot.
I work on a university campus which I think keeps my mind “young.” No one here would ever ask my age and I don’t volunteer a number. My direct boss is many years younger than me and I find myself more mentor to him than he is manager to me. For us, it works.
Yet…I have colored my brown hair to blonde since my 30s. Most people only know me as blonde and I don’t personally feel comfortable yet going gray. My mom stopped coloring her hair at 80, so I feel I have a few years to ponder my own decision on hair color.
The thing that has started to freak me out is creepy skin!!!! I exercise, lift weights, etc etc but gravity is a shocking natural disaster as far as my upper arms are concerned. It shouldn’t bother me but visual signs of a body changing can be scary — ask any 12 year old girl!
Oh. Sunscreen. Always wear sunscreen. Best advice I can offer.
Your attitude is refreshing. Do tell how the weight “fell off” please.
100% honest when asked, which is almost never.
To elaborate: When you’re not looking for a job or a new sex partner, age doesn’t come up. I’m nearly 60, and I feel incredibly lucky to be in that category. I mostly interact with people who already know my age because either they’ve known me a long time or they’re trying to sell me something based on my demographic. To me, age is only a factor in my athletic abilities, so I’m adjusting to that. I expect to keep adjusting forever, so I might as well get good at it.
I’m a mixed bag. I’m totally upfront about my age (48) and I don’t dye or straighten my hair, and I’m kind of militant about that. I want to normalize being gray and awesome. I think I look every single minute of my age. In a moment of estranged-spouse-induced-insecurity a few weeks ago I got botox & filler, which is, in a way a lie. I’m just dipping into online dating and I’m upfront about my age. I can’t imagine a man I’d want to be with would be put off by how old I am. I worry more about my viability on the job market if I want to change jobs.
While I get why some women do, I don’t lie about mine. First, I just don’t care and haven’t had a cringy birthday yet. I’m 47, so what? Secondly, I have a son (14) and two daughters (13 and 9) and I don’t want them to grow up with someone setting the example that women should fear or be insecure about getting older. I want them to know that women of all ages have value that doesn’t diminish over time. I see the kids whose moms lie and are insecure about hitting 30, 40 or 50 – they notice. Also, think your daughters (and sons) don’t see you looking in the mirror picking yourself apart? Think again – they totally do.
I don’t have to work so age is not an issue for me in that office/corporate sense. I’m not often asked my age, but I’m often asked how I “make my money” because I don’t work. I find the money question far more disturbing not just because it’s rude, but people (including his children!!!) often think my beau takes care of me financially (HE DOES NOT!!!!)! I find that assumption disturbing and sexist and RUDE as if a woman can’t possibly be financially independent. I’ll be sixty-eight in August and don’t give a fig who knows. Seriously, when you reach your sixties who really cares––it’s not a competition. Whomever said she finds more changes in her make-up bag as she ages I agree––less foundation and eye makeup and more serums and lotions and always sunblock. (Sidenote: I’ve been using Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum for the last few days because Val scored us both samples when we went shopping the other day––Val is GREAT to shop with!––and the serum keeps my skin soft and smells devine––I’ll be going back for a full size bottle which is why stores should always give out samples of products they believe in, right?)
You are just AWESOME, CW! (And CW is fun to have lunch with!)
For any woman who has been pushed out of corporate leadership upon reaching the decade of 50, the proverbial age “smokescreen” is a necessity. For any 40 something earners- save more because post 50 earnings do become a challenge.
Except … I suffered a HUGE career setback (like, career-ending) at 53. Put my head down, swallowed my shattered pride, tapped every connection I had, applied for every job I could find. Three months later I had three amazing offers (turns out I was stunted where I was, who knew?), and I accepted a dream job in a new city I love, with a nonprofit full of overachieving fabulous young women. I was their DIVERSITY HIRE, which cracks me up to this day. Every time I mention this they all look uncomfortable, lol. Three years later it’s bliss, my work has expanded nationally and the opportunities are amazing. I’m the old one in the office, but everyone’s a professional, and I’m the boss, so fuck it 🙂
Sharon that is amazing! Congratulations
Lucky you! I wish I knew your formula.
I have a birthday next week and am delighted to tell everyone that I’ll be 54. I have a full head of gray hair, which as others have also noted, gets tons of compliments. I care a lot about my appearance (esp about weight and clothes), but I absolutely refuse to give in to the hair dye industry. In other words, I haven’t given up and I won’t give in.
I’m 44 and completely honest about my age. Like myself, a lot of my peer group drove our careers hard and waited to have kids. Now, we’re all in our mid to late 40s with kids in elementary school, working towards balance. It is what it is. I’m honestly just so darn grateful to be healthy, well and blessed with a thriving family and business. It’s never occurred to me to be anything but proud (and transparent) of where I’m at. Oh, and daily sunscreen has been my friend 🙂
I am always honest. I am a BC survivor and so happy to be ANY age hahaha. That being said…50 was easy to say…51, for some reason is more difficult. But I will continue on my path of honesty. Also, I take good care of myself (minus an extra 5 lbs from tamoxifen I just can’t shake) and I am proud that I look a little younger. As me again in 10 years. You may get a different answer!
So many have commented about graying hair on here, I just to give a shout-out to the Instagram account called @Grombre. Women post pictures of the gray hair they are rocking (at all ages and phases of grow-out) and it is inspiring as hell.
I think there was a time, when I was in my late 40’s/early 50’s, where I felt invisible. Now I am 57 and feel so liberated. I care less what others think, and I feel like I become more myself with each passing year.
I went back to work about 2.5 years ago, alongside my husband in our family import business. (I’m very fortunate to have an interesting job to step into.
I had always worked from home or part time, but being back at work has made we feel competent and confident.
After being at home for so long, raising my kids, it was a big adjustment, even with the youngest of 3 starting college and none of them living at home.
Learning new skills has only made me feel better. I’m proud to be 57, because I can see who I was, who I am now, and who I will be.
Eh, I’m 63 and I never lied about my age. The only time that I don’t tell is in professional business situations.
I can’t lie cause my age is on the internet and I can’t get it off. But I don’t go around saying my age, either (56). I don’t look 56. I hate the sun and I got sober at 22 and I recently got an undetectable neck lift and my weight is stable. But I think the age bullshit with women is BULLSHIT. The best, most potential filled time for Women who’ve had kids is after the kids have grown. So I say fuck everyone. I’m redefining what I think about this time in my life and I won’t be brainwashed. I keep files of women in my age group who are doing cool things. I don’t compete with younger women, I mentor them. My motivation for doing things is different and better and less grandiose than it was when I was younger and I’m much happier.
For most of my life I was not considered an attractive women – and since you don’t get better looking as you age – admitting my age has never been a big deal. Plus – I have worked in libraries for most of my career -so librarianship isn’t a profession where age matters.
Sorry but I have to disagree. Many, many people look better as they age … usually because their taste improves, they learn to dress their figure, and they get a more flattering haircut. Just my opinion. But, I see it all the time, too. **para** I am glad that you have found happiness as a librarian – I love libraries, librarians, books, etc. Having an interesting job that one loves is wonderful. Ha, I need to go pick up a book today…
The older I have gotten I have felt liberated and free. I am no longer ashamed of my age or my appearance . . . In fact, I celebrate it and share it freely. Along with age comes wisdom which is priceless and empowering. I am soon to be 53 and have never felt better!
I am 68 and never lied about my age or worried about it. I’m still working and appreciating every day!
When people would ask my mother how old she was, she would tartly reply, “Old enough to know better than to answer such a personal question.” I don’t lie, but like her I just don’t answer or I’m purposefully vague. Plus, here’s the reality (from today’s NYT): half of people over 50 lose their jobs before they are ready to retire and 9 out of 10 don’t regain their earning power. And the legal hurdles for suing for age discrimination are increasing. I personally can attest to all of this. So, no, keeping my age to myself.
Honesty is the best policy.
I’m 56 and have never even thought about hiding it, but I am now, read on. I skimmed the comments and didn’t see anything like my recent experience: I’ve been yearning to make friends, so I’ve made a concerted effort to meet women and do stuff. On several occasions, we’ve had a *great* time – nonstop chatting, lots of laughter, plans to do other things. And then age has come up, and with two exceptions, the fun was over. After a lovely evening of friend-making, in three cases these women, who turned out to be over 10 years younger than me (who knew? I don’t think it was obvious to either of us in the moment) apparently have no interest in getting together again, in spite of lots of fun ideas we discussed while together. The exceptions are one woman who is exactly my age, and one who turned out to be 72 (who knew? I didn’t, and don’t care, she’s a hoot!). So now, I’m thinking I need to just not HAVE the age discussion, and let people assume we’re “the same” and see what happens. Last night the same-age woman and I went to happy hour at a swanky bistro, and had SO much fun talking with a young female couple just finishing grad school. Age didn’t come up, and we left with tentative plans for the 4 of us to meet again for “Dive Bar Night.” I know my sample size isn’t large, but has anyone else experienced this?
I hear you, Sharon! The story of my life, just on a different coast. [NEW PARAGRAPH] I am 48.Though proud to have reached this point in my life, don’t publicize it anymore. The past few years have proven that my age makes others quite uncomfortable. The reason? On any given day I can easily pass for 30. My Benjamin Button appearance is mainly a result of great genes: “Black don’t crack” + a lean, athletic frame + a high metabolism. Close friends and those in their late 20s/early 30s have usually celebrated this with me, once the shock has worn off. Women around my age? Not so much, especially in the workplace. The level of some of the antics could be best described as Mean Girls 2.0. [NEW PARAGRAPH] 1-Worked at an ad agency with a girl from my high school. (She was one year older.) Steam would pipe from her head when clients would react with shock to my actual age. She started rumours that I had plastic surgery and was doing Botox and filler injections on the regular. Side note – she was the Head of HR. [NEW PARAGRAPH] 2- After that traumatic experience refused to discuss my age at my next gig, which seemed to backfire. Since the more I refused to reveal it, politely, the more curious folks became. The Top Offender? My boss … and to a degree that was borderline obsessive… even threatened “jokingly” on the repeat t o go into my HR file and reveal my age to the team. [NEW PARAGRAPH] 3- Over the past 2 years have gotten quite close to a female colleague at my latest job. Went to a conference with her a few weeks ago and we had deep, fun conversations over dinner and drinks every night. On the last day, age did come up as a topic and I felt comfortable sharing mine with her. Her response? “Oh! Good for you.” And then she proceeded to explain to me for the next 15 minutes why she looks the ways she looks. (?!?) Since then, she has avoided all contact with me like the plague. [NEW PARAGRAPH] And these are just a few examples as to why I remain mute on my age here on the East Coast.
No, but it’s an interesting story. Hmm.
Do you live in Los Angeles. I do, and it sounds very LA. Regardless, the two ghosters don’t deserve to be in your light.
Nope, Boston. It’s just so weird, and now I’m wondering if all the different facets of this discussion are related. Almost all the 100+ comments here say some version of “People say I don’t look my age” and while I’m sure GOACA readers are exceptionally fabulous, that seems simplistic. I’m starting to think that for most people looking “up” (considering ages they haven’t yet reached), those ages seem OLD. So when a 45-year old considers 55, it’s OLD. Then when 45 meets 55, they’re surprised! And says “wow, you don’t look 55!” when in fact they look EXACTLY 55. And 55 thinks, wow, I don’t feel much different from 45, and thanks, I do look younger! But 45 can’t get over that this person is OMG OLD. 55 is grateful for the compliment, agrees yep, I’m young for 55. But 45 still doesn’t want to hang out with OLD.
I’m 56 years old but my friend group tends to be 10-15 years younger. It’s the group I have the most in common with and that I’m most comfortable with. With that said, I don’t lie about my age, but for professional reasons I’m purposefully vague. I pass for much younger so why not go with it. They don’t need to know and I don’t want my age to limit me. As for coloring my hair, maybe one day I’ll stop coloring it but I’m not ready.
I’m turning 48 this summer and don’t care who knows it! I feel fortunate to have reached this age as so many people have their lives tragically cut short. Yes, when I see younger women I sometimes feel nostalgic for that time in my life, but I already had that time and now it is their turn. I try to focus on the present and future opportunities and am doing what I can to stay healthy as I hope to get much, much older!
I’m 65 and I never lie about my age. But I don’t announce it either. I noticed that I was becoming “invisible” when I turned 60. It’s very difficult to age gracefully in this country.
I am lucky to have inherited some good genes in the age department (and I use sunscreen daily) and so feel somewhat proud when someone asks my age (72) and then is surprised. I wonder if I would feel the same way if I looked considerably older than my age. It’s been just over a year since I stopped colouring my hair, primarily because I got fed up with the time and cost, and again, I am lucky with the way that the grey has grown in. If it looked lifeless and dull I would certainly colour it again – it’s just hair, so do with it whatever makes you feel good! I sort of wish that I had my 50 year old body back again, but this one isn’t in bad shape and allows me to stay active and to do things that many people my age can’t do. Perhaps at some time I’ll start to use my age as an excuse (“Good heavens, I’m 93 years old. You can’t expect me to lift that 40 pound box!”), but that time hasn’t come yet.
I just had my 47th bday and I’m always very open about my age. I’m told I look about 10-15 years younger and in my profession, experience is prized over youth so I want people to know that I’ve been around the block– several times, lol! Over the past few years, I’ve lost 35 pounds and that’s made my physique youthful (I’m the same weight I was in my 20s!), but it’s aged my face so last year I’ve started to get fillers and Botox. I’ve been dying my dark hair since I was 25 when the greys started coming in and I don’t know if I’ll ever stop. I want to be the best ME I can be and that means maintaining what I’ve got!
Apparently I come off significantly younger than my age–I just turned 44. Maybe I’m just ditzy and immature? Also, my boyfriend of many years is 18 years older than I am, and he pretty much looks like a circa 60 year-old dude, so the idea that people think I’m in my early 30s is a bit unsettling in that context! So if anything, I’m fairly vocal about my age, although rather than giving a year I say I’m part of the elite group born under the Ford administration.
I’ve considered not coloring my grays, but at this point I would be nearly fully white. I have to do my roots about every 10 days, as I’ve got otherwise very dark hair and the stripe is hard to miss. It’s annoying, and I’m lazy, but I’m not ready to make that transition, as I’ve always had very dark hair. I guess I’d look my age appropriate for my partner!
The last time I lied about my age I was 18 and drinking age was 19. It was 1978.
I’m 47 and I don’t lie at this point. I think it is the Catholic guilt that creeps in when I am tempted.
My grandmother lied about her age, and my mother doesn’t want to admit she’s a grandmother, let alone a great-grandmother (she is 85). I do not understand this. Still, I dreaded turning 40. Then two months before my 40th birthday, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now I’m thrilled to celebrate every birthday (there is only one alternative) and happy to state my age. I’m SIXTY-TWO!!! Woo-hoo!!
it’s interesting how so many of us don’t look our ages…hmmmm….wondering if all us GOCA readers are from Lake Wobegon….
“Well, that’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”
Kim just has exceptionally fabulous readers?
Also, two years ago a flight attendant questioned if I was old enough to drink, so I’m pretty sure I’m not deluding myself! (That was weird, man; although I chalk it up, mostly, to the terrible service on AA. No way in hell I look under 21. My skin was plump and glowy like a baby seal back then, no Good Genes necessary.) But anyway, that maybe is just to say random people have no idea what women who are 40, 50, 60, or whatever really look like.
I’m 64 and proud of it. I am not hesitant to tell anyone who asks. Usually the response is they can’t believe it. A combination of good genes and taking care of myself. I believe that fitness, eating well and getting enough sleep is paramount. I do not color my hair. It is gray and I have great, very short cut. I am often stopped by complete strangers who comment that they love my hair. I’ve actually inspired friends to stop coloring and go natural. That being said, I just had Botox injections today…something I’ve been doing for at least a decade. I think anything that makes you feel good about yourself is totally worth doing. I celebrate the fact that I am here and healthy. So many friends have succumbed to cancer and other deadly diseases. How can I lament some white hairs and sagging jowls.
If someone asks (which is so rude in my opinion), I won’t answer. If pressed, I have absolutely no problem in lying. No one knows my real age. Even my kids.
I’ve been going grey since my early twenties. It’s a pain in ass, but I’ll never stop.
A few months ago I posted about suffering from hair loss. I’ve just started month 4 of minoxidil (from Costco) and it’s working! It really, truly works! It’s another pain in the ass thing to do, but it works!
I’m 47 and started using minoxidil in my early 40s and it’s been a godsend! I also started wearing a halo type extension for a little bit of fullness and length, but it was the thinning on top that REALLY bothered me.
If asked I would not lie but generally say I’m “over 40” or “in my 40s” (I’m 44). However, I *have* tried to strip as many age indicators out of my resume as possible. This has less to do with misogyny than corporate ageism and feeling not one but TWO generations hungry for career growth hot on my heels (Me, Gen X, doing my best to fend off Millennial and Gen Z talent and feeling like Hodor in Game of Thrones…). I’d love to shave 7 years off my corporate age. Maybe 10.
Artifice just doesn’t come naturally to me – I choke on it. I was one of those girls that never had a boyfriend in HS because (or so I’d like to believe) I refused to dumb myself down to flatter their fragile egos. I put lying about my age firmly in that category. I AM my age. I love my age. I OWN my age. 58, btw.
Nobody asks me anymore. I am almost 76 but for years looked 20 years younger than my actual age (good for carnivals – not much else). As they’ve stopped asking, I think I must look closer to my age now (though I certainly don’t dress appropriately! I used to think a catalog for old people came magickally to life when you turned 65 – with sans-a-belt pants in baby blue and beige shoes with velcro etc) – I never got it.
A nice man stopped and gave me a push when my car got stranded in a wash. When he asked to buy me a drink, and asked again after I’d nicely said no, my resistance seemed churlish, so I agreed. At the bar I listened, he talked. I wasn’t riveted. Finally, he asked me about –of all things — my age, and when I told him 54, his face fell. It had an just-eaten-bad-f00d expression. “Oh,” he said, “I thought you were much younger,” and called for the check.
I started lying then. If you’re Julianne Moore, you can say what the fuck you want. If age doesn’t matter, what does it matter what you say?