8 Steps To Bust Midlife Myths

bust midlife myths

Ageism Rebel: Dara Goldberg

On November 7, 2021, Vogue magazine came out with an interview with Sarah Jessica Parker.

Excited as I was to read it because I am a Sex and the City fan, what struck me was the backlash she received that came after her remarks on aging.

“as she sat at the very same table with the very same tone of gray, she was judged.”

We Choose To Age Naturally:

Here’s what Sarah had to say in the article:

“It almost feels as if people don’t want us to be perfectly OK with where we are, as if they almost enjoy us being pained by who we are today, whether we choose to age naturally and not look perfect, or whether you do something if that makes you feel better.” 

The more I read, the more every muscle in my body tensed. And finally, I had to stop reading altogether when she told this story:

She was sitting next to a guy friend with a fabulous head of gray hair. Yet, as she sat at the very same table with the very same tone of gray, she was judged. Harshly. 

I immediately reached out to some of my girlfriends, and they were just as livid. This is not the world we want to live in. This is not the world we want to raise children in. 

“We are the changemakers who can make this world possible.”

But…

If all I do is sit here feeling annoyed, hurt, and pissed off, then I am part of the problem and not the solution.

Aging And Self-Worth:

I jolted when I realized this and vowed that I would take action.

Because here is what’s on my heart…

I believe there can be a world where: 

  • Things are profoundly different as we attach positive messages to aging.
  • Aging and self-worth are tied together, yet only in beautiful ways that show that our worth AND our beauty increase as we age.
  • It’s common knowledge that every aspect of aging may not be all fun and games, but there are so many wonderful aspects to it. 
  • Saying you’re anti-aging is akin to saying you’re anti-life.

“Avoid all brands that use the words ‘anti-aging’, ‘age-defying’ and ‘youth/younger/young’ in any of their messaging and product labeling and packaging.”

We are the changemakers who can make this world possible.

Spark That Change:

So I compiled a list of things we can do right now to help spark that change:

  1.  Flood your social media accounts with age-positive messages and images. Find quotes; share your own thoughts; post pictures that reflect what you love about being a woman in midlife; repost posts you love from other women who share our mission; etc.
  1. Search for and comment on other women’s age-positive social media posts. Reach out to both women you know and women you don’t. Search for hashtags like #progaging #proage #proagerevolution #aginggratefully #proagewoman #agepositivity #positivelyaging #midlifepride #over50andfabulous #over60andlovinlife #lovinmidlife, etc. and leave a comment on all of the posts and accounts that resonate with you.

Let’s Stop The False Idea That A Woman’s Beauty Declines With Age:

  1. Make your own statement. Add a line in your Instagram, Twitter, Clubhouse, Pinterest, and any other social media bios you have that tells the world that you’re proud to be a woman in midlife or beyond. 
  2. Difficult as it may be (it certainly was for me), don’t buy your skincare, hair care, and makeup products from brands that are perpetuating the false idea that a woman’s beauty declines with age. Avoid all brands that use the words ‘anti-aging’, ‘age-defying’ and ‘youth/younger/young’ in any of their messaging and product labeling and packaging. Some brands that have taken a stand against ageism in the beauty industry (and also have great products) include Maison276 (hair care for silver, blond and white hair; skincare), Better, Not Younger (haircare for women 40-plus), BOOM! (makeup, skincare for women 40-plus), GLOW Recipe (makeup, skincare for all ages), Superfluid (skincare, makeup for all ages), Womaness (products that address all types of symptoms caused by perimenopause and menopause); and Ilia Beauty (makeup for all ages).
  3. Be mindful of the words you use when speaking about beauty and aging to others (and yourself) And, ask your family, friends, etc., to do the same. 

Some Examples:

Instead of: “She looks great for her age.”
Say: “She looks great.”
Instead of“She’s still beautiful despite her age.”
Say: “She’s beautiful.”
Instead of: “She’s how old?! No way! Clearly, she’s doing something right to stay looking so young.”
Say: “She looks so radiant and happy. How wonderful.”

“beauty, journey, adventure, growth, wisdom, unembarrassable, vital, fierce, pride,”

One Mindset Shift After Another:

7. Avoid using any words currently negatively associated with midlife and growing older overall: crisis, downhill, falling apart, over the hill, losing it, finish line, done, ‘the wrong side of forty’, etc.

8. Make a point of using words that are currently viewed as positive when describing midlife and beyond, and aging overall: beauty, journey, adventure, growth, wisdom, unembarrassable, vital, fierce, pride, possibility, curiosity, awakenings, etc. Whatever words best describe all that you love about being a woman in midlife or beyond.

Baby steps:

These steps may seem small, but all it takes is touching one life every single day. All it takes is one mindset shift after another.

We’ll get there. And when we do, the Sarah Jessica Parkers of the world won’t have to answer to their gray hairs.

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Dara Goldberg

About the Author:

Dara Goldberg is a change-maker, entrepreneur, speaker, and the founder of the Lovin’ Midlife Movement. She’s known for her love of Spanish wine, and her undying passion to make the world recognize women in midlife are invincible–not invisible.

After 15 happy years advising and raising millions of dollars for nonprofit organizations and charitable foundations as a founding partner in a consulting firm, she woke up one morning and realized something was off. This was the pivotal moment–as society told her she was crazy for wanting to leave a perfect job–where she realized there needed to be a change. Now she advocates for and brings together women in midlife to change the way society looks at, listens to, and understands them. Appearing weekly on Clubhouse, she has sparked a community of like-minded women who are fiercely proud to call themselves women in midlife. You can follow Dara on IG.