The Secret to Aging Well — Not Keeping It a Secret!

From Huffington Post:

Posted: 03/28/2012

One thing that continues to surprise me is how shocked people seem when I admit my age.

With such frequent public displays of midlife success — think Streep at 62 on the cover of Vogue or Madonna at 53 performing at the Super Bowl — you would think that a woman’s age need no longer be kept secret.

Yet, I still sense discomfort as I announce my age, especially amongst people who interview me for magazines, radio or television. Maybe it’s that 58 just sounds so old to them — journalists appear so young these days — but its seem less about my age than about being so open about it all. Am I giving something away that I shouldn’t? Is this some holdover from times past, when good etiquette meant never asking a women her age?

Among the women I know, I find there is a growing sense of pride about reaching the sixth decade of life. While many of us may have once lied about hitting middle age and beyond — shaving a couple of years off milestones after the big 4-0 — the tide seems to be turning. In fact, I predict that in the near future, there will be more men and women who feel as I do, not only proud about their age, but eager to celebrate it as an accomplishment, a sign of health and longevity.

Let me go back a bit to explain how this trend has developed. Over a year ago, I wrote a post, “Does Authenticity Matter Any More?” in which I predicted mounting aversion to the lack of honesty when it came to aging — not just about owning up to one’s birth date, but about who middle aged people really were. “Does she or doesn’t she?” the furtive question once asked about a woman’s hair color had morphed into “Has she or hasn’t she?” — the new uncertainty about what I called women’s “youthenized” faces and bodies. Midlife women were beginning to wonder if they would be able to — or even want to — model themselves after images being portrayed in the media.

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