Quit Saying Women Look Amazing for Their Age

Jennifer Aniston turned 50 earlier this year. The actress, best known for her roll as Rachel Green on the hit 90s sitcom Friends, said the milestone birthday bothered her. Specifically, it’s what people said to her upon finding out she was 50 that bothered her.

October’s cover of InStyle magazine.

October’s cover of InStyle magazine.

“Fifty was the first time I thought, “Well, that number,” said Aniston who is on the October cover of InStyle magazine. “I don’t know what it is because I don’t feel any different. Things aren’t shutting down in any way. I feel physically incredible.”

There’s a very good reason for that – 50 isn’t old.

Sure, it was considered to be a ripe old age for men and women 100 years ago when most men died at the age of 47 and most women died at the age of 49 (this is on average for North America in 1900). You lived to be 50?! Surely there would be a story in the newspaper!

But thanks to technological and medical advancements along with more comfortable and healthier lifestyles, our averages are 75 (men) and 80 (women). So, 50-year-olds, you have a way to go.

Let’s talk about the reality of women over 50. According to a study from McCann Worldgroup Canada and Ipsos in 2018 titled The Truth About Canadian Women:

  • 70% of women over 50 feel that older women are not represented in the media.

  • 59% of women feel they are living a fuller life after 50.

  • Women over the age of 50 are more engaged than ever. Think: new homes, new relationships, new jobs, new adventures.

  • Women are inspired by women. Older women look to younger women to learn new ideas and behaviors and younger women look to older women as role models. They’re in this together and want to mutually support and inspire one another along with way.

“I think there is a real opportunity with women over 50, because we are feeling younger and younger. 50 truly is the new 40,” said Leslie Root of SVP Marketing. “Life isn’t over at 50. You are probably at the top of your life, the summit of your career. You are earning more, the kids are older, you are starting to think about yourself. 50 isn’t old anymore. In fact, far from it.”

Back to Aniston. She is one of the Celebrity Team 50 now, joining Gwen Stefani, Cate Blanchette, Ellen Pompeo, and Jennifer Lopez. Do they look old? No way.

So how about we all start focusing less on that number and more on the person. There’s no need to say things like, “You look amazing for your age” to anybody. Seriously.

“So it’s weird that it’s all of a sudden getting telegraphed in a way that’s like, ‘You look amazing for your age.’ I think we need to establish some etiquette around that dialogue and verbiage,” said Aniston.

Aniston’s latest project has her teamed up with Reese Witherspoon who both star in and serve as executive producers of a drama debuting this fall called The Morning Show. InStyle describes it as:

“Abrupt and to the point, it tackles the conversations currently happening in HR offices worldwide. The show gives you a behind-the-curtain peek at a lot of things — what it takes to pull off a morning show, the unique lifestyle of these anchors, the obsession with celebrity culture, and humanity in the midst of corruption. Plus we’re addressing the ugly truths of how men have treated women in our society, particularly in the workplace, for all these years.”

The full InStyle article is here.