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Jun 29, 2018 Guest Posts Susie Elelman 489 views

Thinking long and hard about the question of what women over 50 want, I’m not sure it’s that much different to what any woman or man wants at any age.

I do think, however, by the time we reach the age of 50, our priorities have shifted and we’ve acquired the wisdom to achieve what we want.

Plus we often have more time to focus on what we want at this age too.

You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life.” ― Coco Chanel

Life doesn’t begin until you’re 50

It’s said that 50 is the new 40 but I’ve found that life doesn’t even start until you hit the big 50.

There’s definitely a different mindset you develop when you reach the ripe young age of half a century, which I think is far from being old or feeling old.

Parents, especially mothers, selflessly give up a huge part of their lives to devote to raising their families and it’s hoped by the time you’ve reached 50 that your children have become independent adults, leaving you to finally have a bit more of a chance to put yourself first for a change.

Obviously, if you’ve had children later in life, those emotional and financial freedoms will not come until a little later and unfortunately for some, it won’t come at all.

While you never stop worrying about your children, no matter how old they get, all the mums I speak with say the older you get, the more you do learn to let them go and worry less.

Shaved my head at 50

One of the most empowering things I’ve ever done in my life was to shave my head.

It was in 2004 to mark my 50th birthday and I revealed it on the red carpet at the Logies.

I’d made the decision 7 or 8 years before I’d turned 50 that I’d shave my head when I reached that age milestone.

It did it for a number of reasons but primarily from a practical standpoint.

The main prompt was seeing how extremely grey my hair had become and how quickly I could notice the regrowth not long after I’d had it coloured, which was only every few weeks.

I’ve been going grey since I was 16 – 17 years of age. In fact, I had more grey hairs at 21 than my Mum had when she passed away at 71.

Judging by how silver white my hair was at the front, I thought I’d look like the stunning Aussie actor Rowena Wallace and have a head of splendid silver locks once it grew back after the shave.

Sadly, that wasn’t the case. While I was extremely silver grey at the front, I still had lots of dark grey and black hair at the back.

It turns out I wasn’t the only one, who found it very aging on me, especially the longer I grew my hair.

I was excited to do an audition for a gig on subscription TV that would have seen me being teamed up with Tony Barber. I was told they loved my audition but thought I looked too old.

You hear some people complain about having mousey brown hair; well at age 50 my hair was a very unbecoming rat-grey.

It was most unflattering and aging so I went back to being a blonde for a few more years until there was more salt, than pepper in my natural hair colour mix.

I love my colour now and constantly get compliments about my hair.

Some even ask me where I get it coloured and are surprised when I explain that it’s actually my natural colour.

Times have certainly changed, as I would never have gone to a hairdresser in my youth and asked them to deliberately colour my hair grey but I understand lots of younger women are doing just that these days.

Shaving my head was extremely liberating in many ways.

I found the freedom of not having any hair to be very unshackling not to mention time saving.

It made me realise how much unnecessary emphasis we place on our crowning glory and the flow on effect it has on our moods if we’re having a ‘bad-hair day’.

I’m not suggesting you need to go as far as shaving your head to embrace turning 50 but I think it’s vital to take a positive mind set with you when you finally step into middle age.

Destructive thoughts and actions, like telling yourself you’re ‘over the hill’ will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The challenge is to take a positive approach to these negative thoughts.

Just remember, once you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed.

– Charles M Schultz famous ‘Peanuts’ cartoonist

Staying Relevant

One of the comments I get a lot from women in their 50s, as their children leave home and go off doing their own thing, is that they don’t feel relevant anymore.

Many of them have lost their purpose or their sense of significance.

Just because a woman is over 50 does not mean she no longer has anything to offer.

If anything, we have so much more to offer!

We have lived life, we get better with age.

I do my best work now in my 60s.

Sure, I could retire; but what would I do?

Play Bingo? I think not!

Dawn Wells US actor – best known for playing Mary Ann in Gilligan’s Island

Benefits for women Over 50

  • Self-Assurance Over 50

By the time you reach 50, you’ve learnt that you can depend on yourself, accept change, tackle what life throws at you and know what battles are worth picking.

You’ve defined what you like and what you don’t like but still have an open mind to trying new things.

It’s essential to let go of our grievances and after 50 we learn what’s really important and what’s not so we don’t spend the next 50 plus years on the road to bitterness.

This self-trust extends to knowing what suits you and what doesn’t and you’re no longer a slave to the influence of fashion trends.

After half a century of experimenting, your sense of personal style comes together and you learn what feels comfortable to wear and what looks flattering and alluring.

A woman over 50 knows the value of celebrating life. She’s sizzling, not fizzling. She’s savvy, not sad. – S. Mitchell

  • Sexy Women Over 50

Women over 50 make great lovers.

Going through menopause can be a relief knowing that falling pregnant isn’t a concern anymore, allowing you to relax and enjoy sex even more.

If you’re not already enjoying sex, then it’s not too late to start now.

If you’re single and over 50, you have the freedom to date for the fun of it but at the same time you realise it’s not necessary to have a partner and it’s fine if you go to places by yourself.

I think the best relationship you can make when you’re over 50 is with yourself.

  • Powerful Women Over 50

The most common way women give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.

– Alice Walker – Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Colour Purple.

Women make 80% of the consumer purchasing decisions and female baby boomers have access to one of the largest disposable incomes in Australia, making us a powerful market force in today’s economy.

You are significant and don’t ever be frightened to stand up and use your voice to get what you want. Just remember you catch far more flies with honey than you do with vinegar so be mindful to be assertive and not aggressive.

If you’re at a loss as to what you can do post 50, there are a plethora of web sites, organisations and services dedicated to the Over 50s.

At this age, we learn the value of being passionate about the things that really matter to us in life. It’s that passion that drives us and makes us want to succeed in our most fervent endeavours.

If you’re someone who has let the small stuff worry you throughout your life, you’ll be pleased to know that when you’re over 50, you finally come to the realisation that everything is small stuff… and not worth the sweat.

There’s a strong feeling of internal acceptance that develops; the feeling of ‘I am who I am’, making you more accepting of yourself and others.

I believe you develop more compassion after 50 and many women who are feeling the ‘empty-nest syndrome’ but don’t have the time, money or inclination to travel, often give back to their local community instead.

This year was my 20th year as an Australia day Ambassador and as always, I opted to go to the bush, into the heartland of Australia to see and enjoy how they celebrate our national day.

I visited the gorgeous town of Boorowa in the south western slopes of NSW.

The majority of winners I presented with their community service awards in Boorowa were just like the majority of recipients in other country towns and cities I’ve visited on Australia day over the last two decades; predominantly women over 50.

Women over 50 are the backbone of most communities in the country and in our city suburbs and many of them also know the value of mentoring.

Women over 50 have so much wisdom to offer and make great role models for younger women.

What Women Over 50 Want

When it all boils down to it, I think what Women Over 50 want, is what we all want in life, a little RESPECT, which does need to be earned.  

Women are always being tested … but ultimately, each of us has to define who we are individually and then do the very best job we can to grow into it. – Hilary Rodham Clinton

When you reach 50 and beyond, life does seem to fly past even faster with each passing year, while at the same time you’ve come to the realisation that there is still so much more you want to achieve and enjoy in life with such little time left in which to do it all.

I have far more opportunities than my mother ever had when she was my age and I hope those prospects increase for each new generation of women.

Today, the sky’s the limit!

I hope these parting words from funny-girl Lucille Ball inspire you to live life to the fullest after 50 and help you Carpe Diem…seize the day!

I’d rather regret the things I’ve done, than the things I haven’t done. –Lucille Ball US Comedienne

Keep smiling…cheers susie

Susie Elelman AM

Author, TV & Radio Broadcaster

AMC Ambassador

About The Author - Susie Elelman

Susie Elelman is an Australian television presenter, radio broadcaster, and author, most famous for her appearances on daytime television in Australia. She has been an ambassador of the Australian Menopause Centre since 2016 and it is a pleasure to have such an influential figure support our work.

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