Sun Spots, Grays & Lines: What Real Women Love The Most About Their Appearance As They Age

Illustration by Louisa Cannell
Welcome to Life Begins At. Refinery29 is proud to team up with AARP to bring you honest, intimate stories that aim to uncover all the unique experiences that come along with living — no matter your age. It’s time we shed the negative stereotypes, unconscious cultural bias, and misconceptions associated with age and get real about what aging really looks like for us. Because it’s not about how old you are; life begins when you decide to start living it. Have your own story to share about aging? Fill out this form or email us at
For far too long, aging was seen as something to fight against, never something to embrace. This is especially true for women, who were told to guard against any and all natural appearance changes with an arsenal of wrinkle creams, concealer, and hair dye.
While there’s still plenty of progress to be made in how we view the physical changes that come with age, society has thankfully made some major strides in embracing a more inclusive definition of beauty — one that essentially says “do you,” whether that means obscuring physical changes or letting them shine, just as they are. More importantly, women are realizing that there’s no inherent terror in getting older. In fact, 61% of women believe they are beautiful at any age.
To that point, we teamed up with AARP and spoke with eight women over the age of 35 about the things they most love about their appearance as they grow older. Turns out, there’s generations of women proudly disrupting outdated ideas about aging and fully embracing their beauty — silver streaks and all.

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