We have something to say, and you should listen: There is no magic number.
You need to stop believing that there’s a perfect age. Stop waiting for someone to give you permission. Question why the media doesn’t portray women as they age. Ignore the pundits who say you’re too young to lead. Wear the miniskirt and the red lipstick, whether you’re 25 or 85. Trust your instincts. Find friends and mentors across generations. Stand up. Speak out.
For women, there simply is no golden age. We are penalized when we are young for being inexperienced. We are marginalized when we are older and considered irrelevant. We spend billions each year trying to look younger while we lose millions over our lifetimes as the result of the gender wage gap. At every age, there’s yet another catch-22, which is why we’ve got to stop waiting and start doing. And we’re going to provide you with a little inspiration to get you motivated.
If you visited the Refinery29 homepage today, then you may have noticed our site looks a little different (Refinery59, what’s that?!). Don’t worry, we’re not suddenly barring anyone under 59 from reading what we publish. Today, we’re dedicating our homepage and social media to one very specific question: What does it mean to age?
The truth is, there’s no single answer. It can mean navigating a new role as caretaker of a sick parent, becoming a mom at 50 or a grandma at 40, changing your career path decades after entering the workforce, or celebrating your singledom after years of marriage.
Aging no longer follows one clear and predictable path as it once seemed to. And yet, our culture still aims to put all of us in a box according to a number. We see this in our own unconscious bias, unrealistic media representation, and outdated language like, “You look SO good for your age!”
That’s why we’re proud to team up with AARP to shape a new image of aging with Life Begins At — because it’s not about how old you are, life begins when you decide to start living. We’re taking a look at what aging really looks like for women, via honest and intimate stories that shine a light on the unique ways in which we all live and age.
The bottom line is, aging is changing. And it’s time we redefine the conversation.
Aging is not a linear experience — & it’s time we shift the narrative.