When it comes to women and aging, society loves to dole out reassuring phrases like “30 is the new 20!” But rather than moving the bar — and our impending anxiety about aging — farther into the future, why not remove the bar altogether? Here are some truly inspiring women who defy labeling or limiting themselves based on the number of years behind them. Read on for their tips on how to prioritize your wellbeing and let your inner beauty radiate at any stage in life.
1. Dr. Elizabeth Lambaer
From skipping around Santa Monica beach in a bikini to dancing a sensual salsa surrounded by dozens of onlookers, vegan nutritionist and motivational speaker Dr. Elizabeth Lambaer is the dictionary definition of “firecracker.” She advocates putting food and thoughts into your body that will help you be mentally clear, awake, and highly conscious, especially in those moments when you’re faced with life’s challenges. Dr. Lambaer fortifies herself physically and mentally by starting her mornings with meditation, a workout, and a superfood-filled smoothie.
I asked Dr. Lambaer what she would say to those who want to try new things but are daunted by their age (she took up salsa dancing at 40). Her advice: choose to make the first step. “Do what fascinates you, whether it’s learning a new instrument or taking up dance, and don’t worry about whether you’ll ever get to expert-level. If you follow your joy, you can’t be led astray.” In fact, she made me promise that I’d take a step towards achieving my own dream (learning piano) this week!
2. Janis Lyn Johnson
The first word that comes to mind when you see Janis Lyn Johnson, founder of JLJ Back to Classic, is “class.” She started her blog because she felt like her approach to fashion and aging weren’t being represented in mainstream media, and has been open about her own struggles with aging. Her journey began when she started feeling anxious about superficial physical changes. Some health concerns prompted her to reshift her focus from her appearance to what was going on internally.
One of her biggest “aha!” moments came at a time when Johnson was struggling with accepting the aging process. She and her husband ran into an old acquaintance. Johnson thought this old friend looked radiant and asked her husband if he agreed. He responded, “Yes, because she’s happy.” In the years that followed that conversation, Johnson found that what truly made her feel beautiful wasn’t her dietary changes or changing up her skincare: it was the gratitude and joy that she had been cultivating while on the path to better health.
3. Mimi Kirk
Mimi Kirk, chef, cookbook author, and one of PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarians Over 50, could easily take credit for helping raw veganism go mainstream. With her vibrant spirit and healthy looks, it’s no wonder so many people want to follow in her footsteps. Unsurprisingly, Kirk credits her diet (she’s been eating plant-based for four decades) not only for her high stamina but for her balanced approach towards life and spirituality. For her, wellness is about more than looks; it’s about independence and, in her case, letting her diet do the work that prescription medications are doing for many others her age.
The best way to age, she says, is not to worry. Kirk shared her wisdom in an interview with AtelierDore.com: “So what if you have a few lines on your face and gravity is letting you know that time is passing. Health is what’s important. Love is what’s important, and loving yourself enough to give up foods that do not add to your liveliness.”
4. Yazemeenah Rossi
Yazemeenah Rossi’s take on aging is basically this: what’s the big deal? The stunning 63-year-old model managed to develop this mentality while working in an industry that is famously intolerant of diversity in many of its forms, including the date on your birth certificate. Fortunately, we’ve seen the industry’s mentality change somewhat in recent years, and according to Rossi, it wasn’t until becoming a model at the age of 30 that she started to feel free in her own skin.
Rossi attributes her youthful spirit partly to her love of exercise and her enthusiasm for trying new things. She expresses her views thus: “We have to face that our time is limited on Earth in this physical body. [...] We are like nature, we are organic. And like a flower, we’re going to bloom and we’re going to die. Once you face that, [of course] you’re going to want to be in the “blooming” state as much as possible and express this beauty.”
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