Who is Your Favorite Celebrity Elderess?

February 15, 2021

Who is Your Favorite Celebrity Elderess?

May 29, 2023

There are probably older icons you’re likely to mention in response to the question this blog post asks. You might have answered Helen Mirren, Sophia Loren, or Madonna. Maybe Lauren Hutton, Diana Ross, Dame Judi Dench, or Cher.

But, for my money, the 60+ heroine I most admire is Frances McDormand, whose profile in this Vogue article is epic for elders. Highly recommended reading as a best-practices primer on how to be real your whole life. Her new film, “Nomadland,” premieres online this Friday.

As I wrote in this post a few months ago, most anti-aging products are anti-women products. Don’t let them define you. Don’t primp yourself for attention. As our MEA guest faculty member Kay Scorah says, there can be power in invisibility. And your voice has never been more needed. The world needs a fierce, love-wielding grandma just about now. As Gray Panthers founder Maggie Kuhn (small in size, big in impact) once said, “Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind—even if your voice shakes.”

I’ll finish with their fierce, lovable poem from Maya Angelou called “On Aging.”

When you see me sitting quietly,
Like a sack left on the shelf,
Don’t think I need your chattering.
I’m listening to myself.
Hold! Stop! Don’t pity me!
Hold! Stop your sympathy!
Understanding if you got it,
Otherwise I’ll do without it!
When my bones are stiff and aching,
And my feet won’t climb the stair,
I will only ask one favor:
Don’t bring me no rocking chair.
When you see me walking, stumbling,
Don’t study and get it wrong.
‘Cause tired don’t mean lazy
And every goodbye ain’t gone.
I’m the same person I was back then,
A little less hair, a little less chin,
A lot less lungs and much less wind.
But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.

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