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Changing the Aging Sterotype

AJ-Wise Woman

By A.J. White

Some women over 50 live with the negative vision of the aging stereotype.  Combating these stereotypes is the older woman’s self-determined motivational desire for continued health and an active lifestyle.  The self-concept of the post-menopausal woman is shifting to engage more in society, bringing with her more financial resources and political influence.  Older women are also engaged in forming enriching relationships and constructing a positive vision of aging.

A recent article in Time discussed increasing diversity in corporate America. Increasing the number of women in the workplace changes the workplace dynamics.  According to author Sallie Krawcheck, women are more risk adverse, take a longer term perspective and are more concerned about maintaining relationships.

The present day 50+ woman is not as dependent on the stereotypes of ageism, but is creating her own self-concept.  Aging women are working longer, are viewed as capable, conscientious workers, and are stepping into their personal power.  In the 1970’s, the general public viewed people over 65 as poor and lonely.  Claiming personal power breaks through that perception.

Post-menopausal women are no longer considered asexual and the concept of the midlife crisis, by many researchers is relegated to the psychological dustbin.  In the fifth and sixth decades of life, women find the time to pamper themselves. Post-menopausal women are eager to learn about longevity, healthy lifestyle and health related quality-of-life.

There is a dearth of aging research of women over age 50.  The feelings of older women and their experiences in an aging body offers little interest other than related to medical intervention or the social aspects of the aging process.  A small number of feminist scholars address later life as older women’s aging issues are ignored.  The seminal work Successful Aging by Rowe and Kahn (1998) established the prevailing normative standard of aging.  Critics suggest that this widely accepted view incorporates a gender lens of inequality for the older woman.

Women will live longer than their male counterparts, and will live more than one-third of their lives as post-menopausal women.  Post-menopausal women are more vital than the past.  They are more empowered, and interested in establishing healthy habits to help them to live active and healthy lives until well into old age.  The old adage is true – you are only getting better!

A.J. White, RN, Ph.D. candidate, is a speaker and author of the book, The Bloomers: Wise Women Creating a New World. The book is the clarion call to awaken women over 50 and empower them to claim their authority and power. Visit - See more at:


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