beauty

37 women on what being over 50 really looks like.

You’ve likely seen those red carpet photos of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck at the Venice Film Festival. 

Blessed with great genetics, natural beauty and plenty of money to buy whatever she needs, JLo is held-up by some as what 50-something women should look like in 2021. 

While many find her inspiring, others find her flawlessness challenging. Why should women look a certain way at any age? There are many ways to be 21, as there are many ways to be 50.

Watch: Paulina Porizkova discuss being sexy over 50. Post continues below. 


Video via Extra.

After a post by Mamamia Outlouder Char Jose De Rosa took on a life of its own last week, 37 women told Mamamia what being 50(ish) looks and feels like for them. 

Here's what they had to say:

1. Marina.

"I’m 51 years old and this photo was taken in April this year. To me, 51 means accepting who you are and accepting your faults because we all have them. My children are grown up, I’m a grandma for the first time to a beautiful baby girl, and I have a kind and loving partner. I’m trying not to eat too many treats because I love to bake, but otherwise I’m happy."

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2. Samkeliso.

"I am 55. My life is rich and full. I have grandchildren now so my family is growing. I feel powerful, blessed and in control."

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3. Fiona.

"I’m 54 here. I get told I don't look my age, but then again how are we supposed to look? I think I look and feel every year of it after a long day, but other days I scrub up alright."

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4. Evelyn.

"Being over 50 means freedom and empowerment to me. I’m the most confident I’ve ever been and am really trying to live each day with vigour and gratitude. Fifty is no longer viewed as being 'outdated' and it’s thanks to so many powerful women acting as models in various industries that are leading this charge. I’m excited to be part of this era!"

Image: Supplied.

5. Leisa.

"Over 50 has such a cultural stigma - who created that crap? I feel confident, sexy and can chart my own path. It took a few decades to get here. I am so proud to be fit and active and a role model to my beautiful girls. I always say, just be you who cares about what other people say you should be."

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6. Jo.

"I am 51 - here with my husband Warren and daughter Jane on her 21st birthday. I feel like (over 50) is a time for you - as your kids are older. Also, you care less about what people think. I found myself not having time for anyone who wasn’t like-minded and part of my 'tribe'."

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7. Tess.

"I’m 50, and my mum and a few older friends keep telling me you shouldn’t have long hair after 40. Well, 10 years on I’m still not listening. There're no rules, you do you."

Image: Supplied.

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud, Mamamia’s podcast with what women are talking about this week. Post continues below.

8. Cathy.

"This is me on my 50th (which wasn't my 50th because I wasn't in Fiji!) I look nothing like JLo, but then I never looked like JLo! I don't think I look old and I am comfortable in my skin most of the time."

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9. Jennie.

"I’m 57, this is what I look like with just regular skincare and makeup."

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10. Deb.

"I’m 60 in five weeks. I'm really slack with skincare (coconut oil has been the best) I drink wine, and when I do wear makeup, I forget to take it off. Basically, I don’t do anything right - other than I don’t smoke."

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11. Maryanne, Kerrie, and Irene.

"I am 56 and here I am with two of my 50-something girlfriends, Maryanne and Irene. I thought I might be too old to learn, but I've just finished my first year of a uni degree after a 30-year break from academia. Hoping to finish and change careers before I turn 60."

Image: Supplied.

12. Felicity and mum Judy.

"This is me - I am 56, no 'bobo', no fillers. My beautiful mum Judy is 79. I have been blessed with great genetics! I walk every day - it’s my time to listen to all things Mamamia, and it’s so important for my mental health."

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13. Danya and mum Valerie.

"This is my mum and me on Mother’s Day this year. Mum is turning 80 next month and I am 50. I am happy with how I look, I don’t have many lines, more when I laugh! I’ve just found a few grey hairs. It always surprised people when I tell them my age. I have a six-year-old, an 11-year-old and an 18-year-old. All girls and I’m constantly tired! I wear makeup to work and have always used skincare."

Image: Supplied.

14. Tenille and mum Sue.

"I got the sentiment a lot last week when I turned 40, 'You don’t look 40!' But what does 40 look like? What does 50 look like? I think we have learnt to look after our bodies and our skin a lot better than previous generations and better skin care options are available for us now. JLo has no barriers for 'spendy' skincare/procedures/makeup artist/stylists/chef/trainer etc. You’re only as old as you feel and age is but a number! My mum is 65 and still looks super youthful and is living her best life as a single lady."

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Image: Supplied.

15. Liv.

"I’m a far better mother and friend than I was in my younger days. I'm a long-time single too, and no longer worried or fear being alone. Fifty is liberating. Today on my walk, I was wearing the most clashing-crazy outfit, that made me look like the overgrown chubby toddler I am, who dresses in the dark. But I just don’t care anymore at 50 and it’s the MOST exhilarating feeling, being able to walk the streets no longer fearing judgment. But yes, 50 is a new category of absolute zero f*cks given, but also being far and above the best version of myself I’ve ever been. Being sober for four years helps too!"

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16. Sandy.

"Here I am on my 52nd birthday!"

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17. Amanda.

"This is hubby and myself at an outdoor event a few weeks back. I turned 50 in July, I love this age, older kids means I am free to provide extra support to my colleagues, hubby and I go out weekends and enjoy ourselves, and we take trips when COVID allows. I can say yes without wondering about the kids commitments. So for me, 50 'looks like' a more balanced lifestyle and I can buy all the serums I want."

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18. Lisa.

"One downside to ageing - half an hour after I woke up and my eye was still creased! I’m 55 and I almost never wear makeup (too lazy)!"

Image: Supplied.

19. Theresa.

"People told me I should get shorter hair when I’m 50, so I grew it and now it’s the longest since I was eight years old! At 50, I quit my job to work full time on the social enterprise I started, Play it On."

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20. Stephanie.

"I turned 50 last November, and this picture was taken last week. I love being 50! And I’ll just add in that I knitted the cardy too - I keep my calm through knitting and sewing!"

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21. Alicia.

"I'm nearly 51 and this is just how I do it. I thought I'd have fabulous silver grey locks by now but I don't - but I live in hope 'cos I think they will make me look lush!"

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22. Kate.

"I will be 59 on November 1st. I have four gorgeous girls and three delicious grandchildren."

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23. Barb.

"I’m 59 next month. I ran my first marathon at 52! I remember my mum at this age and she dressed a lot older, but those were the times. It’s about being healthy!"

Image: Supplied.

24. Catherine.

"I’m 51 this year, sunscreen is everything! I love that we live in a time when being a woman in your 50s doesn’t mean the end of adventures and options."

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25. Kate.

"This is me at 56. I’m a new grandmother. I’m not fit but I’m healthy. And I’m happy with who I am. Even though my body doth protest! I've just had a heart procedure, so it's also pertinent to mention 50-something women need to make time for themselves and their health - you can't be the best version of yourself if your health is not the best it can be. We should never compare ourselves to celebrities. It’s self-defeating and life is too short."

Image: Supplied.

26. Lizzie.

"I am 50 and I love my pink hair! Pink everything! I wear more pink now than when I was a child. Nothing is ever wrong if you feel comfortable with it. Your choice! Be an individual! Why do we have to dress and look how others want us to? It’s ridiculous!"

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27. Barbara.

"I turned 70 in January and I wear it well, if I say so myself. I’m white-haired (with peacock vibes), my clothes are on trend, and I spend far too much money on makeup and skincare. Age only matters if you’re a cheese!"

Image: Supplied.

28. Kate.

"I have two beautiful daughters in their 20s now. I’ve also had a decorated career in education and working with children with learning difficulties. I love walking, beach life and my family and friends."

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29. Virginia.

"Here is me at 55. No filters or fillers or baby Botox. Age is a number and health is wealth."

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30. Cassie.

"Here I am at 54. Ageing is hard to accept when it starts to show, but embracing life makes it a bit easier."

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31. Cal.

"I'm 56 now and still love having long hair - I don't wear make-up at all and never have."

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32. Tracy.

"I'm a 56-year-old grandma and I’m stepping into being and wearing whatever I want to and focusing on joy! I started a business at 47 and now as the sole breadwinner, my hubby can retire and we get to travel (in normal times) all over the world teaching art and creativity retreats and workshops!"

Image: Supplied

33. Valerie.

"Fifty isn't too bad so far. I'm still in that 'keep reminding myself I am 50' phase. Or, it is probably my husband that keeps reminding me, since it is more than a year off for him. My kids are younger than most at my age, but I'm okay with that. I don't think I look my age which is even better, but it's still hard getting used to not looking like I always think of myself (how I looked pre-kids). I wonder how 50 would be in a non-pandemic world. Regardless, I think 50 isn't that bad and in fact is pretty fabulous!"

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34. Jo

"When I turned 50, I thought, 'Wow I have reached half a century'. Now is the time to enjoy life to the fullest. I’ve gone back to working full time and just started doing things for myself that I’ve always wanted to do, for example, just last week I got braces. I feel younger than ever and the most confident I’ve ever been."

Image: Supplied.

35. Kathryn.

"This is me at 51. No enhancements other than hair dye and I don't wear makeup."

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36. Ann

"I feel grateful, and happy at age 53. I am grateful for all those who have gone before me and given much, sometimes their life, so that I get to live the way I do. And I am happy, for all the reasons and I choose happiness every day."

Image: Supplied

37. Cherry

"I'm 52 and no-one believes it. My profile photo has good lighting but no filter and definitely no Botox. Note my neck and extra chin. I made myself not edit those out."

Image: Rachel Mia Fotography.

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If you are over 50 and want to tell us how you feel, we'd love to hear from you! 

Comment below and carry on the conversation by joining our Mamamia Outlouders Facebook group.

Feature Image: Supplied/Mamamia.

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