Elastic Generation Women Are Slaying.

Sixty years old is the new something but I’m not trying to define anything about this exciting generation of bloggers and instagrammers.  This new generation of fashionistas and forward thinkers are re-defining what’s interesting in fashion – and we are paying attention.  In this blog post we are going to share their inspiration on aging and breaking through the box that society wants to put them in.  As I dive deeper into the counterculture-culture of this generation, I have completely changed my approach to facial plastic surgery.  I hope you find some inspiration too!   

  1. Lyn Slater, 64 years old, of @iconaccidental says, “I’m not 20. I don’t want to be 20, but I’m really freaking cool. That’s what I think about when I’m posting a photo.” She is a professor at Fordham University.  Her IG account is called Accidental Icon with 524,000+ followers strong.  She sets out to have a strong voice and perspective that pushes through the clutter of “old”.  Her posts have the message that attitude trumps brand. 
  2. Dorrie Jacobson, 83, of @seniorstylebible is a former Playboy bunny who styles black lingerie. “Wear what you like,” she said. “Age-appropriate has nothing to do with it.”
  3. Jenny Kee, 71, of @jennykeeoz is a designer. She says, “We are not going to be little old ladies sitting in a nursing home with blue-rinsed hair.  Or if we are going to be in a nursing home, we’ll be there with our marijuana, our health foods and our great sense of style.”  Hell yes.
  4. Helen Ruth Elam Van Winkle, 89, of @baddiewinkle has a tag line of “stealing your man since 1928”. If you didn’t just smile or laugh, you don’t get it.  It made me laugh out loud and I couldn’t stop.  I thought – damn I need that sense of confidence.  She wears bright colors (her IG account puts my closet of greyscale to shame) and swimwear (NOT your grandmother’s swimwear).  She has one post wearing a pink t-shirt that reads, “Be a slut, do whatever you want.”  She has 3.6 MILLION followers. 

It just so happens that I was recently reading The Longevity Economy, a book by Joseph F. Coughlin, which heavily drives home the point that the older generation isn’t going anywhere and companies who are not in tune with them will miss out big.  This group spans the Post War, 1st Baby Boomers, and 2nd Baby Boomers generations.  They are not the frail quiet group of individuals that are often portrayed and they aren’t playing by the rules set for them by businesses and Hollywood.  They are as invested in living and learning and passion as the younger generations.  They have interests that are unique and traditional while still pushing the boundaries of our expectations. 

Thoughts from the Longevity Economy are echoed in the report, Elastic Generation: The Female Edit, a 2018 J. Walter Thomson survey (http://bit.ly/elasticgenwomen) of 55- to 72-year-old women in England.  Marie Stafford is the European director of the JWT Innovation Group.  This group introduced the concept of the Elastic Generation in a 2015 report as a better way to explain the Baby Boomer generation.  In the 2018 edit, she writes, “Our collective understanding of what later life looks like remains woefully outdated.  Age no longer dictates the way we live. Physical capacity, financial circumstances and mind-set arguably have far greater influence.”  “Elastic Generation women are hitting their fifties, sixties and even seventies and realizing they might have decades of life left. They are living according to how they feel, rather than how they ought, whether that means divorcing or dating, travelling or starting a business. As decision makers, entrepreneurs, caregivers and creators, Elastic Generation women continue to push the boundaries and upend the status quo. Ever the generation of rebels, they are reinventing life past fifty, as they forge the path others will follow.”  

Women in their 50s and 60s came of age during the 1960s and 1970s when counterculture was on the rise and women’s rights were coming alive.  I believe that has continued to shape their view of the world and of themselves and they have found a new outlet to express themselves on social media.  More so, it allows them to share those life experiences with the younger generations and connect with each other. 

This same mentality is seen in my facial plastic surgery practice.  Nothing that women do should be motivated or dictated by age!  Many women in their 70s used to think they are too old for a facelift.  But what is age these days?  Now, some of my very best patients have a facelift in their 70s and 80s and actually do better than patients in their 50s.  It is about state of mind, body, and spirit.  There is no age limit women wanting to look and feel their best.  And just because you are older doesn’t mean that you aren’t still a great candidate for many procedures especially if you have a healthy, active lifestyle.  It is never too late to look in the mirror and decide to make a change! 

For me, facial plastic surgery is not about youth or looking to the past. Stay with me on this.  It is about the realization that you have so much more life to live!  I want you to enjoy it and live it.  It is about the FUTURE.  What does your future look like?  Traveling to a new city, dating, a girlfriend trip, running a business, modeling?  The list is longer than ever.  Hats off to the women who are teaching us that the future is ours.  When you look at me, you see a young women.  I see the future.   

Photo from Elastic Generation: The Female Edit, 2018

Dee O’Dell, photographed by Anne Marie Sterian

 

Author
Kaete Archer, MD Facial Plastic Surgeon

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