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50 and Fabulous

Christina Caldwell | Jul 1, 2013, 6 a.m.

‘A Lady Never Reveals her Age’

Talking about your age does a lot more than unveil your true amount of years spent on the planet, Brown says. It helps other people pigeonhole and put you into a category you would never place yourself.

“When someone asks my age, it’s always like ‘Why do you want to know?’” Brown says.

It’s one thing if someone gets to know you first, but it’s another thing if a young man at a bar comes up to you to specifically ask your age. It’s even more insulting if they ask if you’re a “cougar”—one of those older women who “preys” on younger men. It’s the new term for “Mrs. Robinsons,” except with a higher hemline and more access to facial fillers.

Those labels are insulting, the group agrees, and it’s certainly not something they consider themselves. While they might date younger men, it isn’t necessarily a quality they’re looking for. And they’re definitely not looking to “prey” on anyone, especially immature young men silly enough to approach a woman with such careless regard.

The ladies don’t have a problem with their actual number. It’s the way people treat you when they find out that’s the problem. Valdes has no issue telling people she’s 56. Instead she hopes to serve as inspiration for women who look down on themselves as the number creeps up with each passing year. She serves as living proof that women can be attractive, intelligent, successful and overall worthwhile, even as each birthday ticks that number up a notch.

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(From left) 56-year-old Raven Valdes, 52-year-old Salpie Tatka and 50-year-old Shari Brown joined 50 and Fabulous to socialize with active, like-minded women over the age of 50.

Breaking Age Barriers

When you take care of yourself, people will always be surprised by the year on your driver’s license. Each lady says keeping youthful is about blowing off stress, eating right and getting plenty of exercise. Each of the ladies workout on a regular basis, and Brown works-out every single day—a combination of weights, cardio, hiking, yoga, kickboxing and more. Keeping a healthy body isn’t only about restricting yourself, Valdes says, but it’s best to make sure the cake is only a “once in a while” thing.

Brown recalls watching a morning talk show where a fashion expert advised women older than 50 to never wear high heels. It just isn’t age appropriate, they said.

Considering the style choices of the 50 and Fabulous ladies, they’re not about to give up that extra amount of lift.

“That’s just ridiculous,” says the newly remarried blonde, who makes a habit of regularly wearing her favorite stilettos.

“Guess [what age group] can finally afford those Christian Louboutins?,” Valdes contests.

It’s true. Being 50 affords plenty advantages that the average 20-year-old college student doesn’t have a shot at, including not only designer shoes, but also increased confidence in just about every aspect of life, from looks to career. When you live 50 plus years in the same skin, you slowly become more content with it, despite what the media might say. But it’s really that contentedness in oneself that makes a woman 50-plus and fabulous, the ladies agree.

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