Styling by Freddie Leiba
Hair by Chuckie Amos
Makeup by Vincent Oquendo using Jay Manuel products
On my 50th birthday in 2005, my discount-wielding AARP card came in the mail. I hurled it in the trash, put on something fabulous, and had a decadent meal. Just the thought of putting it in my wallet felt like a concession. Am I supposed to become obsessed with senior discounts at the movies and 15% off of a meal (OK, I looked before I chucked it)? Should I count every penny because I’ve got to make every cent count? Granted, I’ve changed internally as I’ve gotten older—I take it easy, I know when to stop and take care of myself, I laugh much more and with my belly and soul—but this comes from the confidence and acceptance that comes with maturity. I know what’s important to me now—and it’s not half-off a tub of popcorn.
Since then, I’ve been since graced with another decade of life. I’m 60 today. And what a decade it’s been! Ups, downs, sideways, and zig-zags. Oh my. My looks have changed. I have laugh lines—not wrinkles. I walk slowly because I am finally in a place where I don’t have to rush from one place to the next. I can enjoy what I’m engaged in and be fully present rather than planning my answers to questions while someone else is speaking or thinking about my next appointment while my current engagement is still in in progress. Everything doesn’t have to go my way (although let’s be honest, aren’t you happier when it does? Just kidding. Ok, not really). And I wear what I want to because my style doesn’t define me; it’s an expression of myself, but not the whole kit and caboodle.
As my 60th birthday approached this year, I thought about what each decade meant to myself and others as they got older, and sadly it comes with some highly morbid thinking like awareness of mortality, regrets about dreams lost, or nostalgia for youth, when breasts stood proudly (or at least didn’t play Peek-A-Boob in your armpit when you lay on your back). When asked what message I’d like to usher in for this new zeroed number, I didn’t have to dig too far into my psyche to come up the mantras with which I’ll enter the decade.