Just because you are no longer eligible for those 30 under 30 power lists doesn’t mean your dream of being on an age-related power list has to end, thanks to Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day and L’Oréal Paris, who have teamed up on a list of 50 women over the age of 50.
At a luncheon celebration at the Hearst Tower on Tuesday afternoon, the crowd straddled the line between comfortable and chic — there were a smattering of silk tunics and the heels were mainly low as people posed for pictures and mingled. The list, and by extension the attendees, represented a broad range of fields. Molecular biologists schmoozed with actors and authors. Among the notable names on the list were New York Fashion Week creator Fern Mallis, James Beard Foundation president Susan Ungaro and New York Philharmonic composer and philanthropist Susan LeFrak. Debra Rapoport, an artist and style icon, was wearing an eye-catching green hat made from paper towels (Viva, she confided, is the best brand for millinery because they are the most clothlike) and a necklace made from used espresso pods.
“All those cliché things that you hear, about being wiser and calmer, all those things are kind of true,” said Sedgwick, 51.
“When I turned 50, a high school friend told me to think about it like being at the top of the roller coaster and all I could do was put my hands up and scream,” Rowley, 58, said. “But like in a good way.”
“I got to 50 and I was like, ‘Am I supposed to feel different?’ Because I look the same, to me. I’m still doing all the same stuff,” Goldberg, 61, said. “Sixty has been a bit of a b—h. But 50 was fine.”
According to Rowley, one of the perks of being older than 50 is being able to say yes to everything. “When I was younger, I spent my whole career begging, hoping, wishing that someone would give me a chance to do something that I could say yes to,” she said. “So now, if someone asks, I’m like ‘Of course, I’ll design a thermostat cover.'” Later, she clarified that she was just joking and would draw the line at designing a thermostat cover — although, she said, she has designed bandages.
The women agreed that the stereotype that women just “shrivel up and die” after 50 is changing. “We are better at getting a partner if we want one and sending them home when we’re done,” Goldberg said. The quip drew laughter and cheers.
But afterward, it was a line Goldberg repeated from her mother that stuck with people. “If you can take the consequences, you can do whatever you want,” Goldberg said her mother told her.
“I think if you can go to an event and get a piece of life advice that works anywhere, that’s pretty amazing,” Good Housekeeping editor in chief Jane Francisco said.