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OPINION: A love letter to the TikTok creators who are making aging cool

Price Wilborn

The concept of being young is romanticized so heavily within different forms of media that I think most people probably assume that the most exciting parts of their lives are over by the time they are 25. 

In another recent commentary piece I wrote, I reference how I think that TikTok and the media in general have taught young women, and people collectively, that aging is bad. 

​​According to a 2017 survey of 2,000 U.S. women conducted by Statistica, around 42 percent of respondents aged 25 to 44 years reported that they regularly worry about signs of aging, compared to around 28 percent among women aged 18 to 24 years who reported the same.

Aging isn’t bad. It is natural and happens to literally everyone, except vampires and other supernatural beings I know nothing about. 

But, there are a few TikTok creators who I think re-inspire the importance of self-acceptance especially around fears around aging. 

One is Jennifer Latch. She runs a creative agency, but also has experience working with holistic health brands. On her TikTok, she has a series titled “19 vs 44” where she shares wisdom about things she knows now at 44 that she wishes she knew when she was younger. Some of her sentiments are about relationships, understanding your body,  and the importance of investing in yourself.  Some sage wisdom from her videos include: “Your value is not based on the size of jeans you fit into.” “Your value is not in your appearance but in the way you contribute to the world around you.”

To me, Jennifer Latch feels like a cool, wise aunt. She reaffirms your life decisions and lets you drink wine at Thanksgiving. When her videos pop up on my for you page, I know I will scroll away feeling slightly better about myself, but also reassured that any feelings I’m struggling with, I am not the only one experiencing it. 

A 63-year-old fashion influencer, Heidi Clements, @welcometoheidi posts videos of her outfit of the day and shares stories throughout her life. She has posted a video every day for over a year. In one video talking specifically about fashion, she talks about fashion inspiration for women over 50 is considered “classy and elegant.” She wants to wear racing jackets and leopard print because to her, fashion is a source of self-expression.

She also talks about being happy as a single woman. In one video, she discusses being a single woman deciding to upgrade her queen size bed to a king size bed. 

“It is a metaphor for the life I have chosen as a woman: to take up the most space as possible,” Clements said in the video. She also explains she never decided not to get married or not to have children, but that those things simply didn’t happen. 

I found Clements when I was trying to find another fashion influencer I adore, but her video talking about not wanting to have to look “classy” just because she’s over 50 caught my attention. Watching her videos over the past few months, she has reminded me that even though life may not look like how I imagine it should, it doesn’t mean that it’s bad. Her being a childless and single woman is a nice reminder that life can always be whole without a husband or children. (In fact, statistically single women are happier than married women, likely for many reasons including division of labor and more self sacrificing). 

Marcia Boudreau is a 50-year-old content creator who shares videos on wellness and maintaining a balanced lifestyle. She said that agining should be seen as a “badge of honor” and everyone should embrace aging because it is a natural part of life. 

Boudreau is also a mother of two, but she frequently talks about the importance of building a life outside of motherhood. Most mothers tend to obviously carry the weight of taking care of their children and building their life than their male counterparts. Obviously that is different for every parent. However, I think that Boudreau is pushing an important narrative that you are a person separate from your partner, your children and doing things to keep and develop your identity separate from them is so essential. Boudreau also shares that her recent separation allowed her to find herself separate from her partner for a long time. 

Not that TikTok creators the end all be all for being confident in growing old, but choosing creators who are honest and embracing themselves instead of rather than selling you wellness bullsh*t and making you feel worse about yourself. You don’t need to get your buccal fat sucked out or have a 12 step skincare routine.

Engagement Editor Debra Murray can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on X @debramurrayy.

If you would like to submit a reaction to a piece, Letter to the Editor or other submission, please send it to commentary editor Price Wilborn at [email protected] or [email protected]

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