Whilst the popular myth is that women become 'invisible' after a certain age, we want to celebrate the many amazing women who continue to make a noise and create beautiful literature, art, music or business, sometimes only starting to come into their own as they age.
Dr Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)
Our all-time favourite inspirational woman. While Dr Angelou has now passed away, in her lifetime she was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. However, she only came fully onto the world stage when she recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" (1993) at President Bill Clinton's inauguration.
She did this at the age of 65.
Inspirational post-menopausal women
Kali Hindu goddess of death, time and doomsday
Whilst not a historical figure, we love the alternative image of 'woman-hood' expressed by Kali. Kali's 'femininity' is often associated with sexuality and violence. However she is also considered a strong mother-figure and symbolic of motherly-love. Kali embodies shakti - feminine energy, creativity and fertility - and is an incarnation of Parvati, wife of the great Hindu god Shiva. She is most often represented in art as a fearful fighting figure with a necklace of heads, skirt of arms, lolling tongue, and brandishing a knife dripping with blood! So you know those feelings of anger you are getting as part of menopause.........
At the age of 60 Ms Dormand has won best actress for her mesmerising performance in the 2017 film "Three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri". She is versatile, outspoken, independent minded and went on stage to collect her award at the Oscars without a scrap of make-up. What a woman!
Mary Beard (Aged 63)
This inspirational woman is a Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, who has won the nation’s hearts with her capacity to be both "learned but accessible". She achieved public recognition only 8 years ago (at the age of 55) when she presented the BBC Two series: Pompeii: Life and Death in a Roman Town. She has gone on to present many programmes and has brightened up our screens with her flowing grey hair, unadorned style, mischievous smile and refusal to be bowed by the torrent of online misogynistic abuse she has received. Her response has been to write a bestselling book called “ Women and Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard review – the poison of patriarchy” In this brilliant book, she charts misogyny from ancient Greece and Rome to today, and issues a clarion call that it is not women but power that must change. Take that, misogynist bullies!
Michelle Obama is now 54!
She is a lawyer and writer and graced our lives as First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. As First Lady, Obama became a role model for women, an advocate for poverty awareness, education, nutrition, physical activity and healthy eating, and a fashion icon. If you note her age, you will see that she probably did all of the above whilst also bringing up two girls and going through the menopause!
Madonna (almost 60)
This inspirational woman needs little introduction and has been referred to as the "Queen of Pop" since the 1980s, Whilst Madonna has worldwide recognition for her musical success, we wanted her to be on this list for her capacity as a businesswoman, in an industry that often sees female artists making money for others. Madonna is recognised as the wealthiest woman in the music business, with an estimated net worth between $580 million and $800 million. She has sold more than 300 million records worldwide and the Guinness World Records acknowledged her as the best-selling female recording artist and the fourth best-selling act of all time, behind The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Michael Jackson. And she’s not done, yet!