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Are You a ‘Queenager?’ 10 Ways to Tell

If every circuit of the sun has you beaming brighter and feeling lighter, you’re regal, radiant and loving life. If not, here’s how to straighten that crown, Sis.

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Whether you're approaching 50 or cruising through your 60s, you may possess more strength, confidence, knowledge and zest for life than you ever did in your 20s or 30s. You know what that makes you? A “Queenager!” Coined by the website Noon, the term describes a midlife woman who lives life to the fullest and keeps reinventing herself despite ubiquitous, ridiculous social cues that she may be "past her prime." Many of these women launched careers in the 1980s, affording them more spending power and influence than previous generations.

Actress Tracee Ellis Ross, 51, considers aging an honor, saying, "As I get older, the more I stay focused on the acceptance of myself and others, and choose compassion over judgment and curiosity over fear.”

Rock the ages

Halle Berry is another queen aging gracefully. The 57-year-old’s sentiments on having more birthday candles to blow out are spot-on: "Aging is about embracing who you are and the life that you've lived, and the knowledge and the wisdom that you've gained. And when you do that, I think those women have a light that shines through — and you don't notice wrinkles if they have them so much because that light is so powerful, and that confidence, and that sense of being, and knowing who you are," Berry told Revlon South Africa. You definitely don’t need to be an actress to be a queenager.

We’ve had the pleasure of meeting many Sisters readers who shine that light.

What about you, Sis? Do you treasure your laugh lines because they represent a life well-lived? Maybe your salsa or hip-hop dance classes are the highlight of your week, even if your moves don’t precisely mirror the instructor’s. After all, looking silly is part of the fun, isn’t it? Check out these other signs you’ve reached Queenager status.

1. You cultivate situational friendships. You have your core group of girlfriends who feel like family, but you’re wise enough to know that not everyone in your circle is meant to be a confidant. Some friends are the first people you call to see a movie with or visit farmers' markets with on Saturday mornings, but you wouldn’t vent to them about work frustrations — and you're okay with that! This way, more of your needs are being met. In turn, you have more to offer more people.

2. You see the glass as half-full. You know the famous saying, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened"? Earlier in life, the loss of a relationship or a high-paying job might have brought on feelings of sadness or regret. But now you're able to see the blessings you collected along the way. Maybe through an old flame, you met a great friend you’re still close with to this day. Perhaps an unforeseen layoff created space for a more rewarding opportunity. It's all about gratitude!

3. Your crew is multigenerational. Many friendships stem from commonalities like similar hobbies or shared experiences like graduating in the same class year, but you know that age is just a number. You might be 40 and holding it down in a group of quilters in their 80s. You might dance the night away at a concert at 50 with your 20-something coworkers. You've got range, honey! Spending time with different generations nourishes you. Befriending retired neighbors may give you positive examples of aging as you see them learn to play an instrument or speak a new language. A deep conversation with your millennial buddy may yield powerful insights into social issues.

4. Your calendar is programmed with recurring events, appointments and meetups. As kids leave the nest or close friends move, maintaining a sense of community means turning new faces into familiar faces and familiar faces into friends. Think monthly book clubs (there are virtual ones, too!) or biweekly volunteering for a nonprofit you care about. Or a weekly swimming class where you see the same folks and build on those friendships. Sometimes, the most vital connections are formed in the simplest of places. According to a study published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, seniors who experienced more daily social interactions had higher levels of cognitive functioning.

5. You love getting your Wordle on. Puzzles may be great for brain health. There’s something so satisfying about guessing the five-letter word in a few attempts. Same with making progress in your jigsaw puzzle while relishing a cup of coffee. Studies show that puzzle-solving may lower your chances of developing dementia. As a mindful activity, it’s also a stress reliever.

6. You’re good with saying “no.” Women tend to be natural people-pleasers, but saying no without guilt gets easier as we mature because we value time differently. Being intentional about what we say yes to leaves room for us to do more of what brings us joy.

7. You embrace what makes you different. Your daughters, granddaughters or nieces may be obsessing over the latest TikTok beauty trends, but you're in no rush to mimic what everybody else is doing. While there’s nothing wrong with picking up a few tricks here and there from the internet to level up your brow or silk press game, you know that true beauty lies in our uniqueness.

8. You choose experiences over things. Our younger selves might have measured success by the handbags we carried or the cars we drove. Even if we can afford them now, we know that the pleasure of a girls’ trip to Ghana or a couple’s weekend away can outlast any mall haul.

9. You speak your mind. Then, we may have withheld, watered down, or twisted the truth out of fear of offending someone. Now, we know that being clear is being kind, especially when it comes from a sincere place.

10. You never say, “Back in my day..." Today is your day. So maybe you can recite all the words to Janet Jackson's "Control" like it was 1986 again and jam out to today’s biggest artists like SZA and Victoria Monét. While you won’t part with a classic LBD and timeless blazer hanging in your closet, you might also own a pair of chunky loafers and wide-leg denim jeans that your daughter would like to borrow. Sis, we’re only as old as we feel, so let’s rock on with our bad selves and know that our best days are ahead!

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