Do you revel in your radiance today, every day and with each passing birthday? You should, Sis! You are truly beautiful inside and out. In celebration of Sisters’ fifth anniversary, we brought back our Sisters Aging Beautifully contest. Over 400 Sisters readers entered and shared their age-positive attitude by answering this writing prompt:
“I feel beautiful at age______because________.”
The judges loved poring over each and every inspiring entry. Many of you also sent us photos celebrating your joie de vivre. We saw you celebrating birthdays, gathering with family, cuddling cute pets, traveling to interesting places, walking on the beach, taking care of business at work, exercising, attending church. Many of you also celebrated losing weight, sticking to healthy habits or recovering from illness. You spoke of confidence, contentment and resilience. And you honored the journey—the bitter, the sweet, the mystery, the hope, the beauty and the grace.
How are you living life like it's golden? Share what makes you feel beautiful in the comments below.
Winners were chosen based on creativity, inspiration and attitude. Choosing finalists wasn’t easy!
Meet our Sisters Aging Beautifully winners:
Mia Williams, 58
First Place Winner, $500 gift card
Mia Williams, who resides in the Baltimore/Washington DC Metro area, told our judges “I feel like I’m 30.” For this AARP member, enjoying life means “I stay active and spend time with family and friends. I look for new things to do and that make me happy. as a breast cancer survivor, I don't ever take waking another day for granted.”
Her work: “I volunteer as a board member of the Howard County Autism Society. I work as an administrator for a government contractor. The work we do is very critical.”
Our laughter is healing.
Her interests: Getting social and enjoying time alone both nourish Mia. In October, she joined former high school classmates at their 40th reunion. “We had a ball!” She says, “I enjoy meeting up with friends, and also coloring.” Mia also enjoys participating in run/walk events for breast cancer awareness sponsored by the Susan G. Komen organization.
Her self-care: We asked for the secret to her youthful glow. “Key parts of my skincare regimen are using a moisturizer with SPF daily and never sleeping in makeup,” Mia says. Adequate sleep is non-negotiable. When it comes to nutrition, she eats sensibly, staying hydrated and eliminating dairy. But she doesn’t believe in self-denial. “I allow myself snacks that I enjoy.” Mia loves walking in nature, and even enjoyed a stroll through a sunflower farm last summer.
Her healthy-aging attitude: “God's grace let me overcome breast cancer,” says Mia. Practicing her faith and spending time with other believers keeps her spirits lifted. What makes her feel great about being the age she is now? “Having my voice and not being intimidated about using it,” she answers.
Her passions: Mia cherishes her family time. She says that being a part of her two sons’ lives and showing interest in their activities keeps her mind engaged. “They [continuously] grow and change,” she says. Also, “my mother's love and support continues to nourish me even at this age. Our laughter is healing.”
Kitty Oliver, 76
Second Place Winner, $300 gift card
Kitty Oliver, who lives in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area, told Sisters, “I feel beautiful at 76 Because I finally know who I am and why I'm here. I’m enjoying every moment.” We loved her commitment to living in the present. We also love that Kitty is an AARP member (although this wasn’t a criterion in judging.)
Her work: Kitty works as a race relations oral historian, writer, and media producer. “I…use stories…to bring diverse cultures and generations together. In these divisive times, people are hungry for connections and messages of hope. Sharing stories keeps me engaged and hopeful as well.”
At 70, I became a bride for the second time after decades of single life. We met while traveling! Dreams delayed are not necessarily denied and your best can be yet to come!
Her interests: “When I turned 50, I began traveling internationally, alone, determined to confront my fears and feed my thirst for adventure. The only continent I have left to explore is Antarctica—and that will come,” says the avid Sisters reader. Kitty, also a singer and songwriter, says “music always lifts my spirits.”
Her self-care: Kitty fuels her soul with daily prayer and meditation. She adds, “I do yoga exercises regularly and enjoy massages to fine tune my body.”
Her healthy-aging attitude: "I've had careers as a journalist, university professor, and entrepreneur, learning how to pivot and shift gears when necessary. I earned a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. and found new expressions for my creativity long after I became a grandmother.”
Her passions: “At 70, I became a bride for the second time after decades of single life. We met while traveling! Dreams delayed are not necessarily denied and your best can be yet to come!”
Rev. Angela R. Hooks, 59
Third Place Winner: $200 gift card
Manchester, Connecticut resident Angela Hooks, 59, celebrates this time in her life because, as she says, “I am free to be me. Crazy. Creative. Scholarly. Whimsical.” Isn’t it wonderful when we can discover and embrace all the different facets of who we are?
Her work: As a recent graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and Oasis Ministries for Spiritual Development, Rev. Angela Hooks says “I am in the business of soul care and spiritual direction. I love this work because I integrate faith and spirituality with writing and literature.” Angela’s mission is “to help others deepen their desire for God and learn spiritual practices to sharpen their spiritual formation.”
I admit, the family genes are awesome! At 90, my grandmother could pass for 60, and at 80, my mom looks like she's 50.
Her interests: “I am a diary-keeper and currently completing a manuscript about the legacy of Black women's diary writing,” Angela says. She enjoys reading Sisters and has been an AARP member for about five years.
Her self-care: Angela takes care of her face and body from the inside-out, focusing on high-protein, plant-based meals while enjoying alcohol and dairy in moderation. For skincare, she says, “I admit, the family genes are awesome! At 90, my grandmother could pass for 60, and at 80, my mom looks like she's 50.” While she admits to breaking a few skincare rules, she exfoliates and moisturizes year-round. Regular waxing and nail appointments are a must. To keep fit, she enjoys Pilates, walking and strength training.
Her healthy-aging attitude: “I'm confident. I'm smarter than I think I am. I've learned to look in the mirror and smile. I wear natural, fuzzy, curly hair unbothered by the silver strands. I love being me and the woman I never expected to become.”
Her passions: “I talk to my adult daughters and my mother every week. I send them morning prayers by text. I'm in a virtual book club with my daughters and their friends. This is my second marriage; we're celebrating seven years in November. I simply enjoy being in partnership with someone who gets me because I am absolutely a crazy, independent rebel type of person.”
Congratulations to our Aging Beautifully winners!