Aging is inevitable — but you wouldn’t know it from the way we live our lives. Whether it’s the increasing difficulty to land a new job if your over 50, social isolation due to mobility needs not being addressed in policies, or, yes, even the way that skincare ads sell us facial creams to keep us young forever, the message is loud and clear: when it comes to aging, don’t do it.

The apprehension towards getting older has long been the default cultural attitude, so much so it’s embedded in our social norms and language, as well as our systems and policies. But fighting ageism is beneficial for us all. We all deserve to thrive at any age, and that requires a world that supports us at any age. When it comes to thriving, there really is no such thing as past our prime: the growing number of pro-aging social media influencers over 50 are proving it. These influencers are living their best lives: creating community, connecting with younger generations, learning ever changing social media trends and technology, figuring out how to be authentic, and finding new meaning and purpose in life.

We spoke with five micro-influencers about what their social media journeys have been like and what it means to thrive. While every story was unique and personal, a common sentiment was shared by each influencer – when it comes to aging, do it your way.



She’s modern, she’s classic, she’s silver, she’s dynamic

Offline, she’s an educator, mother, wife, and caregiver, and online she’s a model, brand ambassador, and proud silver sister – a movement of women ditching hair dye for good. In every aspect of her life, she is vibrant, positive, and 100% herself, and that’s what she wants for all her followers.

1.  What does it mean to thrive? How does social media — from the connections you’ve made, to the way it empowers you to tell your story — help you do that?

Thriving to me, means being healthy. My husband is a stroke survivor, so watching his journey and being his caregiver has inspired me to be fit and healthy. I get inspired when I see someone working out and sharing their health journey online. Of course, I’m strategic with how I engage with social media, because there is a lot of garbage out there. I’ve been lucky that most of my interactions online have been positive, and I am very interactive with my audience. I think I protect myself because I am 100% me, and everything I put out is done with positivity and a mindset of growth. I think thriving is also continuing to grow and being able to be your true self. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d meet a worldwide audience. It’s changed the way I tell my story and helped me stop hiding behind a bottle of dye. I’m more transparent. What you see is what you get.

2. How has social media allowed you to connect with people outside of your generation?

My daughter runs my page, and my following is very cross generational – I have followers from 28 – 49. I also get a lot of positive feedback from my students and their families. It’s nice to feel that genuine love and knowing you can relate to all kinds of people in some way shape or form. The people who comment and respond are cross-generational, they’re from all over the world and it’s inspiring to me that others were finding value in what I’m saying and posting about my journey transitioning into silver hair – the good days, the bad days. I think that’s been the way I’ve been able to meet people at all levels and generations and have a common bond – because everyone is going through something, everyone is transitioning. It could be going from one stage of life to another.

3. What have you learned using social media?

We have more in common and we are more alike than we are different. I’ve connected with women in England, Ghana, Spain, and it’s so refreshing to talk with other people who just get it – that we’re unapologetically moving forward with this mid-life fabulousness. I’m enjoying this stage of my life now. I have more confidence now – I’ve always been confident, but this journey has opened a whole new level of security in myself. Transitioning from hiding my silver hair to embracing it has been an overall positive experience for me. I’ve chosen to make it a positive journey, and when others see that and reach out and respond to this positivity, it’s very validating. The fact that others are recognizing that I’m enjoying this stage, changes things. It’s not, oh, boo, I’m 50, I’m 52. It’s, hey, I’m 54, I’m loving this! I’m looking forward to double nickels next year! We’re not our grandmothers and mothers 50s anymore.

4. What does it mean to you to see other people like you on social media?

It gave me a roadmap. When I first got on Instagram, at the persistence of my daughter in 2021, I was just on the platform looking. I would follow ladies who were transitioning from dyed hair into this fabulous silver hair, and they were so vibrant, fashionable, active, and it made me realize – that’s me! But I had been covering up my silver hair my entire life. Seeing these women on Instagram, doing all these wonderful things and flaunting their silver hair, and then reading the comments that were so positive and celebratory, made me see that people really don’t care about these “old-age” stereotypes. So, seeing other women like me, gave me the courage to put myself out there.



Style icon and proud law school dropout

His fashion sense is obvious and is only enhanced by the meticulously well-kept silver beard he proudly rocks. He’s acting his age by doing exactly what he wants and living up to the value he knows he brings to the table. He posts with positivity, responsibility, and authenticity.

1.  What does it mean to thrive? How does social media — from the connections you’ve made, to the way it empowers you to tell your story — help you do that?

I believe that to thrive is to live, not just exist, but live. I am 52 and I realize that I am no longer a young man chronologically, however I have not let my age stand in the way of how I present myself and how I live. I wear what I want, I listen to what I want, and I like what I like. When you get to a certain age, some people feel like you must change to “fit” that period in your life, in other words, “act your age”. Sure ok, act your age, embrace it and understand that you are blessed each year that you get to advance to another year, but enjoy all of it. I can be a grandfather and still wear my Air Jordan’s. I can have gray hair and still wear a snapback hat. I will continue to live my best life. Social media has also allowed me to realize that there is still plenty of value left in me. Last year, I was able to connect with a group of men, 40 and above, who are committed to presenting the image of older men as a positive thing. We have used our social media platforms to create and tell our story as mature men. We are intent on showcasing our style, our creativity and our brotherhood with each image we place on social media. We wanted to show older men (and everyone else) that it’s okay to showcase yourself (and your gray hair). This isn’t just a young person’s game; we can also have a major presence on social media.

2. How has social media allowed you to connect with people outside of your generation?

Social media has opened a door that I don’t believe would have been opened for someone my age 20-25 years ago. Social media has allowed me to walk through an open door and connect with younger people. Most questions that I receive come from younger men who look to me as the “OG”. I have young men who regularly ask me questions regarding my clothes, my beard and even my skin. They all want to know about my style and regularly ask for grooming tips. I don’t believe that the opportunity to impact young men would be as dramatic or available if it wasn’t for social media. Having the ability to be seen by people all over the world has been tremendous and to be questioned and respected by so many people outside of my generation has again allowed me to truly understand that age doesn’t stop anything.  

3. What have you learned using social media?

Social media has forced me to be that much more in tune with technology and certain technological trends. Being an online content creator, I now utilize content creator tools that keep me up to date with social media trends. Social media is a powerful tool that you must be responsible with. I am very careful about the images that I post on any of my social media platforms as I understand what kind of impact it can have on others, as well as myself. Social media creates so many opportunities to create and tell your story. I have learned that social media is where people come to entertain themselves, educate themselves, to meet others with the same interests and find opportunities to hopefully change their lives. Social media has personally allowed me to understand my value to people and companies alike as a 50 plus year old man.  

4. What does it mean to you to see other people like you on social media?

I love it! It’s really comforting to see other men and women in my age group crushing it on social media.  It gives me that much more confidence in what I do with my social media pages. I find so much inspiration to continue to do what I am doing from others who look like me on these social media platforms. I love to see my vibrant gray-haired brothers and sisters leading the pack and creating a vibrant narrative of what it is like to be of advanced age. Going forward, I hope that I continue to see exponential growth of those who look like me on social media.



Positively aging and positively radiant

With her passion for skincare and encouraging women to embrace all that comes with aging, Debbie has built an impressive following, and partners with a variety of brands focused on health and beauty. Her posts are full of words of wisdom and accompany photos of her infectious smile.

1. What does it mean to thrive, how does social media from the connections you have made, to the way it empowers you tell your story help you do that?

Thriving to me is living free of the expectation of what society thinks you should look and act like. On social media I have found a wonderful community known as the Silver Sisters, amazing women of all ages growing out their gray/silver hair. Because of their strength, determination, and inspiration they gave me the courage to share a bit of my life and my journey with aging and gray hair. It gives me the opportunity to hopefully inspire and encourage others to redefine what beauty means.

2. How has social media allowed you to connect with people outside your generation?

I have found pro-aging and gray hair transcends many generations. Because we are changing society’s narrative on gray hair, this allowed the younger generation to feel more comfortable enough to let them grow out their natural hair. I have made a lot of connections with women in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s who now have gray/silver hair or who are transitioning. Positive aging lets the younger generations know that aging is not something to fear but look forward to, and that it is okay to look older because we are older!

3. What have you learned using social media?

I have learned I need to use reading glasses 100% of the time, and that I sure could use a tutor!

Social media allows you to inspire and be inspired. It is more than just squares on a screen, you can make meaningful connections and friendships all over the world. It could open doors and give you opportunities that you never thought existed.

4. What does it mean to you to see other people like you on social media?

I love it! I learn from them every single day. It bands us together. In our community there is no competition, only women supporting women and lifting each other up. Everyone has value and contributes something. There is room for everyone!



Queen of Reinvention

Making happiness a priority is this stylish model & actors’ philosophy. She deems herself the ‘Queen of Reinvention’ because she will embrace or forge change if it means staying happy, from working in corporate America, to becoming an educator, to opening her own sewing school to becoming a model and actor.

1. What does it mean to thrive, how does social media from the connections you have made, to the way it empowers you tell your story help you do that?

At 62, thriving means that I’m not allowing my age to stop me from doing things. I mention my age because sometimes people think that being over 60 means your life is over, and I guess when you’re young you might think that. But, honestly, 60 is when it really starts. It’s when you have more time to do the things you want to do. I’m getting to do things that I didn’t get to do when I was younger, because I was raising my family. Now my kids are grown, and I’m submitting self-tape auditions just about every week! I think thriving also means getting to be whatever you want to be. I don’t think you should limit yourself because of your age. Being on social media has allowed me to connect with other women who feel the same. If there are those who don’t feel that way, hopefully we will inspire them. They’ll see that we’re out here doing what we want to do, and one of those things is letting your hair be silver. You don’t have to dye your hair to be beautiful. That’s a societal norm. Are we really going to keep telling that lie?

2. How has social media allowed you to connect with people outside your generation?

Mostly through fashion. The majority of my content is fashion related and that’s one of the ways I’ve connected with younger followers. Fashion has no age. No matter how old you are, if you have style, you have style. Another way I connect with other generations is I also try to be very positive about life itself and about aging. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to be happy at any age. I call myself the “queen of reinvention” because I’ve had many different jobs and I am not afraid of change. I have changed careers to be happy. I’ve learned that my happiness is more important than money.

3. What have you learned using social media?

There are so many things I had to learn to use Instagram and I’m still learning! I’ve learned I can share about my life, style, and hair, and journey, and there’s value in that. Unfortunately, all this learning is very time consuming and I started wondering if it was bringing me happiness. That’s why I took a break to reassess, and also to focus more on acting and auditioning.  But I can’t leave Instagram completely- I’ve made friends with so many amazing and supportive women within and outside the Silver Sister Community. I call them my IG friends! It’s a wonderful community and I love being a part of it.

4. What does it mean to you to see other people like you on social media?

It’s important because these are real people. It’s important for people to see what people really look like at certain ages. That breaks down that lie that you’re going to look a certain way when you reach 60 or 50. I don’t know what the number is when people consider you old anymore! I’m 62 and I still don’t think I’m old. My husband and I don’t feel old. We’re still active – we ride our bikes and play with our grandkids. We’re not the image of old people that’s out there. My grandson was watching a cartoon on YouTube, and the grandparents in the cartoon were portrayed as feeble and hunched over, and I was offended. We’re teaching kids that this is what grandparents look like, and that’s not necessarily true.

These influencers are combating ageism for themselves and their followers, forging an online landscape that celebrates aging authentically and welcomes all. While social media can be a negative space, reflecting and magnifying all your deepest insecurities, the pro-age pocket of Instagram is projecting positivity, turning societal insecurities on their heads. This on its own is demonstrative of why age diversity is important. We lose a wealth of experience and perspective when older generations are forced out of spaces, due to a lack of support. Influencers like these have fortunately found a way to support themselves, igniting new passions, learning new skills, and building new networks using social media.

But social media is not for everyone and thriving means something different for every individual. What about those who want to continue living the lives they’ve built, taking on new skills at work, finding new companies or new positions to apply their experience in, strengthening ties in their own community, and advancing the passions they’ve always had? For most people, it would take changes in company policies, boosts in protections from the government, investments in programs that encourage lifelong learning and engagement, and better access to healthcare, as outlined by the National Academy of Medicine in their Global Roadmap to Health Longevity. Aging is inevitable: let’s make it venerable and equitable.

Further reading:

Scaling for Impact: Community Health as a Blueprint for a Just Future

An Equitable Vision for Healthy Longevity as the Backbone of a Just Future