10 Things Elise Neal Looks Like Today, On Her 50th (!!!) Birthday

Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for ESPN
Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for ESPN

Elise Neal turned 50 today. Pictured below are pictures of 50-year-old Elise Neal.

elise neal 2

Today is Elise Neal's birthday. Which means she was born 50 years ago.

elise neal

Here are some things that Elise Neal, who is 50 years old today, looks like.

1. The first 80 degree day of the year in Pittsburgh. (And yes, it being in Pittsburgh matters, because the way our weather situation is set up right now, the first 80 degree day of the year could very easily also be the last one.)

2. A brunch flyer with "complementary bottomless mimosas" etched somewhere on it.

3. A bag of money.

4. The first 67 seconds of "Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1" (Basically, the song up until Kanye starts rapping.)


5. Good credit. But not good credit you were born into. Good credit that came after some credit-related mistakes were made. Like, you totally got hooked by one of those credit card deals in college that came with free t-shirts and a backpack, and you used up all of your credit on CDs and Raspberry Alize, and never paid it off for years. But now, 15 years later, your credit can finally be considered "good" and not "good for a crackhead."

6. Being a person past a certain thigh/ass-size level, and finding stylish pants that actually fit.


7. Black America the night Barack Obama was elected president. (Seriously. "Lit" isn't lit enough of a word to describe how lit Black America was that night.)

8. The perfect pancake.

9. Church. And not church itself. But a reason to go there.

10. A great-looking 50-year-old Black woman. And no, not every great-looking 50-year-old Black woman is going to look like Elise Neal. But it's a bit of a backhanded compliment when some picture of some amazing-looking Black woman who happens to be middle-aged goes viral and it's said that she looks half her age. The implication being that it's unnatural, that a 50-year-old Black woman can't look like that. When there's centuries worth of evidence that they can and, sometimes, do. It's the age version of "shes pretty for a darkskinned girl."


If you're Black and you're reading this, I'm sure you can name a few 40 to 80-year-old women you personally know whose very existence is an advertisement for BlackDon'tCrack. Like that shit is sold in drugstores or something. Right next to Just For Me and Tyra's vaseline.

Elise Neal aint 25, and she don't look it. She's Black, so she just aint cracked.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



I like Elise Neal. But here's a few more for the list:
1) She looks like she never had a baby.
2) She looks like she's never been married, babies AND husbands add at least 15 pounds.
3) She looks like she'll regret those implants when mammogram time comes. Note: Hopefully she got her baseline BEFORE the implants.

PS- In other words, it's FAR easier to look like this when you haven't pushed anyone out of your v jay jay and no one regularly goes in either.

PSS- I'm almost 50, 5'8" and 145lbs. So no, I'm NOT hatin'/jealous/ect. Nor do I have implants.;) But I power walk/run AND watch what I eat.

PSS_ EVERY Black woman (save for those incapacitated/seriously ill) can look like this (within reason) at 50. Just like we used to ALL THE TIME back in the day.