Happy birthday to me!

It’s my 49th birthday today (I know, I know. Hold your applause.), and I couldn’t think of a better occasion to discuss the topic of ageism.


Ageism is everywhere. We live in a culture that is obsessed with youth and looking young, as if the natural process of aging—a process that everyone goes through—is something to be ashamed of.

Products are specifically marketed and targeted at women over 40 to make us feel bad about our skin, laugh lines, “crow’s feet” and any other physical changes to our face, skin and bodies.


In the workplace, we can at times be treated as relics, as if we don’t have anything of value to add to the conversation.

People would have you think we have outlived our usefulness. Well, I have news for you: We haven’t.

Women over 40 are here. We are loud. We are proud. We are doing more and accepting less bullshit in our lives.

We know our value and our worth, and we aren’t accepting anything less, and why should we?


We aren’t new to this; we are true to this.

As always, I want to hear from you, so if you have questions, comments, or concerns, if you need advice, or if you have a topic you think auntie should discuss, hit me up at AuntieSubmissions@theroot.com.

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.

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Vanessa Futrell

Dear Monique,

I was blessed to have grown up at my great-grandmother’s knees. She was the matriarch of our family and when Momma spoke everyone (including her grown 6' tall sons). She was the wisest, strongest, and the most nurturing person that I have ever known. Everything that I am today and all of the things that I’ve accomplished in my life came directly from her. I do not view older people as less than...I see them as more than. I am disgusted by the way that the American culture treats our elders. I say this to the “young folks”: “Just you wait... because ya’ll are gonna grow old one day and then Karma is going to kick you in the ass”.

This comes with my best wishes for a very Happy Birthday!

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