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STEVIE NICKS Photograph @Brenda Coffee, 2019

Last month on Instagram, Stevie Nicks posted a video of herself walking toward the edge of the stage in a sold-out stadium full of cheering fans in Columbus, Ohio. She’s the same beautiful, flaxen-haired woman with the unique voice and flowing skirts we’ve known since 1975 when she joined Fleetwood Mac and helped them become one of the best-selling bands of all time. In the comments section, Reese Witherspoon said, “Look at all that LOVE💗,” referring to the reaction of Stevie’s fans. However, Witherspoon’s comment was followed by many from women over 50 who criticized Nicks with things like, “Her gate is that of an elderly woman,” and “She should get off the stage.” Let me count the ways these comments angered me.

Why are women so mean to one another, even toward women they know and supposedly love?

I think I’ve told you that in 2019, the year before Covid, I attended 13 major concerts in many different cities, sometimes walking almost a mile to the venue. When I arrived, I would stand the whole time and cheer and sing in the audience for two to three hours, then walk back—once a mile uphill in the pouring rain. Going to a concert can be exhausting. I can only imagine what it’s like to be the performer on stage, night after night. 

Cher, Photograph @Brenda Coffee, 2019

As Cher laughingly said when I saw her that year, she was 73 at the time, “What’s your grannie doing tonight?” Her point wasn’t lost on any of us. She was still out there, rocking it, and she looked fabulous. I’d like to think all of us over 50 were inspired to make the most of this next chapter of our lives, and that we’ll refuse to be put out to pasture by a bunch of jealous haters with nothing better to do.

Diana Ross, Photograph @Brenda Coffee, 2019

The amazing women I saw in 2019 are now four years older: Cher is 77, Stevie Nicks, 75, Patti LaBelle and Diana Ross are both 79, and they’re all examples of women who are continuing to live their best lives, doing something they love. We should all be so blessed. What part of that do mean girls over 50 not understand? What gives anyone—especially women of a certain age—the right to judge another woman? We know nothing of their problems, physical or otherwise, or the courage it took for them to show up.

🎼“But time makes you bolder. Even children get older. And I’m getting older, too.”🎵

Lionel Richie, Photograph @Brenda Coffee, 2019

Yes, we live in a youth-obsessed culture, but why is it alright for Paul McCartney, 81, Mick Jagger, 80, Lionel Richie, 74, and Clint Eastwood, 93, who’s currently directing a film, Juror #2, to still be out there doing their thing, but it’s not okay for their female counterparts? And let’s not forget Tony Bennet who, at 95, sang with Lady Gaga on stage at Radio City Music Hall. 

To my dying day, I will be a rock n’ roll chick and a film buff, and I make no apologies to those who don’t share my enthusiasm. But, let’s have a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T for these women and remember we recently lost three of the greats: Aretha, Tina and Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie. All of us, regardless of whether we’re famous or not, are the same women who, for the last 50 years, have fought for a seat at the table. We were supposed to change the world, but instead, some of us are continuing to tear one another down.

Every day let’s look for ways to link arms and support one another. Let’s keep moving forward and challenging ourselves because statistics say women over 50 who don’t have a purpose will age and die faster than our counterparts who are seizing life by the handfuls.

And to Stevie Nicks: You inspire me, sweet lady, more than you know. You’re the one I walked a mile in the rain to see when I was 69.

To the women who play tennis, pickleball, and golf, to the ones who work a nine-to-five job, write books, paint, design, blog, rescue animals and pet sit, rodeo, write songs, care for a loved one, run a big company or are growing a small business, teach yoga, volunteer, are involved in their church, or are dealing with their own diagnosis of cancer, heart failure, MS, and Parkinson’s Disease: BRAVA GIRLFRIENDS! You inspire me. Keep making life count because you make all of us stronger.

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Hi Girlfriends,

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Here you will get a glimpse into the lives of other women, learn how they handled things life put in their path like divorce, the death of a spouse, serious health issues, low self-esteem, addiction and how to reinvent yourself after a major life change. You will find like-minded women and relevant conversations about finances, fashion, sex, books, music, films and food. We feature interviews with inspiring women along with straight-talk and bold conversations to reawaken your passions and make life count.

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89 thoughts on “MEAN GIRLS OVER 50”

  1. Thank you. So true! And so sad. Everyone of any age should look up and say “way to go” hope I can be like her when I’m 72,78,80 etc.
    I’m 74 and still ambitious, excited, dancing, and looking forward.
    Big hugs

    • Hear, Hear! Well said and I agree. I’m 74 and volunteering at my neighborhood school, and I’m playing flute in a concert band. I think it’s awesome all the women you highlighted are still performing on stage and I admire them. I think they look and sound great.

      • I love hearing this, Leigh. You’re grabbing life by the handful. It’s what I hope all of us will find ways to do. Thanks for inspiring us! Brenda

    • We all need to take a lesson from you, Vaughan. I’m thrilled to hear you have this outlook on life. Big hugs back, Brenda

  2. Absolutely loved this blog post, Brenda! Thanks for putting a spotlight on how women need to continue to live their best lives in spite of the haters.

    • I’m happy it resonated with you, Carolyn. I think the hardest part is finding those things that interest us and bring us joy. xoxox, Brenda

  3. A very powerful letter to us all. We all age in different ways and at different stages , applaud those who keep positive and extend themselves to be a voice to be heard. All of our bodies, get sore and muscles don’t work as we wish. Exercising isn’t easy but what is the alternative to the positivity of doing our best ?! Bravo to all who carry on regardless xxxx

    • Beautifully said, Jo. If we don’t find the joys at the stage of life we’re in I fear great hopelessness and depression sets in, but there are those of us “who carry on regardless.” I can only hope they find their joy. xoxox, Brenda

  4. Yay!! I loved this blog or email or what ever I get from you!! Go girl!! I totally admire anyone of our older age getting up on a stage and performing like that!! I’m 73 and yep, there have been some health blips but I plan to keep on going!! I’m a painter and I show up in that studio everyday that I can and I’m so glad I have that and want to be there! I’m active in various galleries and love it! My husband asked me, who is basically an invalid, what I would do if I didn’t have that! I told him I’d find something else! I’ve never been bored in my life and don’t plan to be! I do think it’s just a mind set with some people!! Who knows, maybe they’re born with it!! My sister is 71 and is a dynamo!
    Thanks Brenda! Your emails are always a delight!!

    • Yes, Janet! You’ve found what brings you joy and love and you’ve built part of your life around it. Like you, I’m never bored and that quality may be a mindset since childhood with a dash of curiosity mixed in. BTW, For the last 15 minutes I’ve immersed myself on your website, looking at your beautiful, thought provoking work. I think we have a mutual admiration society, because YOU are the delight!! xoxox, Brenda

    • Oh Janet I just looked up your website! I am just beginning my artist journey (taking a watercolor class now) and signed up for your email list. Just stunning and inspiring!

  5. Thank you for this. We are out there and we are thriving. Always stay curious. And when you are in the kitchen cooking a (healthy) meal turn up the music and dance. Life is wonderful.

    • What a great suggestion, Deborah, and one I’ve taken to heart for decades. More often than not, there’s music playing while I cook. Life IS wonderful, and don’t let it pass us by. xoxox, Brenda

  6. YES, why do some of us denigrate other women?
    We are supposed to help one another while we travel this road called’life’.
    Let’s all take to heart Brenda’s words and learn to value each person who comes into our lives.
    Thank you for reminding us of our duty and privilege to honor all God’s humans.

    • Hi Gloria, I wish I knew the answer to that question, but I think it stems from a lack of self-esteem. We feel bad about ourselves and our life and so in some perverse way, it makes us feel better to denigrate another woman who’s out there enjoying her life. Sad, don’t you think? Love your comment. Thank you, Brenda

    • Catherine, Yes, to supporting one another again and again and to not forgetting lifting up another woman lifts us up as well. Thank you, Brenda

  7. All those snotty women are just JEALOUS. I’m 69, a redhead, clothes horse whose best friend is still a man magnet at 72. She told me I’m the only women who’s never been jealous of her. Why would I be? She’s always surrounded by great guys! Those jealous women don’t know how to live! Get a life! You go girl!

  8. What a wonderful post! Thank you Brenda for all the relevant topics. Women can be quite jealous of others. I have been the recipient of that for years and it’s causing me much suffering to this day. Mean-spirited women! We can be sometimes envious of someone’s great looks or accomplishments but here I am talking about MEAN. No need for it but I try to understand what ‘s behind the meanness. Women who feel unfulfilled tend to be mean and take it out on others and then there’s the patriarchal society who keeps telling us that we’re not enough and therefore we tear others down to try to build ourselves up. Very sad, indeed. Thank you Brenda for your wonderful blog and keep on rocking!! xx

    • Yvonne, I’ve been in one of those mean, jealous relationships with a woman who’s supposed to have been my friend since we were in high school. She often spends the afternoon giving me “wish you were dead” daggers. I’ve chosen to ignore them because I think it speaks volumes about how she feels about herself, not me. Breaks my heart, and I sometimes wonder why I’m still in this friendship, so I get it. xoxox, Brenda

  9. Excellent, excellent post! Agree with every word! Women who lash out and try to tear other women down are unhappy with themselves. Really sad.

  10. Hi Brenda. Mean girls are jealous of the achievements of women like Stevie Nicks. I feel empowered by her and other attractive, talented and active women.

    • You’re right, Colleen. I’m drawn to strong, active women with a zest for life. Hopefully the sad mean girls are a tiny minority, but I’m aware of them everywhere, so I’m not sure. xoxox, Brenda

  11. Wonderful expression of the truth❣️ it’s so unfortunate that our society today has made being critical and mean of any generation a pass time.

    • Colleen, Social media has made it easy for people to be relatively anonymous haters. Personally, I’d rather they tried therapy. Thank you, Brenda

  12. Brava Brenda! Let’s wake up every day with a new song in our hearts and take on the day as it presents itself – in a positive and passionate way!

    • Love that idea, Bonnie! I have an app on my phone that reminds me when it’s time to gear down to go to sleep. It softly plays a few bars of a lullaby. I wonder if there’s an app that reminds us to find the joy and good in our day? xoxox, Brenda

  13. Oh Brenda! This is why we love you! You’re a champion of women and you’ve been down the hard roads and you’re still here!!! Better than ever! Thank you for this post. You make me feel like I”m seen! Xo, Barb

    • Oh, Barb! I appreciate you and your sweet words. We’ve all had tough times, but the thing that counts is how we choose to come out of them and move forward. Reminds me I need to interview my adorable friend with Parkinson’s who’s still grabbing BIG fistfuls of life, she doesn’t have enough places to put them. An inspiration to us all. xoxox, Brenda

  14. Time has its way with all of us! I foolishly thought I could outrun it in my thirties and forties if I just kept exercising! Now my hip is cranky, and my gait is a bit altered as well. Life is a gift made even sweeter by kindness and compassion towards one another ❤️

    • LOL! Love your comment, Cynthia! There are a lot of us who’ve done the same thing, but regardless of the cranky hip… love that… or whatever has befallen us, we’re still here. I’d like to think we’re the ones who’ve been made sweeter because we have empathy for one another. Thank you. xoxox, Brenda

    • You’re welcome, Claudette! Just a reminder in hopes I may reach even one mean girl. xoxox, Brenda

  15. When I hit another birthday and have friends that moan and groan about yet another birthday, I always remind them of how lucky we are to be able to celebrate another one! I truly mean it not just empty words…. I have some health issues like most people, but still very thankful to be able to go on with my day like I want to.

    • Exactly! The alternative is either we’re no longer alive, or we’re slipping down the rabbit hole of complaints and self-pity. Not the kind of day most of us want to have. Thank you, sweet lady! xoxox, Brenda

  16. Woohoo to women (and men) staying active and creative til the day they meet their maker!! And bleh to those who denigrate them – if they can still sell tickets, art, etc kudos … didn’t your mother ever tell you “If you don’t have something nice to say – zip it”

    I do draw the line with older folks hanging on to power when they are obviously past their prime. Lives are at stake when unwise decisions are made, so humility is crucial and surrounding yourself with wise people who will have the courage to say “it’s time to move on to other things”

    • Susan, Unfortunately, the “wise ones” around people of power often don’t want to let go of the golden rope. They’ve gotten used to the perks of the perch and have sold out. Thank you for reading and leaving me a comment, Brenda

  17. So well said, Brenda!! As I scrolled through Instagram this morning I came across a post of Pamela Anderson at PFW make up free and I was shocked to read some rude back and forths between some readers. We need to shine a light on one another and not throw shade. Love your concert line up btw. I also love concerts

    • Hi Vicki! Great to see you here. I thought Pamela looked beautiful. Don’t you know it took guts to do that. Here’s to concerts and rock n’ roll chicks! xoxox, Brenda

  18. Bravo, girlfriend! Women over 50 can live out loud with no apologies. We are strong, add value to the world, and every day we see the glass ALL full with more power than ever!!! Kudos to beautiful you, Brenda!! Thanks for writing this important post. ❤️❤️

    • Hi Brenda.,
      I’m so with you in everything you had to say. You are so “right on” in your observations and comments. Being an entertainer is not easy, in fact it’s a difficult job. Living on the road, keeping healthy and having a positive mind set day in and day out requires more than a positive mind set.
      Brenda, you have rocked out with some of the greatest artists of our times. Stevie Nicks will always be a stand out. Love ❤️ love her style and the way she dresses.

      WOW, you are a rock and roll lady and what you did to get to see Stevie a Nicks was a special story to tell.
      I always refer back to what Mother Theresa said, “judging people takes away time from
      loving them.” It’s too bad some women can be so mean. What a waste of positive energy.
      I so enjoyed what you had to say on this topic.
      You are a special lady. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      • Hello Katherine! Thanks for your wonderful comment, especially the quote from Mother Theresa. “Judging people takes away time from loving them.” Makes you think twice. If Covid… and my bad asthma… hadn’t interfered, I’d still be going to concerts all over the place. I’ve started looking for some that excite me, so we’ll see. Thank you, again. xoxox, Brenda

    • And thank you for being one of the courageous women who keep moving forward and living your life even though you’ve been dealt some bad hands. I admire you tremendously, Cathy! Love, Brenda

  19. Love you for this, Brenda. Whether it’s amazing female performers out there crushing it or amazing friends doing great things in the world, why are we still dealing with mean girls in our 60’s. I recently had mean girl beat down by a woman I considered a friend … I’m still reeling and wondering how we can get to this point in our lives and still find satisfaction in diminishing others. By the way, loved all these shows too and look forward to many more. Keep rocking! xo

    • Juliet, Hello my friend! I think the mean girls in the world now have a wider audience that fuels their mean spiritedness and it’s social media. They can leave relatively anonymous comments that temporarily make them feel better, but it may be turning them into monsters. It especially hurts when the mean girl beat down comes from a friend. I understand all too well. The only thing we can do is to let it go and keep shining our light. I love what you’re doing! xoxox, Brenda

    • BTW, Love your design sense, and yes, see you at the next concert! Thanks for reading and leaving me a note. xoxox, Brenda

  20. Glowingly said Brenda. I once read a sign of maturity was watching and admiring a talented person without wishing you were them. I say, wishing you were them certainly beats out jealousy and condescending judgment when you haven’t even tried on their shoes. To all of us who have used hair brushes singing to Stevie Nicks, I salute you.

    • Orinda! Oh, if only we all had the ability to do that. You know I have lots of crushes on men and women, but I don’t want to necessarily meet them or try on their shoes. I’m happy to admire from afar and be inspired. Here’s to all the hairbrush choirs!! Beautifully said! Love, Brenda

  21. Thanks for this post, Brenda. Ageism still exists but it’s horrible when it comes from other women. All I see are strong survivors who are living their purpose, reinventing themselves and thriving as they get older.

    • Yes! Us included. I sometimes catch up with you on social media, so I know you’ve had great ups and down, but you’re still out there!!! I love that about you, Rebecca! xoxox, Brenda

    • Thank you, Hilda! You’ve just supported me by reading and leaving me a comment. How nice! Has the weather gotten cold in your part of the world yet? xoxox, Brenda

  22. What a timely blog, and so needed for these mean times were in… at 79 I’m a professional artist showing my art in 2 galleries, a producer in my community theater, a wife and grandmother to 6, surrounded by many friends scattered all over this country, and so much of this life of mine is so very rewarding….except for a Fall production I’m producing. What a nightmare!!…. All the male characters are fantastic, respectful, very vested in the performance…. 80% of the female cast members are just horrible divas, treating one another like monsters, all being terrible members of the cast both to me and each other…aaaarrrrggggh, what a disappointment to see 60+ senior women behaving like spoiled brat “mean girls” …. What on earth has happened to women growing older with grace and charm???

    • I agree with Sandra. I went on a cruise this year with a group of women, 50-70, I didn’t really know and with not much provocation, they became bitchy divas who turned on a couple of the women in the group. This hostility seemed to come out of nowhere and most of the women fell into lockstep with the monsters. I felt like I missed something because it didn’t make any sense but like everything else these days, if you’re not part of the new crowd and the new beliefs, you’re afraid to open your mouth and question things. I don’t get it. What’s happened to people? Can’t we meet on the common grounds of civility and politeness, even if we don’t agree on politics etc? It was sad and disappointing.

      • I hate to hear this, Jean. So many women of a certain age don’t have anyone to travel with so a group trip or a cruise sounds like the way to go. But this gives cause to rethink that idea. Don’t give up! xoxox, Brenda

    • Sandra, What the flip is wrong with 60+ women today? Perhaps it’s an unknown side effect of Covid. I don’t know, but I had a run in with this phenomenon as well and I’m still shocked. BTW, I’ve been on your website and love your paintings! So talented and to wake each morning and see gators sunning themselves on the bank! xoxox, Brenda

  23. No further words are needed ladies – you have said them all. Cheers Brenda. I am 68, had a full career and am now starting a small business out of a passion for art and craft! Not stopping soon!

    • Brava, Teresa, or is it Teresa Ann? You’ve found something in a different field that you’re passionate about enough to turn it into a business. Well done!! I wish you great success, Brenda

  24. Thank you for speaking out Brenda. I wrote a blog post many years ago about my realizing I was becoming invisible. I was in my 50’s at the time & it was like experiencing a slow death. What you wrote is the truth, we women are brutal to each other & can we change this? Lately I have been torn about fashion posts questioning ‘would you wear this over 60+? I know it’s to start a conversation but it’s also in my opinion another reminder that at this advanced age we have to constantly discuss the right & perhaps the wrong way to dress. It seems like a fine line. Perhaps I’m sensitive at that number as I inch towards 70? I love that you are forever the rocker chick!

    • Deborah, When we were younger, we never thought other women would continue to act juvenile and turn on us or that we’d be pressured about what we wore. FYI, I still wear black leather pants, especially to rock concerts, with long necklaces and fur scarves and will continue to do so as long as the scarves don’t get in the way of my walker… Hopefully I won’t have a walker, but you never know! Here’s to “Oysters & Drugs!” Only you will understand this! Happy week in NOLA! I’ll let you know the next time I’m coming your way. xoxox, Brenda

  25. This is a fantastic tribute to ALL women who keep going, doing what they love & where age is just number!! I cannot fathom not doing my animal rescue volunteering ~ helping the helpless & giving voice to the voiceless (other than barking & purring!!) is my heart. You know me & know me well, Brenda. Going back the decades we do, it’s my honor to know you are my friend.

    • I LOVE you, sweet lady! Thanks for stopping by! I had you in mind when I listed some of the jobs in the last paragraph. I’ve stood on the sidelines and admired you as you’ve worked tirelessly for those who need help. You inspire me! xoxox, Brenda

  26. Hi there
    Great blog and feedback from so many woman.
    I’m so fortunate as I work at a theatre = live entertainment – and get to work a lot of rock shows! Don’t ask me why but I’m so excited about turning 75 this December! Oh yes I’m make up free – wear only lipstick.
    Remembering Tina – I saw her in concert 15-20 years ago – she was non stop on stage. It was so funny on the skytrain home – people were exhausted from attending the concert.
    Here’s to enjoying life – each day offers us so many hours to fill with enjoyment! It’s our choice to choose and enjoy.

    • Rosemarie! I adore the comment you left me! You’re upbeat and positive about everything! You must be a joy to be around. Lucky you, working at a theatre. I have a friend who does that here, and he gets to see them all. I saw Tina Turner in the early 90s, strutting her stuff in a silver chain mail dress and high heels, sweat pouring from her like she was connected to a faucet. She was an amazing woman, leaving the abusive Ike Turner and beginning again on her own. When you get to know a little bit about any one of these older rock star women you realize how inspiring they are! And you, as well. “It’s our choice to choose and enjoy!” You’re so right. Please come see me again, Rosemarie! xoxox, Brenda

  27. This is such a great post! Thank you for calling out the jealous women (who really need to take the time to work on their self esteem!). I am 53 and look toward the warrior women in my life and the world who have walked the path of life before me for inspiration and strength. Life is not easy (I am a mental health counselor and hear the stories of pain from “behind the curtain”), and I look at EVERY woman and see the strength that we all have for making it this far in life. I have always loved Stevie’s music and individuality. And Brenda, I am truly grateful for your platform and words of wisdom. I love your honesty and authenticity! One day I hope to join one of your trips!

    • You’re a love, Stacia! I so appreciate your comment. I don’t know you, but if you’re a mental health counselor, I know you’re a strong woman with a huge heart. How do you listen to the pain of others day after day, and how do you reset your heart, mind, and soul? I’d really like to know. xoxox, Brenda

      • I am 57 and look up to all these women you have talked about. I hate that society imposes limits and biases upon women as they age. Whenever I find myself asking whether I am “too old” to follow my intuition or passion and try something new, I am grateful to k on women like you who are leading the way!

        • Thank you, Joan! I’m going to say we’re never too old. The world needs to hear from us, so follow your intuition and your passions and absolutely try something new. xoxox, Brenda

  28. Why? Why are there so many nasty women in this word spitting vitriol at other women? Were they always this way? Are they unhappy with their life?Why when someone is doing their thing, enjoying their life do these easy people share their even nastier opinions?
    The world is so full of unhappy people that want torahs to be unhappy.
    People, lets offer some grace and lift one another up.
    Thank you for sharing Brenda.

    • I agree with you Elizabeth. I suspect these women have always been with us. Fortunately, they don’t always pop up on our radar, but they’re out there, somewhere, being nasty to other women. I feel for them because somewhere in their past, I suspect someone did that to them. Perhaps their mother. Sad. Thanks for reading and leaving me a note. Love seeing you here! xoxox, Brenda

    • Awe… Thank you, Kathleen! And you are the opposite of the mean girls. Blessings, sweet lady! xoxox, Brenda

    • Yes, Leisa. I think you’re right, but isn’t it sad they make such public comments to feel better about themselves? I sometimes wonder what happened to them in their growing-up years to make them that way. And thank you, Leisa, because you inspire me as well. We’ve both been through monumental hard times and it’s shaped our perspectives beyond our little corner of the world. xoxox, Brenda

  29. My husband and I went to a charity event the other night and I saw two women I went to high school with. When I walked up and introduced myself, they looked and me and continued with their conversation like I wasn’t even there. They were the cool kids in high school, and by their attitude, they think they still are, but I know differently. Thank you Brenda! You always lift me up and show me what’s important.

    • The same thing happened to me, Arlene! Fifteen years ago at a high school reunion. Two stuck-up women thought they were still all that. Made me glad I wasn’t a member of their clique. Thank you, Arlene! I appreciate you! Brenda

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