In advance of "World News Tonight's" special series called "Boomer Breakthroughs," we asked baby boomers: "Are you over 50 and a little tired of cosmetics that try to make you look younger or different? Do you just want to look fabulous for your age and wish there were makeup products suited to you? What about clothes -- do you wish you could find something that wasn't for teenagers or for retirees?"
What follows is a sample of the responses we received:
Susan Jasso from Los Angeles, Calif.: Are you kidding? I don't have as much trouble with cosmetics as I do with clothes -- although the whole glitter thing doesn't work for me, and I'm not so sure dewy is the look I want. As for clothes, however, that is another story - is there a middle ground between "mom" jeans and my 7 jeans that expose my entire butt (which, by the way, is larger than it used to be but still a size 8)? A middle ground between shirts that expose my breasts and midriff and something my mother would have worn at my age? I'm an old mom of a tween child who still has some oomph left in her -- and I try to show that but I'm never sure it comes off right. Doesn't our generation have sufficient buying power to demand some fabulous clothes and makeup that works for our age?? If you can find it, lead me to it!!
Mary Rivera from Reston, Va.: I'm 52 years old. I work as an executive assistant weigh about 152 pounds. I love clothes and makeup, but it seems everything out there is either for the young girls or for the elderly. I would like makeup for my age group and clothes that fit me for an office environment. Please help!!!
Lynda Douglas from San Francisco, Calif.: I'm very disappointed that it seems like everyone my age (56) must look at 20-year-old models to figure out what I need. My skin is different. Clothes! Ha! I'm heavy and it's a joke. I'd like to look nice and find minimizing styles that look professional. I have to search for something appropriate. Everything is geared to the 15-29 year olds. It's depressing! Please help. Airing a story on this is wonderful.
Janice from Austin, Texas: I'm a 56 year old assistant dean at a major university. I have found that in addition to the items mentioned in your article that our age group has unique cosmetic issues, namely, eyebrows that are disappearing, hair that is thinning and eyes that now look too harsh if we apply what used to be our makeup regime when we were 30. And, yes, clothes, especially jackets are fitted too tight. So what I see are women who attend meetings in suits from the '80s because nothing now available looks appropriate.
Debbie Devlin from Raleigh, N.C.: I am just turning 48 years old this year , however, this is a growing problem. My friends and myself are grandmothers, however none of us look or act like the traditional grandmother. We came up with the idea of clothes designed for the modern grandmother. Women who still feel young and are concerned about their appearance, but juniors' clothes are a bit too tight and older women's clothes are something we would not be caught dead in. We are looking for products and clothing that will flatter us, not make us look like old ladies trying to dress like kids or younger women dressing like old ladies. It would be wonderful if some product lines were introduced.
Melanie from Pleasanton, Calif.: I'm 53 and fabulous, but let's face it - my skin ain't what it used to be (smooth and firm), and my pores...? Well, spackle has more than one use in our house. Why am I limited to foundations that do nothing but enhance every line and wrinkle? Add the face powder and you've got something that vaguely resembles the surface of the moon. And does everything HAVE to have sparkle in it? I have enough glow from within ... I don't need to look like a one-expression face-lift. We boomers need something that evens out the skin without clogging it up, right? There's nothing out there now, despite all their promises, that helps aging skin. If there is, I sure haven't seen it. Clothes. My legs may be a size 8, but my tummy isn't. How about a pair of jeans that flatter what you have, but still accommodate what the years have ... ahem ... added. Is that too much to ask? I'm pretty sure the baggy-leg look is out. How can I (affordably) look like Diane and Robin (short of a face-lift, tummy tuck, liposuction ... hey, whatever happened to your makeover show? That's exactly what I need :^) I don't want to look like a 50-something trying to look like a 30-something, but I DO want to look as good (and as young) as I feel.
Diane from Lutherville, Md.: I will be 56 this June. I have three daughters under the age of 30, so they are constantly telling me I should dress more like my age, but whenever I look for clothes, I look around at who is shopping in the department beside me for the clothes that fit and most of the women are white haired and appear to be in their 70s, which is pretty discouraging. Or I look at the clothes when I'm shopping with my daughters and think there is no way I am going to try to be that woman who dresses as if she thinks she is 20! Then my daughters will purchase cosmetics that they love and they tell me to use or purchase them as well and they make me look older, if anything. Too heavy on the eyes, too bright on the lips ... it's nearly impossible to find something that makes me look my age, but with a sparkle, or a fresh look. And it seems as if this situation has really escalated in the last year or so. I try to eat right, exercise and take care of myself, but I just hate when I look what I consider dowdy. I can certainly use a pick-me-up in both clothing and makeup, but is there anything out there? Thanks for your consideration.
Karen from Phoenix, Ariz.: What a concept!!! I would love to have cosmetics & fashions that were age appropriate. I just turned 59, am still in the workforce & need a professional look that is age appropriate. It is almost impossible to find. I feel like the sense of style I used to have when I was younger has gotten lost somewhere along the way. I don't want to look like my 30 something daughter nor do I want to look matronly. Help!!!!
Daphne Rose from Pittsburgh, Pa.: There is nothing wrong with being 50. I know because that's how old I am and there is nothing wrong with me. Yet every cosmetics company on the planet wants me to wish I was 30 again (an age, I assure you, I would not want to repeat). I like being 50. But I don't want to wear bright sparkly eye shadow or extend my eyelashes out to Jupiter. I just want to be the most fab me I can be. Why can't I find cosmetics designed for someone my age? Thanks for doing this article - it's very well timed.