Social media influencers over 65 are proving that age really is just a number. These influencers are slashing stereotypes and attracting hundreds of thousands – or millions – of followers of all ages.
4 Influencers Over 65 That Are Debunking Aging Myths
These influencers over 65 are debunking aging myths while living their best lives, whether that involves bodybuilding, educating their audience or setting fashion trends.
1. Joan MacDonald
When she was 71 years old, Joan MacDonald was dealing with health problems due to rising blood pressure and other issues. Her daughter, a fitness coach, gave her mother a nudge in the right direction. Understanding the severe consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle, MacDonald decided to hit the gym and inspire others to do the same.
With a brand-new iPhone in hand, MacDonald began posting social media photos and videos of her fitness journey through @trainwithjoan, which took the internet by storm. She quickly amassed over 1.7 million followers thanks to her health tips and enviable biceps. While she’s known as a fitness guru, she also inspires her followers to love themselves, their bodies and embrace the aging process.
“Boy oh boy do I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger 20-year old self to LOVE and ENJOY my body, to learn how to see the glass half full, instead of half empty, and to understand that if the voice in your head is negative, that’s the brush with which you will probably paint your life, so you’d best change that narrative,” she wrote in an Instagram post from August 2022. “Aging is full of wonderful changes, including getting just a little bit wiser.”
Born in 1946, MacDonald is now 76 years old and continues to challenge our ideas of older women. “Older women have a lot to offer,” she told Glamour. “There are a lot of older women out here older than I am that are really strong, amazing people. Older women have a voice and we need to be listened to. People think, ‘Oh Grandma, what does she know?’ But you’d be amazed at what Grandma can do.”
2. The Old Gays
Taking over TikTok with their cheerful, candid and funny videos, four friends who call themselves “The Old Gays” have more than 8.5 million followers on the platform – an impressive following that also includes global superstar Rihanna. The group consists of Robert Reeves, Michael Peterson, Bill Lyons and Jessay Martin, all born between 1943 and 1956.
The four have become so influential, it was announced in 2021 that they’re getting their very own docuseries. The group are also LGBTQ+ rights activists, and proud of bringing visibility to the community. They share everything from their own coming out stories to pieces of queer history they lived through, including protests and parties.
“I think the most important thing that we’re educating people on is that 60 years ago, coming out was a real struggle,” said Lyons in a 2021 interview with NBCNews. “You didn’t talk about coming out to your parents or anything. In fact, a lot of situations, I heard when parents found out that one of their children was gay, they kicked him out of the house right away. It really wasn’t easy in the beginning.”
3. Iris Apfel
Iris Apfel is an American businesswoman, interior designer and fashion icon with over 2.4 million followers on Instagram. The 101-year-old is known for her eclectic style – she mixes designer clothing with flea market finds, and is drawn to bright colors and vivid prints. Oversized glasses and statement jewelry always complete her outfits. After all, “more is more and less is a bore,” as Apfel says in her Instagram bio.
Thanks to her “lewks” she was even the subject of an exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute that ran from Sept. 13, 2005 to Jan. 22, 2006 (one of the biggest fashion nights of the year, the Met Gala, fundraises for that very department).
“An American original in the truest sense, Iris Apfel is one of the most vivacious personalities in the worlds of fashion, textiles, and interior design, and over the past 40 years, she has cultivated a personal style that is both witty and exuberantly idiosyncratic,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art said about the influencer in a press release.
The icon shows no signs of slowing down. In April 2022, Apfel collaborated with retail giant H&M on a collection inspired by her sense of style.
4. Josefina Monasterio
You may have seen the exuberant bodybuilder on America’s Got Talent in 2020. The 76-year-old is also a public speaker, tv host, wellness and life coach. “I started bodybuilding at 59 years old,” she told the audience on America’s Got Talent. She competed in her very first bodybuilding competition in the same year and won first place in her division.
Josefina Monasterio has over 120,000 followers on Instagram and likes to post motivational videos of herself hitting the gym, flexing her impressive muscles and sharing tips on nutrition.
With a motto of “vibrant at any age” she’s shown her followers it’s never too late to take control of your health and live a life you love. “Just because you turn 40 doesn’t mean your life is over; it’s really a new beginning,” Monasterio told TC Palm.
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Lead image credit: Iris Apfel wearing items from her collaboration with H&M. Photo courtesy of H&M.