It’s incredibly empowering to see a chic, grey-haired woman on the cover of a magazine. Saar is a Dutch website for women over-50 or what I like to refer to as Generation FAB (Fifty And Beyond). Saar means ‘Sarah’ in Dutch  – apparently in the Netherlands when someone is over-50 they’re ‘seeing Sarah’ or ‘seeing Abraham’. Me neither. The website launched in 2016 and this autumn the editorial team (all over-50) has produced a special edition, one-off magazine that looks cool and interesting. Obviously, it’s in Dutch and so I can’t read it. They contacted me regarding a feature on ‘the most inspiring 50-something Instagrammers‘; other topics in the magazine include work, families, sex and relationships and psychology. There’s a feature on Empty Nesting with Mimi who looks like a woman after my own heart…

Photo: Studio Huib van Wersch


This is what 50-something looks like. What are you waiting for British publishers?

46 thoughts on “Over-50, owning it and on the cover of a magazine

  1. Does anyone remember the excellent women’s magazine Nova? Sadly, it went the way of all excellent magazines and folded after a few years. It really was a standard bearer for bringing interesting, relevant issues into the public domain and it did it so well, without heavy tub-thumping. It was resurrected some years later but not being quite the same didn’t last long. If this Dutch publication is anything like similar, then I hope it does well, despite our not being able to read it over here.

  2. The editorial team is all over 50! That’s something. As much as I dislike breaking down into polarized groups: young and old, us and them, I also love the idea of working with a group of adults my own age. Let’s call it a passion project. Who wants to start?

    1. Me too. I truly struggle to find magazines to interest me now. I feel I have seen every damned interior going, looked at so many fashion features that make me feel claustrophobic and read far too many pieces about superfoods….there must be more to think and talk about. That’s why I blog.

    2. hi Anita, i work in mental health and regularly i hear from women and men their experiences of invisibility, i’m all for a Passion Project, i think we have a responsibility to show our youth that ageing is not a dirty word, let’s shift “global self-esteem” !!!!! too much i know but hey you said a passion project, by the way im in ireland.

    1. I love the idea of a such a project. Mental health issues, sustainability, care provision and education/Arts funding are all things that women of our age group are passionate about. Looking ‘younger’ articles are completely irrelevant to me, but I seem to be bombarded with them constantly.

  3. I think the reference to Sarah and Abraham is biblical, according to my vague sunday school memories. They were both very old, so it could be that…..

  4. The subtitle of Saar reads: ’50+ but not dead by a long shot,’ an optimistic Dutch expression for ‘still going strong.’ If that doesn’t put a smile on your face…

  5. Those quotes on the cover are hilarious! (I’m Dutch) I think Dutch women are fabulous (if I may say so myself..), they are natural beauties. Last month I was in the Netherlands and I saw this gorgeous +50 lady on the train. She wore a short skirt with panther print shoes, leather jacket and a lovely big scarf. Grey hair, hip glasses, I wanted to tell her how great she looked. I’m 40 now and I hope to look that good when I get older. Already have the grey hair and I love it 🙂

    1. For a few years now I have, whenever possible, told women how I love their look, or they look fabulous or great or whatever. I do feel fed up and insecure sometimes with my nearly 65 year old self and I like to think I can spread a bit of joy around by paying compliments when they are due. I know I love getting them occasionally.
      I love the ideas coming forward from this blog.

    2. Yes, I tell people of all ages, including strangers on the street, when they look terrific. I can see that the compliment brightens them. Do not have to get up the courage, the words just come spilling out when I see something that works so well.

    3. hi Anne, i was in a coffee /lifestye shop recently with my husband and this older woman was sitting at a table behind me with her friends, out of them all she had this really funky salt and pepper grey hairstyle, when they were getting up to leave, i stopped her to tell her how fab her hair was, she was so surprised and said it had made her day, but actually she made mine because i have been letting the colour go out of my hair since, Pass the compliments forward, is my motto

  6. Just for info, Abraham and Sarah’s story is from the Old Testament – book of Genesis. They thought they would never have children but God promised Abraham he would. They had to wait many years until they were both old, for the promise to come true. Their son was Isaac. (Meanwhile Abraham had à son with Sarah’s maid Haigar because he didn’t believe God would come through on his promise to him and Sarah.) So “seeing Sarah / Abaraham” is a way of saying “getting older”.

  7. I work in Publishing and would love to get involved with something like this! The product looks great – surely there is a gap for this in the UK market?

  8. Makes me want to learn Dutch! If the smaller population of The Netherlands can support such a brilliant magazine, surely there’s a case for doing something similar in the uk? Count me in too. I do remember Nova btw – it was daring and editorially risky and absolutely glorious to look at. Perfect ethos and title for the over-50 readership!

  9. In Germany, Brigitte Magazine, the largest monthly magazine with a readership of over 3.6 million people launched Brigitte Wir for women over 60. See link here (in German) They used to do one for the over 40s, I think, not sure where that went. I’ll try and have a look at a copy of Wir when in Germany at Christmas and will report back! 🙂

  10. I love seeing covers like that! It’s not that I want to look younger (I wouldn’t mind being younger…sigh, I’m 71) but I do enjoy seeing photos of women who are aging naturally rather than those, often all over the media, of known women who have had a lot of ‘help’ and of course look wonderful at 80+.

  11. Loved the gift list!

    So… an enjoyable and relevant 50+ English-language magazine with international viewpoints… maybe online as you are so scattered? Yes please.

  12. Sarah and Abraham were over 90 and 100 years old when their son, Isaac, promised to them by God, was born. Isaac was the beginning of the Israeli people. “Seeing Sarah” or “Seeing Abraham” is an uplifting reference. Nice!

  13. Great ! and anyone who is interested Xsexcentenary are performing ‘not dead yet’ at Glasgow International next year April 20th-May 7th 2018, see Facebook page Xsexcentenary for more details.

  14. I’m 67 and keep being told that I look at least 10 years younger. I would absolutely love a magazine for the over 50s/60s and I’m sure it would do really well as there are so many of us out there who want to look as good as we can as we grow older and also keep up-to-date with everything!

  15. I notice in the comments a lot of enthusiasm from around the globe. I think that’s exactly what this project needs. I think a mag for women rockin it over 50 on every continent is what it will take for us to shake off that submissive invisibility mantle. What if we didn’t do a mag for vibrant women over 50 but to create them? Maybe featuring women who throw a few fingers in the air towards the status quo and set the expectation for impervious sassy confidence? I know that’s how I found this blog. Looking for a light to show me there was life beyond this universe. We should lead with conviction.
    Our little sisters need us to break trail.

  16. How delightfully refreshing to see a “natural” woman. Aren’t we all disillusioned when so much attention is paid to women who have had “work done”. That is their choice, of course, but comparing the average women to those women just seems ridiculous and, somehow, soul destroying. All woman should be encouraged to be the best they can in whatever way suits them. Which leads me to the question: why is so much emphasis put on how we look? Is it for men? Is it to encourage us to keep consuming? Whether constantly renewing our wardrobes, our make-up? What about our brains? Any comments?

  17. Dear all,
    I believe Alyson has struck gold here – again – as her featured photo of Mimi is cool. That is very empowering. Constant reinforcement of images and stories of women like us, or who we can model ourselves on is important. For me anyway. Mimi is emblematic of a woman our age who is current, confident and knows who she is. She is a bit edgy without wanting to join the kids – and if she has Bunions, she’s not dwelling on them; better things to do.
    Re. Compliments from strangers – or giving them – has always slid into the slightly odd or unwelcome zone until recently. I was holidaying in Honolulu wearing a floaty (Gaudi) sundress and nice sandals when a young woman complimented me very publicly for my hair (very much greying) and total look. Rather than finding it awkward I am still dining out on it. It was a case of someone in their 20s liking a woman’s look which she may follow when she is older. It was nice.
    Merry Christmas everyone, Tracy nz

  18. Me, too! I have just relaunched myself as a freelance Languages consultant at 60 (not that anyone employing me knows my age, hee hee) and I would love to throw my hat into the ring to help or support anyone in the UK. Bring it on! If it doesn’t exist, you have to do it yourself.

  19. To the women here talking about a 50+ project – have a look at a US website called ageist (URL is It’s amazing, consisting mainly of inspiring profiles of people (male and female) over 50 (and 60, and 70), combined with spot-on portrait photography, plus a few other relevant cultural/lifestyle articles. If you sign up for their newsletter, they don’t bombard you. Or they post regularly on LinkedIn or Instagram. They get the tone and, importantly, the visuals, just right. (I sound like I work for them! – I’m just a fan and think some of you ladies will love it.)
    Alyson, another awesome find, thanks for sharing. Shame this Dutch mag is not produced in English too!

  20. “Seeing Sarah”= having knowledge through having lived. Sarah lived to 127, so by 50 you should have got the message! In Holland, reaching 50 is a BIG DEAL, and quite rightly so.

  21. In my (adopted) home-country Sweden we have several magazines that are aimed to a 40+ or 50+ target group.
    Most explicitly: m-magazine, where ’m’ stands for ’mogen’ which means ’mature’.
    Other examples of magazines for ’mature readers’ are Tara, Amelia and probably also Femina. These often use older (cover-) models and have mostly articles about subjects (or with subjects) that are clearly 40/50+…

  22. Here in the States we could really use a great magazine for those of us fifty and over!!! So sad I can’t read this Saar magazine… Despite common thinking we are not invisible even if there are many that wish we were… that’s a sad thought actually. Anyway, fabulous post.

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