Captivating Influencers and Bloggers Over 50 (who are probably way cooler than anyone else you know)
Gray is the new black, and 60 is the new 40. Forget what you heard about the Golden Years being a time for R&R and winding down. I’ve found 12 Instagram influencers and bloggers over the age of 50 (and 60 and 90) who are living life like it’s golden golden.
That word always makes things sound extra-official. But really, it’s just me taking a minute to give you a heads up on a few things.
First of all, I was hunting for more men. As of July 2018, there are just as many men on Instagram as women (49.7 percent of users vs 50.3 percent of users) according to Statista, and that’s true regardless of age.
But... there’s a little something called search optimization - hashtagging your Instagram posts so other people can find them. I’ve discovered mature men aren’t as keen on hashtagging as the women, so they don’t get as many followers, which means some of the ones I wanted to include didn’t meet the minimum criteria for micro influencers.
Second, they had to qualify as micro influencers. At the very least, bloggers and influencers had to have 3,000 followers on Instagram with at least two percent average engagement.
Third, no ho-hum. I wanted people who had “a thing”, whether that thing was fashion, fitness, being outrageous, being stylish, or creatives… whatever.
Fourth, no fraud. I put potential candidates through our database to filter out people who recently purchased followers. I mean, you would be hard-pressed to find an influencer who never bought followers. But I wanted to exclude people who were actively engaged in the practice of buying followers. That meant excluding some of the people I intended to include in this roundup (I intended the original roundup to be 20 to 25 mature influencers..l you'd be surprised how many grandmas are out here trying to cheat at influencer marketing).
That’ll Learn Me
I saw a few influencers using the hashtag #thisis50. What I didn’t know is that hashtag is commonly used by media mogul Curtis Jackson, aka rapper 50 Cent, aka Power’s Kanan Stark. So, when I searched for other mature influencers tagging posts with #thisis50, this is what I found:
I also learned #over45 is a popular hashtag in the fitness community. Not sure about the importance of the number 45. Maybe that’s just when things start getting real for people and they go, “I’m 45. Time to do something about this gout.” But 45 is an important milestone age in the fitness community.
Our Picks for the Most Captivating Influencers Over 50
Shauna Robertson @chicover50
Shauna Robertson is the engaging and fiery persona behind the Chic Over 50 blog. What began in 2015 as an online look book for Robertson to share with her friends has grown into a community of more than 75K actively engaged Instagram followers, 12K Facebook followers, and nearly 342K monthly views on Pinterest. Based in Salt Lake City, Robertson’s pink pixie cut, colorful outfits and high energy posts have become the exemplification of her personal charge for women to “Be confident, be beautiful”.
Angelique Miles @angeliquemiles
Angelique Miles is the record industry veteran - turned - fitness influencer who was responsible for signing to publishing deals some of the biggest names in the music industry. Today, the 50+ fitness guru is turning heads with her radiant skin (like, really - she glows) and incredible physique, while inspiring droves of Gen Xers to practice self love with nutrition and good, old-fashioned sweat equity.
Her Instagram feed - where she has 35.7K followers - is liable to show pics of her pre-, during and post-workout. I spotted a sponsored post of her and Full(er) House’s Candace Cameron Bure in her Facebook feed, and another picture of Miles and singer Carrie Underwood post-workout in her Instagram feed.
Miles’ Instagram tagline is “Sweat, beauty, lifestyle”.
Alyson Walsh @thatsnotmyage
Alyson Walsh is a 50-something journalist, former magazine fashion editor and the author of two books, Know Your Style and Style Forever. Walsh is the editor of That’s Not My Age, a fashion and lifestyle blog for women of all ages.
By, far one of my favorite micro-influences, Walsh’s Instagram feed is curated to well-styled perfection. It’s an elegant mix of reserve and sophistication with a bit of the UK’s infamous 80s-styled anarchy rioting just beneath the surface.
I dunno. There’s just something there that I can’t put my finger on. Her outfits are some of the dopest things I’ve seen on Instagram.
Source: 40+ Style
Bon and Pon @BONPON511
We respectfully submit that Instagram’s cutest influencer couple may, in fact, be Boomers. Japanese couple Bon and Pon are killing it on Instagram with 764K followers and nearly five percent engagement on each post (averaging 200+ comments and more than 34K Likes). How? By being awesome.
Bono and Pon appear together across Instagram in matching (but not identical) outfits, Bon standing on the left and Pon on the right. You can find them doing everything from boating and hiking to stroking a goat or just standing in the rain.
There are actually two books already published on Bon and Pon’s lifestyle. The third hits Amazon September 14. The third book is a magazine of their complementary style choices.
Stefanie Pollard and Jessica & Stefanie @wearemidlife
We Are Midlife is the brainchild of lifestyle blogger Jessica Gottlieb and fashion enthusiast Stefanie Pollard. The blog features tips and inspiration for over-40 fashion, and includes - and I love this - essays on relationships, finances, and health. Actual essays.
Together, the two California moms who met on a soccer field, have accumulated nearly 30K Instagram followers and 446.6K monthly views on Pinterest.
Evelyn - Over-40 Fashion and Lifestyle @fashionistaover40
Evelyn created Fashionista Over 40 as a way to showcase her lively ensembles and share style ideas with other women entering their prime. For Evelyn, confidence has accompanied age.
Evelyn grew up in the Bronx and spent her late teens and early 20s living in Puerto Rico. Formerly a stay-at-home mom, Evelyn is now a grandmother with an eye for bold colors, tall heels and striking jewelry.
Liz Webster @mommaphysique
At 51, Liz Webster is a mother, hair stylist and a second place winner in the 2014 NPC bodybuilding competition as a bikini competitor. Her Instagram feed is a veritable portfolio of Webster, her partner (he’s also a bodybuilder), their three kids, life in the gym, and days at the beach.
She also posts the occasional recipe and tons of gentle motivation (without her screaming “get off your a**!” to her followers). She is also an affiliate of ID Life, a company that sells dietary supplements for athletes and bodybuilders.
Dawn Lucy || Ageless Style @fashionshouldbefun
Dawn Lucy is the 52 year-old siren behind the over-forty style blog Fashion Should Be Fun. Lucy is a style blogger, a high school English teacher, a wife and the mom of dogs. Her Instagram feed is replete with Lucy’s fresh and playful outfits, pics captured from her daily life in San Jose, California as well as her travels (it’s New York Fashion Week, people!).
Annette Höldrich @THEladyofstyle
Fifty-five year-old Annette Höldrich launched Lady of Style in 2013 as a way to provide style advice and inspiration for women over 40 - transcending trends in favor of ageless style and natural beauty. It is now one of the top blogs in Germany for women over 40.
Höldrich describes her style as “elegance currently interpreted”. The flip side is that she’s a huge soccer (football) fan - even listing Bayern and the soccer ball icon in her Instagram bio.
Höldrich lives in Upper Bavaria where she works as an Executive Assistant and Travel Manager at NATO (she also includes professional dress ideas on her blog - which I love). You can find her on Instagram under the #ü50 hashtag.
Lisa Congdon @lisacongdon
Another favorite of mine is Lisa Congdon, the artist, illustrator, hand letterer, pattern designer, author, world traveler, collector, swimmer & cyclist from Portland. Her Instagram feed is more of an art portfolio than a style bible. But it’s always colorful, always imaginative, and always alive with Congdon’s trademark energy.
She’s done work for the Museum of Modern Art, REI, Harvard University, Martha Stewart Living, Chronicle Books, and Random House Publishing. As well she runs the Lisa Congdon Etsy shop (since 2007), is the author of seven books, and teaches classes on art, artistry, and living well as an artist.
I came across Arlinda McIntosh while I was “flipping” through the pages of Alyson Walsh’s blog, That’s Not My Age. She was included in a roundup of over-50 influencers (along with Bon and Pon). McIntosh’s out-of-the-box (read, in-your-face) style reminds me of the vibe you get wandering the streets of Midtown Detroit -100% the work of a Creative, 100% drawn from the grit and guts it takes to build something amazing out of scraps and found materials.
McIntosh is the creative director and founder of Sofistafunk, a “slow fashioned lifestyle collection of versatile zero-waste skirts”. Her elegantly flamboyant skirts coupled with her low-key persona have earned her the moniker #thefairyskirtmother.
Sofistafunk is doing its part to reduce waste: “In our efforts to be more environmentally responsible, 99% cuttings are re-purposed into other useable fashion moments, so they never reach the already overflowing landfills.”
Helen Ruth Elam Van Winkle @baddiewinkle
Last, but certainly not least is the infamous Baddiewinkle, the 90 year-old social media marvel from Hazard, Kentucky who - with help from her granddaughter - crafted an Internet personality that now has her on the red carpet.
Unlike over-90 influencers like Iris Apfel, who’s been on our radar for decades for her work in the fashion world (she’s the one in the big, round glasses), Baddiewinkle had a less glamorous job. She was a factory worker for years. In a CNN interview, the influencer said Baddiewinkle was born after her husband of 35 years died and she had trouble coping with the loss. When Helen was still grieving, Baddwinkle set about doing all the things Helen hadn't been able to do. The result - Instafame. Baddiewinkle has 3.8M followers on Instagram, and in 2016, she won a Shorty Award for Instagrammer of the Year.
The Big Wrap-Up
This isn’t the end of the list. There are tons more over-50 and over-60 influencers who are building their audiences on Instagram. The twelve Gen Xers and Boomers featured today are just a handful in a sea of mature influencers with what author Ari Seth Cohen calls “advanced style”.
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