Are bunion-prone 50-somethings more confident than their younger counterparts?


The tired old stereotype that women in their 50s sit around all day pining for the lost days of their youth may have recently been debunked by a survey, according to an AOL Lifestyle report. In fact, the research may suggest that ladies in their golden years are even better off than those in their 20s or 30s.

Perhaps the findings should be taken with a grain of salt, especially considering that the survey was conducted by Special K cereal, but the idea of aging women's self-esteem is worth examining.

"A woman in her 50s knows who she is, what her strengths are and values, as well as her weaknesses and failings," said psychologist Rebekah Fensome, quoted by the news source. "You become more accepting of the things that you are good at and the things that you are not."

Could it be that I will eventually learn to accept my bunions and crow's feet for what they are, and embrace the fact that I can finally afford to eschew knock-off Louboutins for the real thing? Perhaps, because an older study conducted at the University of California, Davis suggests similar correlations between age and confidence.

Researchers examined the self-esteem of 3,500 men and women aged 25 to 104 and discovered that confidence tends to peak at age 60 and that the younger study participants tended to have lower ratings of self-esteem. The scientists theorized that this may be due to the fact that older adults are less likely to commit crimes and more likely to have attained success in life.

"Midlife is a time of highly stable work, family and romantic relationships. People increasingly occupy positions of power and status, which might promote feelings of self-esteem," said co-author Richard Robins, Ph.D.

The team also noted that medical advancements that keep individuals healthy as they age may be contributing to overall feelings of wellness in middle age.

These researchers may be onto something. Despite the fact that my hair is graying and I have to wear bunion splints every night to keep the bony buggers in check, I feel pretty good about myself. Heck, I think I'll even head out right now and buy myself that new pair of Manolos I've had my eye on. I deserve it. Thank you, science!