“I’m not your grandmother”: how women break the stereotypes of the silver age

Age stereotypes are still strong for women. In a 2018 study, economists sent about 40,000 fantastic resumes to employers who posted job postings and then analyzed the response rate. It turned out that the older the “candidate”, the less often the CV was of interest to the employer and the age factor proved to be particularly pronounced for women.

However, the opposite tendency is growing – to overcome these stereotypes. The women of the “silver” era become faces of fashion names, participants in Forbes lists, main characters of TV shows and role models. They lead an active lifestyle and are in new hobbies – like the heroines of the project “I am not your grandmother” of the portal Baba-Deda.ru.

Natalya Shidlovskaya, 66: “I start to wither when I have nothing to do”

Interior designer, yoga studio owner, animal volunteer

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I became interested in yoga when I was sixteen years old. I started studying from books – I, at home, in chairs. She then ended up with her parents in Mongolia. There was a monastery, they lived lama. the mystical atmosphere pushed the study of martial arts, oriental arts. In the late 1980s, I left for America and began taking classes with renowned teachers. And so it went.

At the same time, I lived a different life: I graduated from the Plekhanov Institute, after the University of the Arts in Miami, I entered the Art Institute at the University of Fort Lauderdale. I bought and sold apartments, I repaired them. She went on vacation to India and there she met her future husband. I rebuilt his house, and after the divorce I bought a house with a garden and instead of a garden I built a yoga studio. I had no particular knowledge, I went to a yoga studio and watched everything happen there. The operation was conducted by chance.

I set up the waiting center at 55 – I did not think I could miss anything, that it was too late to start. I am now 66 and opening a studio in Moscow.

I always helped abandoned animals, took care of them, put them in. They once asked me to attach a complex Afghan hound, which they took and returned, and the dog lived with me until his death. I would like to build a shelter: I am ready to buy a plot of land and build enclosures there, to transfer electricity, water.

I start to wither when I have nothing to do. A friend says: “Take care of yourself, go to the pool, do a manicure”. And I do not care, without work I lose the meaning of life. Of course, I feel different than in my fifties, but I do not feel old girl, there is no time to think that I am getting older. In order not to grow old, you need to do everything and always. If I do less than two or three things a day, the day is wasted.

Svetlana Zlobina (Photo: Alexander Mets)

Svetlana Zlobina, 56: “Flamenco helped me survive”

Typist, flamenco artist, skier

– I lived in Vorkuta and worked in the mine. I had a prestigious profession for a woman – an elevator engineer. There she met her husband, made a wonderful family, two children. Before the wedding, he was involved in folk dance and then alpine skiing appeared.

In 2007 we moved to Tver as the mine closed. In Tver I met flamenco. Flamenco is good because you can dance without a partner. A companion can be a bailora (dancer), it can be a manton (shawl), a fan. When my husband and I arrived in Tver, I went to the ballroom. He convinced him: “Fedya, let’s go!” – No. He says: I will bring it, I will take it, but you do not need to call me. What a dance without a partner! When I met flamenco at the first festival, everything went well. Group and solo dances – without partners. Only you, your stage and your band. There is not enough time for everything, but that is what helps you live. When my husband died, flamenco helped me survive that moment.

For flamenco, neither age nor figure are important. The dance comes from within. There is such a thing as duende, the soul. If there is a duet, there is also a flamenco. But it is difficult. And only with age, the experience can manifest itself in dance.

I started skiing back in Vorkuta, a family friend built a cable car, where my husband and friends and I improved our skills together. Children ride from five years old, grandson from three. Now the youngest granddaughter is two years old, but soon we will meet again with the older ones.

Age? I’m comfortable. My friends are older than me, but young people would be jealous. Their fullness, their energy, their ability to live fully. Maybe that’s why I do not consider my age critical.

When I lost my husband, a thought supported me. The grandmother was left with four children in the war. It was under occupation. Grandma raised them in such a terrible moment. We grew up and mom, I hope, good people. They did, but what about me?

We have become very selfish. We should probably find those who are worse than us and try to help in some way. It will become easier. Now it saves me that I help my grandchildren, it makes me happy. It is good to be necessary, it is good to have a family.

Irina Pantyukhina (Photo: Alexander Mets)

Irina Panyukhina, 57: “I do not want to rest in retirement”

Stewardess, restaurant manager, host of master classes

– I once read in Komsomolskaya Pravda that the vocational school No. 48 recruits flight attendants to work on snowboards. It was 1981, I lived in Kazakhstan, there were no open water areas, except for ditches. I dreamed of the sea.

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He worked as a conductor, then moved to a restaurant, married the first engineer. In his thirties, he became the youngest chief engineer in the river fleet. I have two daughters two and a half years apart.

I went to study at the Water Academy at the School of Economics, I graduated in absentia. When I was in my third year, I was appointed manager of a restaurant. Retired, he returned. This year I am flying as an expert in applied arts.

I have twenty-two master classes. And macrame, and painting, and candles … People crave embroidery. Useful: fine motor skills, inspiration, meditation. People need to be inspired. I paint interiors, macrame. My last hobbies are jute and kinushaiga. This is a Japanese patchwork. A pattern is cut on a tree, cut, pieces of fabric are inserted into the slots and an image is taken. I will apply in the master classes.

Twenty navigations my husband and I worked on the same ship, seven on different. This is not scary, on the contrary, it refreshes the relationship – when you are bored, when you receive flowers after long separations. We have been together for 38 years.

My husband and I live outside the city, in the swamp where our ships spend the winter. From the window you can see a caravan of ships on the river. But the beach is boring. I like working with people. I do not want to retire. When you work, you do not notice sores, and when you rest, you begin to listen to yourself. The energy leaves.

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Nadezhda Starostina (Photo: Alexander Mets)

Nadezhda Starostina, 62 years old. “I can not run, I will go hiking”

Engineer, controller, almost half a century in orientation

– I was born in a very remote village in the Urals, but as a child I was drawn to the city. He graduated from high school in Kirov, where he became a design engineer. In the 1990s, she graduated from the Nizhny Novgorod Institute of Economics and changed her profession to an accountant and auditor. Moscow has always been my ultimate goal and now I am a resident of the capital.

2024 will mark 50 years since I came to the orientation. When I started, I was 14. At 55, after retiring, I started doing it dynamically. I traveled a lot, then I started organizing others on my own. I have just recently returned from a ski resort in Arkhangelsk and decided to extend my winter season. This distraction is from worries, from work, from home. Whatever happens, if you run through the “ten” – so good, the next day you can move mountains! All this keeps me dry.

After the knee injury and surgery, I was very sick at first. But I said to myself, “It does not matter, go to the forest and walk, and you will see!” I stand up and walk. It does not matter that I do not take the first place, the main thing is that I am in the cage. Now I run bouncing, but it turns out. If it gets too bad, I will change the joint. Staying sick in a sedentary life is not my choice, I will go hiking in the mountains, I can do it. I can ski many miles.

When I was 50, I was very scared of age, it seemed to me that I was already old. And now I’m 60, and I do not think that’s a lot. Age is good!

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Svetlana Khodakov (Photo: Alexander Mets)

Svetlana Khodakova, 57: “Age is a state of mind”

Metal engineer, florist, businessman

– I studied at the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys as a metal engineer. It worked a little, my daughter was born. He then worked at the school of floriculture.

At the same time, nine years ago, my husband and I opened a small shop on the Masters Fair platform. At that time we rebuilt our cottage. For repairs, they bought an expensive reciprocating saw. And then we realized that with the help of this saw you can do something interesting. They started selling wood. Then the store began to acquire other goods, from various natural materials.

Recently, customers needed bright autumn leaves for photography, even though it was already frozen. Literally the last morning before the frosts, I walked into the woods and picked up two bags of leaves to cover the podium. It’s nice to help people if you enjoy it.

Our forests are untidy. Therefore, to walk in the forest, you have to climb over one tree, crawl under another, make your way, jump. The first time was difficult. Then I got used to it. I do not feel my age. Age is a state of mind.

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In the Moscow region, forests are disappearing due to the beetle. The state program that operated in Soviet times, when the contaminated forest areas were immediately cut down and planted with undergrowth, ceased to exist. Everyone is sounding the alarm – both environmentalists and people who just care – but there are not enough funds. Lesothos are gone, there is no one to deal with it.

If people thought about it, they would also need to be in nature more often. For us this is a need that has evolved into a need.

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