60 Is NOT The New 40— 60 is the NEW 60!

And 80? —YUP — it’s the new 80; NOT the new 60!!

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.; J.D.
5 min readFeb 8, 2020


Question: When we ask someone their age, and they say they are 60, 70, 80, or 90 — why don’t we say “great” or some other non-age-related comment?

Why do we feel the need to say: “Wow! You don’t look your age.”

Sometimes I think I’ve become one of those stereotypical cranky senior citizens because I just really cringe when I hear phrases like “60 is the new 40.” Except that I have been talking [uh — soapboxing] about this — well — since a long long time ago!

I also dislike this one: “Wow — you’re 75? You look so much younger.”

And then we have those questions and statements in the media about how much more desirable it is to look younger than one’s age. And we see and hear the stereotypes about “old” people! Those over 50! And sometimes those over 40! [EGADS!]

the human lifespan

Many of the thoughts I write about here, I have had since I was in my 20s because my field is Developmental Psychology — the whole lifespan — all of it — prenatal to death! I have been teaching, writing, and talking many thoughts about development, including aging, since then as well — and will continue until I am no longer able to do so!

Maybe by age 150 or 200, I’ll change my soapbox oration — but for now, I keep saying:

When you tell people they don’t look their age — you are being sexist and ageist!

Sexist? Why? Because we rarely say this to men. We tend only to make statements about looks and ages to women — and women over 40ish.

Ageist? Why? Stop and ask yourself about the ideas you have of what a 60, 70, 80-year-old person “should” look like. You have some built-in mental images of “75-year-oldness” that do not match the 75-year-old you are facing.

Why do we have these mental images about ages? What are our ideas about aging —…



Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.; J.D.

NYC native, snarky, happily aging, educated [with PhD and JD]- I write, I talk, I think, I opine, I teach — and will do so until I can’t.