top of page
  • siobhanmdaniels

Defying Expectations: Women Redefining Ageing with Ashton Applewhite

Hello, Retirement Rebels! Today's episode is bound to ignite your rebellious spirit and challenge the ageist norms that have crept into our culture. As I sat down with Ashton Applewhite, we delved into three pivotal topics that are sure to resonate with each and every one of you.

Firstly, we explored the U-curve of happiness, delving into the fascinating phenomenon that indicates people are happiest in their childhood and later in life but grapple with challenges during midlife. This opens up a profound discussion about the perception of happiness at different stages of life, encouraging us to seek joy and fulfilment regardless of our age.

Secondly, we tackled ageism in the workplace, a pervasive issue that affects the careers of older individuals. From concerns about mandatory retirement to biases against older workers, we're looking at ways to address these barriers and champion a culture of inclusivity, respect, and opportunity for everyone.

Lastly, we delved into the significance of creating a retirement rebel community that challenges ageist attitudes and champions the wisdom and power of older women. I feel motivated to take the lead in challenging stereotypes and promoting a more welcoming and supportive world for retirement rebels everywhere as a result of our insightful conversation with Ashton Applewhite.

Let's band together as Retirement Rebels and dive into this empowering discussion that promises to pave the way for a future that celebrates the beauty and power of ageing.

Dont forget to follow / subscribe to the podcast for FREE on your podcast app of choice or play it directly from the website:

Key Points:

  • 00:00 Age denial, human nature, old age misconceptions.

  • 05:22 Regret about book rights, seeking review attention.

  • 08:02 Ageism universal, powerful, and important prejudice.

  • 09:13 Comparing prejudices is a losing battle.

  • 12:25 Age should not define our relationships or experiences.

  • 16:12 Midlife can bring increased responsibilities and challenges.

  • 19:04 Combat ageism through cultural change and education.

  • 23:12 Age not a reliable measure in healthcare.

  • 25:12 Increasing representation of older voices, especially women.

  • 28:46 Ageing presents challenges beyond our control, but...

  • 33:57 Privileged bias in older people's sense of purpose.

  • 34:50 Embracing ageing brings welcome changes and wisdom.

  • 38:28 The World Health Organisation launched campaign combating ageism.

  • 41:34 Spending time with mixed-age groups is enlightening.

  • 45:58 Change your thinking, change the world.

  • 48:02 The pandemic brought older women together, seeking liberation.

  • 52:57 Reflecting on conversation with Ashton Applewhite, addressing ageism.

  • 53:54 Creating retirement rebel community and transforming societal attitudes.

Guest Info

Ashton Applewhite, an accomplished writer and dedicated activist, began her journey with an unexpected bestseller, "Truly Tasteless Jokes." She found her true passion in tackling social issues, notably with her groundbreaking book, "Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well." This work led Ashton to influential roles in the Council on Contemporary Families and significant activist movements. During her 17-year tenure at the American Museum of Natural History, she covered a wide array of topics before shifting to full-time activism in 2017.

Ashton's focus on combating ageism is highlighted in her influential blog and book, "This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism." Her efforts to change how people view aging have received recognition from prominent media outlets and organizations like the UN, including a standing ovation at TED 2017. In 2018, she co-founded the Old School Anti-Ageism Clearinghouse, committing to a vision of a world where age is not a barrier to living well. More about her work can be found at

Links and Resources:


 "Ageism is the one prejudice that every human encounters."

"I mean, you often see it in terms of older women giving fewer f's, right? And to be liberated from what the world thinks of you, if that opinion is that you were never good enough, thin enough, blonde enough, perky enough, is massively liberating."

"The first step for anyone is to examine our own attitudes towards age and ageing, because we can't do anything. Most bias is unconscious, and we can't do anything about it if we're not aware of it."

If you enjoy the show, then please consider giving us a review; it would mean the world to me and will help others make informed decisions to give the show a try. 

Head to Podchaser to leave your glowing review.


bottom of page