Page 1Group 8Group 7Group 7
Beauty Style Fitness Wellness Living #RealTalk #EmbraceYourAge
Stay up to date

Get on the List

Unlock our weekly newsletter packed with tips on living authentically, healthfully, and stylishly at every age.Get on the List: The best beauty, fashion, wellness and fitness tips straight to your inbox

There’s Life on the Other Side of 60

When I started out in theater at age 19, the world was an amazing place for a young showgirl! I had danced all my life, so my 5-foot 4-inch frame was one big muscle. I looked very “exotic” and not “all American.” I was even told by agents, “We don’t quite know where to put you.” But I landed my first Broadway role just a year out of high school.

I learned the ins and outs of the business and finally had my big break as a leading lady on Broadway in Smokey Joe’s Café. That performance earned me a Tony Award nomination!

I had some amazing roles after that — including spending about seven years on and off doing Chicago — but as the years went by, the jobs became fewer and farther between. It was quite devastating, and I had to try to “reinvent” myself. When your life has been all about your looks and physical beauty, it’s hard to make the transition. Everything becomes a personal comment on you as an actress and a woman. My life, dreams, and goals changed. Not to mention my body! I had to ask myself some very hard questions and make a shift.


 I have come out on the other side stronger, better, and more focused than ever. I have discovered the importance of the universe, friends, family, and pets. I’m happy.


In 2006, along with my second husband at the time, I opened BBraxton, a men’s grooming parlor in Harlem. We closed it three years later, but I reopened it in 2011 — after we’d gotten a divorce — and I made it another three years with that business before closing a second time. It had become too hard to keep it going while also trying to keep my theater career, too.

But at this point I am both too old and too young. I am between a rock and a hard place. I am now 61, but I don’t look 61. So when I am sent to audition for a part in my age range, I don’t look like they need me to look. But if you sit me next to a 40-year-old, I can only kinda sorta pass.

But this is not my sob story! I get tired of hearing the boohoo stories of women over 50! What I try to always keep in mind is that act 1 is done! Act 2 is new!

But that’s not to say that I am unsympathetic!

Brenda Braxton

The last few years of my 50s were not good years for me. I was devastated when my husband told me he wanted a divorce. I thought I would never get through the nauseous feeling of “what do I do now that I’m not going to have that happily-ever-after marriage?” And I grew tired of seeing that sad look on people’s faces when I told them, “Well, yes, I’m going through my second divorce, and, no, I don’t have children.”

But I have come out on the other side stronger, better, and more focused than ever. I have discovered the importance of the universe, friends, family, and pets. I’m happy — and I still look damn good!

I do not have all the answers, but at least I’m open to — whatever! I realize I can still make a difference. I’m still figuring things out, and it’s not easy. I take it one nanosecond at a time and try to keep one foot in front of the other.

For more about Brenda Braxton, read our profile and go to brendabraxton.com.

Photos: Courtesy of Brenda Braxton

You Might Also Like

I Feel OK About My Neck
#RealTalk

I Feel OK About My Neck

The late Nora Ephron’s essay “I Feel Bad About My Neck” is...

read
7 Lessons for My Younger Self
#RealTalk

7 Lessons for My Younger Self

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards,” said...

read
Every Wrinkle Tells a Story
#RealTalk

Every Wrinkle Tells a Story

As I approach 50 and beyond, I look at myself differently. Whereas...

read
Is Self-Love Overrated?
#RealTalk

Is Self-Love Overrated?

I’ve twice been told I have extraordinary arms. The first was in...

read
WTF Is a #CuratedLife?
#RealTalk

WTF Is a #CuratedLife?

I have been working to figure out social media. God, is it...

read
‘Gilmore Girls’ and Me
#RealTalk

‘Gilmore Girls’ and Me

The seven-season series Gilmore Girls and its four afterglow episodes, A Year in the Life,...

read
10 Real Women Who Endlessly Inspire Us
Living

10 Real Women Who Endlessly Inspire Us

They’re not celebrities. They don’t have a ton of money. But they...

read
5 Exfoliators for 5 Aging-Skin Problems
Beauty

5 Exfoliators for 5 Aging-Skin Problems

It seems that with age comes a more complicated skin care routine....

read
5 Standing Yoga Poses for Lower-Back Pain
Yoga

5 Standing Yoga Poses for Lower-Back Pain

If you have lower-back pain, you are not alone. According to the...

read
Has the Carbohydrate Conundrum Been Solved?
Wellness

Has the Carbohydrate Conundrum Been Solved?

New research studying carb intake in relation to mortality confirms that contrary...

read
Office Hours: How Can I Get Back Into the Workforce?
Living

Office Hours: How Can I Get Back Into the Workforce?

Welcome to Office Hours, where a Fairygodboss expert answers a question from one of...

read
5 Recipes for an Unforgettable Holiday Cookie Party
Wellness

5 Recipes for an Unforgettable Holiday Cookie Party

’Tis the season for a cookie party. Legendary cookie baker Dorie Greenspan...

read
Is Sitting Ruining Your Posture?
Wellness

Is Sitting Ruining Your Posture?

Back pain, leg pain, shoulder pain, headaches. We tend to attribute inconvenient...

read
Put an End to Your Perfectionism
Wellness

Put an End to Your Perfectionism

Earlier this year I had an epiphany: The never-ending feeling that I needed...

read
Women Who Inspire: Model Gillean McLeod
Living

Women Who Inspire: Model Gillean McLeod

Gillean McLeod, 62, admits being “late to the game” has been somewhat...

read
The Fine Line Holiday Gift Guide
Living

The Fine Line Holiday Gift Guide

From hard-to-shop-for men to the gal who likes it all, the people...

read
Fitness Gifts You Won’t Have to Sweat Over
Fitness

Fitness Gifts You Won’t Have to Sweat Over

If even thinking about shopping gives you a hot flash, you’re not...

read
Perfect Presents Under $150
Living

Perfect Presents Under $150

Holiday gift giving shouldn’t break the bank. We found 13 presents under...

read
Great Gifts for Good Guys
Living

Great Gifts for Good Guys

Why are guys so hard to buy for? We don’t have the...

read
The Tastiest Holiday Gifts for Foodies
Living

The Tastiest Holiday Gifts for Foodies

We got hungry just thinking about wrapping up these tasty holiday gifts...

read
Hostess Gifts to Show Your Gratitude
Living

Hostess Gifts to Show Your Gratitude

Whether you’re just popping over for dinner or staying a few days,...

read
Holiday Gifts for Women Who Love Wellness
Wellness

Holiday Gifts for Women Who Love Wellness

Don’t stress over holiday gifts for your gals who walk the wellness...

read
Eat This Now: Ultimate Cleansing Foods
Wellness

Eat This Now: Ultimate Cleansing Foods

If you’re among the millions of Americans suffering from obesity, diabetes, high...

read
Need to Know: Heavy Metals
Wellness

Need to Know: Heavy Metals

Heavy metals are odorless, invisible, and virtually undetectable — but they’re of increasing...

read
Problem/Solution: Teensy Bladder Leaks
Style

Problem/Solution: Teensy Bladder Leaks

You laugh. You sneeze. You cough. You do 13,791 burpees at the...

read
Shave Your Face: Yay or Nay?
Beauty

Shave Your Face: Yay or Nay?

Hair removal has long been an integral part of beauty routines. As...

read
How to Get Started With Exercise at 75
Fitness

How to Get Started With Exercise at 75

When you hit your mid-70s, you may feel like your daily routine...

read
5 Hormone-Balancing Foods
Wellness

5 Hormone-Balancing Foods

Are your hormones out of whack? Often the best place to start...

read
The Science-Based Solution for Aging Hair
Beauty

The Science-Based Solution for Aging Hair

There’s no question that our hair changes as we get older. It...

read
37 Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
Wellness

37 Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

Hormones play an enormous role in how we look, think, and feel....

read
Load More
share
To Top