Page 1
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

I Represent a New Paradigm of Aging

Lyn Slater has nothing to say about aging. That might seem ironic for someone who, through Accidental Icon, the blog that made her famous, has become not only a fashion icon but a symbol of aging not just gracefully but powerfully, but it’s the truth. You can talk about aging. Slater will just show you what it’s like to embrace growing older and let it propel you forward into something far more interesting.

In this as-told-to piece, she talks about how Accidental Icon came to be and how her creative approach to aging has set her free and made her a role model for others.


Accidental Icon was not about age. It was about me deciding that I needed a new way to express myself in the world and to be creative to and to start thinking about how I might share my love of clothes and inspire others. It was an accident — as the name implies — that I have become very much a symbol of a new paradigm of aging. That was not my agenda when I started out.

It’s a nice thing that has happened, but I am not going to talk to you about aging. Look at me. Look at my pictures. That will tell you everything you need to know about how I feel about aging. I am performing aging. I am performing who I am right now. My age is part of that, because age is a part of who I am: I am living in New York City. I am an academic. I am 64 years old. I am a daughter. I am a mother. I am a grandmother. I am a partner. This is who I am in the world.

When I first started to realize that I was getting older, I was not happy about it! I did not like some of the changes that were happening! I went through a process to come to acceptance that these things were inevitable and that despite all the hype and the media and the advertising, there is nothing that is going to interrupt aging or stop aging and that the way to address it is to respond to it as creatively as possible.


For me, aging wasn’t any different from any other challenge. I accepted that I was aging, and I had an impulse to do something new and creative.


When it comes to dealing with any sort of limit or an oppressive space — in my career working in social welfare and social work, I have moved extensively through and around very limiting spaces and institutions — I’ve never been one to just accept a limit. I’ve always asked myself, Where is the power in this situation and how can I use it? My response to any kind of limit in my life has always been to try to find a creative way outside of the box.

Throughout my life, whenever I experience a sense of powerlessness, I allow myself to feel the feelings and then I begin to examine that feeling and search for the little places of power in it. And then I think of a way to put a little crowbar in that place of power and let in a lot of fresh air and sunshine.

I actually felt quite liberated when I turned 50, but in my mid to late 50s, things began to change. I read what other people had to say about aging and I determined that from a physical point of view, it’s inevitable. You can’t stop it. I am a pragmatist. And if I can’t stop something, I have to accept it — and then I have to see what I can make of it.

For me, aging wasn’t any different from any other challenge. I accepted that I was aging, and I had an impulse to do something new and creative. Once I had accepted this inevitability gracefully, I saw it as an opportunity.

From ages 55 to 60, I took different classes all over New York City to explore things I was interested in: jewelry fabrication, sewing, fashion design, social media, opening your own vintage store, a range of things. Of course, I was always the oldest person in the class, but interestingly I was also the most innovative person in the class. I wasn’t copying anyone or anything. A lot of the professors and a lot of the students were like, Wow! You should really do something! You should start a blog! That’s how I first got the idea.

lyn slater accidental icon the fine line

Then my academic researcher hat came on. I wasn’t going to just go start a blog. I literally did research for a year. The manifestation of the end of all that discovery was Accidental Icon. By the time I started the blog, I had a very accepting and very positive feeling about my age and who I was. I think that was what made me attractive to people.

Accidental Icon was not created in opposition to something but instead was a creative response to where I am in my life. Most of my followers are ages 18 to 35, and a lot of what they communicate to me is, You’re making me fearless about getting older. The way that everybody talked about being older before was like it was the worst thing. It was a horror to be avoided! And you’re making it look like it’s fun and it’s cool and it’s a really exciting time of life.

I am not 20. I am not trying to be 20. I really love who I am right now: my wrinkles, my gray hair, whatever it is. This is who I am right now.

My message is that no matter what age you are, no matter who you are, no matter what ethnicity you are, no matter what, be yourself. Be OK about it. Own it.

For more about Lyn Slater, read our profile and see her fashion essay.

Photos: Courtesy of Lyn Slater

You Might Also Like

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
Why I Hold On Tight to Old Friends
#RealTalk

Why I Hold On Tight to Old Friends

One of the biggest arguments I ever had with my father was...

read
The ‘I Am’ Project Showcases Ageless Beauty
#RealTalk

The ‘I Am’ Project Showcases Ageless Beauty

Angelika Buettner is on a crusade to celebrate the natural beauty of...

read
My Second Awkward Stage
#RealTalk

My Second Awkward Stage

A couple of weeks ago, I took my eldest son and my...

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
6 Questions With... Skin Care Pioneer Jane Iredale
Beauty

6 Questions With... Skin Care Pioneer Jane Iredale

Jane Iredale began Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetics in New York in 1994. As a...

read
7 Reasons to Embrace Cardio
Fitness

7 Reasons to Embrace Cardio

Cardio is any form of exercise that raises your pulse and conditions...

read
Problem/Solution: Aging Teeth and Receding Gums
Beauty

Problem/Solution: Aging Teeth and Receding Gums

If your teeth are more dingy yellow than pearly white or you’ve...

read
Office Hours: How Do I Work With a Boss Half My Age?
Living

Office Hours: How Do I Work With a Boss Half My Age?

Welcome to Office Hours, where each month, a Fairygodboss expert answers a question...

read
Eat This Now: Vegan Cornbread Dressing
Wellness

Eat This Now: Vegan Cornbread Dressing

We not only try to eat healthy, we try to be kind...

read
Women Who Inspire: Chef Babette Davis
Living

Women Who Inspire: Chef Babette Davis

It’s often said that behind every great man is a great woman,...

read
Fall’s Coziest Workout Gear
Fitness

Fall’s Coziest Workout Gear

Keep calm and exercise on in fall’s coziest workout gear. Whether a...

read
Beauty Buzzwords: Squalane
Beauty

Beauty Buzzwords: Squalane

Though oils are not new to the beauty counter, there is still...

read
What to Do When Your Vagina Dries Up
Wellness

What to Do When Your Vagina Dries Up

Aging skin needs nourishing. That’s not news. But when it comes to...

read
7 Water-Gel Moisturizers for Troubled Skin
Beauty

7 Water-Gel Moisturizers for Troubled Skin

Combination skin that doesn’t take kindly to rich, thick creams doesn’t change...

read
6 Natural Remedies for Sinus Pain
Wellness

6 Natural Remedies for Sinus Pain

We’re all familiar with the typical triage of cold and flu symptoms:...

read
Organic: Yay or Nay?
Wellness

Organic: Yay or Nay?

From food to beauty products, labels can be so confusing. Aren’t the...

read
Need to Know: Thyroid Health
Wellness

Need to Know: Thyroid Health

One of my patients recently summed up her experience succinctly: “I’m just...

read
‘Garden & Gun’ Showcases Strong Women Across Generations
Living

‘Garden & Gun’ Showcases Strong Women Across Generations

Unless you’re a subscriber of the publication Garden & Gun, you may...

read
Castor Oil: Your New Favorite Beauty Trick
Beauty

Castor Oil: Your New Favorite Beauty Trick

Move over, coconut oil, there’s a new sheriff in town. An elixir for...

read
You’re Not Too Old For ... Strength Training With Dumbbells
Fitness

You’re Not Too Old For ... Strength Training With Dumbbells

In our ongoing video series with trainer Julie Diamond, we focus on...

read
Tasty Fiber-Full Foods for Weight Loss
Wellness

Tasty Fiber-Full Foods for Weight Loss

Clinical evidence shows that fiber-full foods keep you feeling fuller longer with...

read
Get Glowing With 8 Highlighters We Love
Beauty

Get Glowing With 8 Highlighters We Love

The solution to chronic fatigue requires a holistic deep dive into your...

read
Eat This Now: Overnight Pumpkin Oatmeal
Wellness

Eat This Now: Overnight Pumpkin Oatmeal

We at The Fine Line eat lots of oatmeal. Especially in the...

read
Women Who Inspire: BRU Bone Broth Founder Soo-Ah Landa
Living

Women Who Inspire: BRU Bone Broth Founder Soo-Ah Landa

Some might say bone broth is having a moment, but don’t tell...

read
Load More
share
To Top