NEW WOMAN: Sixty-four-year-old Sarah-Jane Adams shapes her image through personality, a little defiance and plenty of colour.
NEW WOMAN: Sixty-four-year-old Sarah-Jane Adams shapes her image through personality, a little defiance and plenty of colour.

Wrinkles are my stripes says glamorous senior

IN some ways Sarah-Jane Adams is in line with a myriad of mature-age role models who are defying ageing stereotypes, but in other ways she steps way out of line.

Sarah-Jane uses the phrase "My wrinkles are my stripes” as a sub-heading to her flourishing Instagram account @saramaijewels that boasts more than 180,000 followers and counting. Her naturally grey hair, her vibrant sense of off-beat fashion - think Adidas mixed with styles ranging from colourful Indian fabrics, to op-shop cast-offs and defiant poses, blows her out of the average demographic. And so does her penchant for living life her own way.

The English born, 64-year-old Antique jewellery dealer and jewellery designerhas been happily married for more than a couple of decades, and while the couple live in the same Sydney street, they live in separate houses at opposite ends of the street.

Amongst other things, she says it's a great way to stay fit.

"I'll sometimes walk 20kms a day, going up and down,” she said.

The thing is, although she has been offered various business opportunities, Sarah-Jane Adams is not likely to come out as a champion for fads in fitness, weight-loss, super-foods or cosmetic surgery. Indeed, just because she has a certain amount of notoriety doesn't mean she is suddenly going to lose herself in a pile of superficial endorsements. Nevertheless, she's keen to say she's quite happy if that's what you want to do.

She recently declined a job to model 'under' garments - which would have meant baring much of her body (which by the way, has not changed size since her youth).

"You will rarely see me show more than my ankle or down from my elbow,” she declared.

"As an older woman I can't see how you can be empowered by stripping to your underwear.

"I see it as tokenism.”

And she's not falling for any revamped sexual image of the older woman.

"I am not sexual, I am post-menopausal - I am not over 60 and sexy,” she emphatically states.

"And it is a great relief not to be burdened by desires of the flesh.”

She reveals that she is sticking to the same style of sensible underwear, including the 'passion killer' cotton knickers that she has worn her entire life.

But the no-frills underwear is in line with her desire for a lifestyle of simplicity.

"I have down-sized,” she says.

This means the assortment of products sent to her by various businesses looking for her endorsement are very simply not wanted or accepted.

"What do I want them for?

At this stage of life, I'm giving things away.”

Sarah-Jane's Instagram fame started with one of her adult twin daughters posting a photo of her that went viral.

She has kept it up and especially enjoys the connection she has made with people around the world including Ari Seth Cohen, the photographer who has famously snapped unique ageing fashionistas in various global destinations.

Sarah-Jane grew up in England, well-groomed in conservative English traditions, but her natural independence, outspoken personality and desire for adventure led her to discover rock bands, second-hand clothing markets, obscure pieces of jewellery and the joy of overseas travel.

In her youth, she describes herself as 'bolshie' and 'out there'. A young woman determined to run her own race, which has meant creating her own work.

"I have always made my own way and been self-employed,” she said.

Her travels have led her to the place she calls her 'spiritual home' - India.

"I have been to India more times than I can count,” she says.

India is the home of yoga and Sarah-Jane, who has been a daily practitioner since her late 50's, says she lives her life from a yogic perspective.

"Only a small aspect of yoga is physical exercise.”

Her overall philosophy incorporates living consciously and being able to say:

"This is me and it's ok.”

"For the elders who can accept themselves, there comes freedom,” she said.

"Acceptance is freedom.”

These days she said she would rather grow old gracefully, rather than disgracefully, and that means there are no disguises.

She explained that one day, while walking along a city street, a sales assistant accosted her and brought her into a store to put the latest miracle facial cream on her.

"Once the salesgirl mentioned anti-ageing cream, I was out of there,” Sarah-Jane said.

And of course, that's why she says: "My wrinkles are my stripes.”

Her travels have led her to the place she calls her 'spiritual home' - India.

"I have been to India more times than I can count,” she says.

India is the home of yoga and Sarah-Jane, who has been a daily practitioner since her late 50's, says she lives her life from a yogic perspective.

"Only a small aspect of yoga is physical exercise.”

Her overall philosophy incorporates living consciously and being able to say:

"This is me and it's ok.”

"For the elders who can accept themselves, there comes freedom,” she said.

"Acceptance is freedom.”

These days she said she would rather grow old gracefully, rather than disgracefully, and that means there are no disguises.

She explained that one day, while walking along a city street, a sales assistant accosted her and brought her into a store to put the latest miracle facial cream on her.

"Once the salesgirl mentioned anti-ageing cream, I was out of there,” Sarah-Jane said.

And of course, that's why she says: "My wrinkles are my stripes.”


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