Honoring the Big 5-0 & the Day I Revealed My True Age

Colleen Saidman by Colleen Saidman | June 15th, 2009 | 6 Comments
topic: Healthy Aging, Yoga


This photo of Colleen Saidman was about two years ago, when she was 48.

The time has come. I never thought I would ever be a half century old. I thought I would feel different when I got to this phase in my life. I am not sure what I thought it would feel like to be one of the old folks (as I used to call my parents and their friends), but here I am.

Looks have been a big part of most of my adult life, as I have been a fashion model for 30 years. Lately, I have been going in for ad campaigns for creams that claim you can look 20 again. I got into it with a casting director recently, saying I would not want to be 20 again, why would I want to look it? Why is looking young the goal? Is it because wisdom and experience are not revered in this society? We all know that smooth skin is not the goal in our life, but we are behaving like it is.

I became a model at 19 and was told at that time by my agency to say that I was 16, and that my birthday was July 1962, instead of 1959. I lied for 20 years and was always afraid that I was going to be found out. I would hide my passport when traveling with clients or even other models. I was living a lie — a seemingly small lie, yet one that kept me in fear.

When I turned 40, I had a coming out party, and told the world my true age. How liberating. Mark Twain says that it is so much easier to tell the truth because you don’t have to worry about remembering what you said.

I was talking to a friend the other day. His grandmother is 92 and very proud of the fact that she is still sexually active. My friend gently reminded his grandmother of her age, to which she replied, “Darling, inside of this shriveled up 92-year-old body is a very active 16-year-old girl.”

As I approach this milestone, I am so happy not to be living a lie. I am proud of my life and my experience, and want to show my kids that getting older is a blessing rather than a curse. My body is aging, and I have earned it. I am 50 years old, but deep inside, I am also a 16-year-old girl, and a 92-year-old woman. I honor all.

Related Links

Rodney Yee video clip: How yoga can help you accept your body, now and as you age

Mayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for Menopause featuring Colleen Saidman

Rodney Yee Bio

Gaiam Yoga Club by Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman


  1. I proudly welcome you to my station! Nice blog. Made me re-look/re-think of my aging attitude. I am guilty of blaming my age on everything bad in my life, instead of accepting it and being proud of it. I agree, as a society we need to go back to respecting age and the wisdom of our elders.

    joannie | June 15th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  2. Congratulations I thought you were my age. I’m now 33 years old, 5′3 and weight 176 pounds. I’m truly considering YOGA for weight loss, toning, and stress relieve. Today I bought Rodney Yee’s complete body workout dvd and I’m praying I can lose 40 pounds.

    Miledy I. | July 11th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  3. It was You Colleen, who motivated me back into yoga (the menopause dvd). I had left yyoga behind me so many years ago, not sure why. I made it to 50 on the 15 of June 2009, and am so happy to be here. I have wrinkles and grown children which feels quite liberating. Thank you for your inspiriation.

    sans | July 15th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  4. It certainly proves that yoga and taking care of yourself yields beauty. We can only wish to look this way at the age of 50.

    Menopause Education | August 8th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  5. Colleen, what a beautiful post & truly uplifting. I love your attitude & wisdom.

    Mia | April 12th, 2012 | Comment Permalink
  6. Colleen is an absolutely beautiful woman, both inside and out. Her husband, Rodney Lee, is also a wonderful, sensitive man. You can feel the love these two possess for each other, a spiritual inspiration for us all. They came into my life when I purchased a Beginner Yoga CD. Now I alternate my Yoga practice with Rodney and Colleen. Amazing people/couple. Thanks for the inspiration.

    arlene | June 11th, 2016 | Comment Permalink

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