Elise Widerker aka Elki is a model and actress in NYC represented by Wespeakmodels. You can follow Elise on Instagram @maturemodel1

I never understood why people, especially women, lie about their age. It seems silly. Silly and ungrateful. So many people don’t get to age, so why not be grateful to see another year? Sadly, I know many who have not reached their 50’s which makes me especially want to shout my age from the rooftops. It seems counterproductive to a happy life to lie about anything, including age. It stands to reason that we all want to live a happy, productive life.

I don’t subscribe to the anti-aging movement. I don’t judge anyone who wants to find the fountain of youth in a bottle; but it’s just not for me. I’m enjoying more of a proage outlook, especially since I started modeling at the age of 52.

I’m now 58, and I’ve been modeling and acting for 6 years. Acting was something I always thought about but never realized. I just wanted to do some background acting but someone suggested I try modeling. I thought that was for young people. I soon realized that older models were sought after for various shoots, too.

I’m so glad I get to meet and work with so many talented artists from all over the world, all races, ages, nationalities etc. I enjoy meeting people that I normally would never have met. Every set has a group of talented photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, fashion stylists. I enjoy being the mother hen, or voice of reason on the sets. The younger people are usually so respectful and welcoming to me.

When I started, no one was more surprised than me at how well it took off. There is a lot of competition out there. However, we all have our own niche. It has been suggested to me that I’d get more work if I were grey-haired. Since my hair is mostly red, with a few greys here and there, I’d rather let it grow out naturally and then decide what to do.

How we handle aging is a matter of personal choice. As long as we’re true to ourselves and don’t get too frazzled by every wrinkle and sag. They are our badges of honor, after all.

We invite you to join the conversation by submitting a comment below.