Brooklyn Bookbeat: Aging in style: the ‘Broad Appeal’ of growing older than 60

January 25, 2013 By Samantha Samel Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Once you hit a certain age, your birthday no longer seems like something to celebrate. Rather, you begin to dread the day that number increases. The internet is rife with items like ‘Bumper Stickers for the Elderly,’ and such comical phrases are passed along virally: “Florida: God’s Waiting Room;”  “Cremation? Think Outside the Box;” “I’m So Old, When I Eat Out They Ask For Money Up Front.”

But there’s a new book that fosters a spirit of renewal about old age. Sam Dawson, an active philanthropist and former publicist, was particularly down when she reached age 60.  But instead of moping, she made it her mission to find a silver lining (no, not just in her hair) – she was determined to find a way to grow old in style.

Curious to hear how others felt about aging, Dawson interviewed seventy women and turned her findings into a hilarious, uplifting book, “Broad Appeal: Wit and Wisdom From Women Ages Sixty to Ninety.” Dawson’s conversations disprove the “old hag” stereotype and reveal the perks of being older than 60.

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Dawson’s text is engaging, with humorous chapter titles and headings such as “Rated X for Sex: Let’s Talk About It,” “Get Over It! Physical Changes Are a Laughing Matter!” and ““Marriage, Divorce and Men: What the Hell is ‘Happily Ever After?’”  Dawson tackles a sensitive subject by encouraging her readers that their insecurities are universal, and thus should be approached with an open and lighthearted attitude.

In her chapter titled “What Surprises You?” Dawson writes, “The biggest surprise of all? To hit my 70s and find that this decade is actually fabulous.”

Sam Dawson is a philanthropist, activist, actor and retired publicist. She is and active volunteer for a number of nonprofit organizations focused primarily on the needs and issues facing women and girls. She is a founding partner and grants chair of Impact Giving, a woman’s collective giving organization that, in its first three years, has granted nearly $350,000 to local and global nonprofit organizations. A portion of the sales from Broad Appeal will be donated to Impact Giving. 

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