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Seeking: Older Women Itching To Be A Part Of A Fabulous Community

Good news: We actually have one for you!

Studies show that most women report feeling invisible starting around age 51. And that’s why AARP’s Specialized Content team decided to launch a free weekly e-newsletter aimed at older women called The Ethel, a publication focused on helping older women own their age.

The Ethel is named after AARP founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, who once said “old age is not a defeat, but a victory, not a punishment, but a privilege.” She sought to change Americans’ perception of aging, and The Ethel’s objective is to feature the work of women age 50-plus — with many writers in their 80s and 90s — in order to expose their diverse voices and stories so that they don’t feel invisible. The Ethel has garnered an audience of nearly 400,000 women, all eager to hear about how to smash stereotypes while also being honest about the very real pros and cons of aging.  

The e-newsletter was so successful that The Ethel branched out on Facebook with positive, inspiring and encouraging posts that pose questions such as “Have you ever experienced ageism?” while also featuring memes and posts that celebrate life at every stage. In two years, this main Ethel Facebook page, with more than 100,000 followers, became the most engaged (or second- or third-most engaged depending on the month) social channel across all of AARP. 

With so much engagement, AARP decided to launch a closed Facebook group in August 2022 for The Ethel audience called The Ethel Circle. Within a few weeks, the group drew over 17,000 members, with hundreds more joining every day.

The closed group provides a safer space for women to share their real issues, concerns and questions with other older women. When one woman posted about losing her spouse, hundreds of comments of support came flooding in. The women — many lonely and seeking connection — have started meeting up in cities across the country.

Many call The Ethel Circle their favorite part of the internet. The Specialized Content team is now brainstorming a strategy to create in-person events — such as cooking classes, movie nights, and book talks — so that these wonderful women can enjoy more opportunities to make friends and connections in 2023. 

To subscribe to the free weekly Ethel e-newsletter, go here. To follow the main Ethel Facebook page, go here. To request to join the closed Ethel Circle Facebook group, go here.

I know you will love it! And please share with your older women family members and friends.

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