In a digital world that exalts youth and beauty, Candace Lesie Cima, known on social media as @lifeinmy70s, emerges as a powerful voice challenging the stereotypes surrounding aging.
With a following of over 200,000 on Instagram at the moment of this writing, over 100,000 on TikTok, 80,000 on Facebook, and 17,000 on YouTube, Candace’s presence is both a revelation and a source of inspiration, proving that age is irrelevant when influencing and reshaping societal norms.
The accidental influencer
“It was kind of a fluke,” Candace reflects on her foray into the world of Instagram influencers.
Her journey began with curiosity, spurred by an article on younger influencers.
This led her to wonder about the presence of older influencers, sparking the idea to share her own experiences and thoughts on aging.
Choosing to post under her middle name, Leslie, to maintain privacy, she was surprised by the positive response.
“Some people started following me, then more people followed … I’m almost to 200,000 followers now. I’m really very thankful,” she shares, still amazed by her unexpected path to social media influence
A platform for advocacy
Candace views her Instagram as more than just a space for sharing photos and insights; it’s a platform for advocacy.
“I’m thankful to have this platform to talk about aging,” she admits.
Her mission is to change the narrative around aging, offering a fresh perspective that challenges societal expectations.
“Society has created this whole persona around aging that is negative. It isn’t… It’s the most natural thing in the world,” Candace passionately argues, advocating for a shift in perception.
Inspiring across generations
I am 60 years old and I find inspiration and hope in Candace’s message of resilience and her attitude of leaning into aging. 76 at the time of our interview, she was a week away from her 77th birthday, and she sounded super excited about it, which I find refreshing.
Candace’s message is clear: aging should not be feared but embraced as an opportunity for continued relevance, creativity, and influence.
“Being a creative… I feel that I will never retire,” I shared, echoing the sentiments of my late grandfather, my late father-in-law, and my 85-year-old father, who continued and continue (in my dad’s case) writing into their older years.
Candace responded that she hopes to still be creating content online in her 90s and I’m confident that she will.
Challenges and triumphs
Candace doesn’t shy away from discussing the challenges she’s faced, from personal health issues to caregiving for her late husband.
“Those were tough years,” she admits, speaking to the resilience required to navigate life’s hardships.
Yet, it’s through these experiences that she’s been able to connect deeply with her audience, sharing lessons learned and offering support to those in similar situations.
Creativity without limits
Rediscovering her passion for painting in her mid-50s, Candace is a testament to the idea that there is always time to pursue one’s passions.
“I started painting again and I was horrible… but then I took a couple of watercolor classes,” she recounts with a laugh.
This rekindled passion led to the creation of an art studio in her home, proving that age cannot confine creativity.
Navigating social media authentically
In an age where social media can often feel inauthentic, Candace stands out for her genuine engagement with her audience.
“I answer all the comments myself,” she asserts, emphasizing the importance of connecting with her followers personally.
Her approach to brand partnerships is equally authentic; she collaborates only with brands that resonate with her values and experiences, ensuring that her recommendations are genuine and valuable to her audience.
A vision for the future
Looking forward, Candace encourages others to plan for the person they want to become, highlighting the importance of intentionality in aging.
“Plan ahead for the person you want to be… you do have some control,” she advises, offering a roadmap for aging gracefully and purposefully.
Candace Cima’s journey is a source of inspiration in a society that often overlooks the wisdom and beauty of aging.
Through her advocacy, creativity, and genuine engagement, she not only challenges stereotypes but also offers a vision of aging filled with possibility, influence, and grace.
Follow her journey online and be inspired to embrace your journey of growing older with optimism and courage.
You may watch or listen to our full conversation on YouTube.