How Women Over 50 Maintain Their Bombshell Bikini Bodies

A social media meltdown took place last week when a 59-year-old woman posted a selfie of herself on Instagram posing in a bathing suit during her summer holidays. The woman was Alexandra Shulman, the retired editor of British Vogue, who recently stepped down from the helm of the venerable fashion magazine after 25 years. The photo was from her vacation in Greece, shot in front of a mirror with a simple caption, “Time for the boat trip.”

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Her selfie – seemingly not retouched nor enhanced with ring light – was equally praised for being “empowering” but also lambasted by her followers and some media outlets for being “infuriating” since the fashion magazine under her reign, did little to promote models with a variety of body types or celebrated older women or diversity. Hence, many questioned why she didn’t do something like this when she was in a position of power.

But perhaps the criticism of Shulman might be unfair since during her tenure as editor, she did speak out against the ridiculously small sample sizes from designers and their reluctance to have their clothes photographed on anyone who was not a celebrity or model.

Regardless of which side you stand over the heated debate her selfie ignited, Shulman seems to be part of a larger picture where older women are embracing their bodies and proudly flaunting bikini selfies on Instagram.

“I happen to love bikinis and have never felt that it mattered to anyone how I looked wearing them,” Shulman told The Sunday Times. “I fully intend to ­continue wearing them to my grave.”

We looked toward Instagram for others over age 50 flaunting their bikini bodies and did some research on how they get those physiques.

Keep in mind, the following women all have careers and an image where having a great body plays a part. Besides winning the genetic lottery, they invest a fair amount of time and effort to look their optimum best.

Scroll our through our slide show below for some tips from the pros.

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ELIZABETH HURLEY, 52

As if keeping her body fit for her day jobs as a model and actress was not hard enough, Liz Hurley also has the added pressure of always having to be in spectacular swimsuit shape, since she moonlights as a bikini designer. Not just the design talent behind the UK based Elizabeth Hurley Beach collection, she also appears in the fashionable swimwear label’s advertising and marketing campaigns – in skimpy bikinis, no less.

As she told the Daily Telegraph, “There’s no short cut to being slim; you have to watch what you eat.”

Besides maintaining an organic diet, the star says she is extremely active. “You must do some exercise, too. I walk every day with my dogs and try to run – even though I hate running.”

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SHARON STONE, 59

“This idea that being youthful is the only thing that’s beautiful or attractive simply isn’t true. I don’t want to be an ‘ageless beauty.’ I want to be a woman who is the best I can be at my age.” So said the actress a couple of years ago when she posed for the cover of Shape magazine at age 56.

However, there is no denying the Hollywood star who became an international sex symbol back in 1992 after the movie Basic Instinct,  has maintained an incredible body. She credits this age-defying figure to lots of stretching including yoga, dance and strength training. She told the magazine that while she goes to a regular gym, 24-Hour Fitness, she says she will do a bit of workout just about anywhere, including the bath, using water as resistance, where she’ll do leg lifts and circles in the tub.

While she acknowledged that her low cholesterol and low blood pressure allows her to eat steak, she abstains from alcohol.

But maintaining her body is not just for her career. Her health, mindset and lifestyle have become priorities since she suffered a brain aneurysm back in 2001 that left her having to learn to talk, walk, write and read again.

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KRIS JENNER, 61

For a woman that gave birth to six children and is now in her 60s, you have to hand it to Mother Kardashian: she has sculpted herself an incredible figure. As a Svengali type manager who orchestrated her five daughters’ rather successful careers – which relies heavily on projecting an ultra sexy image 24/7 – she also makes sure she is present and accounted for in their limelight. As part of brand Kardashian, she is not playing the matronly motherly image.

To keep up with the Kardashian girls, she puts in a lot of time on working out to maintain her figure. She once said, “I work out as much as possible….I get up about 4:30 am and work out.”  But she acknowledged that it’s not because of age but because she’s a foodie and loves to eat.

But while that sort of regime would hardly appeal to the average woman, there is a styling tip we can take away from her Instagram picture of her in the south of France this summer. Every great bikini deserves a chic beach coverup. Worn over her two piece bathing suit, her black crochet and mesh caftan is utterly glamorous and still projects a sexy image.

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HALLE BERRY, 51

With her tight tummy and toned legs she looks like she can be a Bond girl forever. But the Academy Award winning actress has previously said she leads a healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercise because she was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 19 years old.

In an interview with the LA Times, she mentions she works out every day for 30 minutes and had this to say about staying in shape, “It’s a lot harder than it used to be. As I get older, I am more conscious of what I eat. I have never worked out with a lot of weights unless I had to for a film role. Left to my own devices, I just do cardio. I do exercises that involve my own body weight, because I never want to get too muscly.”

As for her diet plan, it includes eliminating most processed sugars and bread. Her meal plans includes eating lots of vegetables, drinking lots of water and trying to eat four small meals a day with some of her favourite meals being grilled tuna and garlic mashed potatoes.

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CHRISTIE BRINKLEY, 63

The model with the age-defying looks and body credits her vegetarian diet and regular exercise for the way she looks today. A vegetarian since she was a teen, she says she tries to incorporate a variety of colourful vegetables in her meals throughout out the day.

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar she mentions her breakfast consists of sheep’s milk yogurt mixed with organic blackberries, blueberries, papaya, chia seeds, raw oatmeal and walnuts. For extra protein, it will be an egg-white omelette with spinach and mushrooms. Breakfasts also includes a cappuccino. Other meals throughout the day includes a salad with grains or beans. One of her favourite dishes is, “brown rice with lentils, roasted red and yellow peppers, and fennel, with a sweet potato and a salad on the side.” She will also have juices made with fresh kale, lime and orange juice. And for snacks it will be an apple with peanut butter or a pumpkin seed mix with walnuts, Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds.

Her indulgences includes Gnosis Pom Açai raw chocolate bar and a glass of red wine at dinner. As for her fitness plan, she mixes it up with yoga, bicycling, surfing, paddle boarding, skiing and swimming.