We are not simply just "old."
As a woman and writer who cares and thinks a lot about women’s expectations in the world, I must weigh in.
For me, there are so many issues comparing these two images, beginning with culture and including age. Apo Whang-Od is 106 years old, a traditional tattoo artist from the Kalinga tribe, and Martha Stewart is 81 years old, an international businesswoman, writer, and television personality.
You don’t see pictures of men lined up next to each other just because they are considered 'old' for the whole world to nitpick at their choices of style and expression.
There are many reasons why we never see that. We do not need to mention the P-word.
As a romance writer, I look at these images and reflect that I have never dared to write about finding love at 60 years old, 80 years old, or 100 years old. Looking at these women, I feel inspired but daunted. The older a female character is, the more exceptional the lead male character needs to be to woo her away from the life she’s made for herself, and I'm not sure, even in fiction, if such a character could be written.
My opinion is simple, women don’t just drop off the face of the Earth after 40 years old, nor are we content to be ignored or slighted. We exist, and we matter. We are of different ages, backgrounds, and cultures, and most importantly, we are just as diverse and interesting as men. We are not simply just "old."