A personal memoir in which Lyn Slater, known on Instagram as “Accidental Icon,”brings her characteristic style, optimism, forward-thinking, and rules-are-meant-to-be-broken attitude to the question of how to live boldly at any age.
When Lyn Slater started her fashion blog, Accidental Icon, at age sixty-one, she discovered that followers were flocking to her account for more than just her A-list style. As Lyn flaunted gray hair, wrinkles, and a megadose of self-acceptance, they found in her an alternative model of older life: someone who defied the stereotypes, refused to become invisible, and showed that all women have the opportunity to be relevant and take major risks at any stage of their life. Youth is not the only time we can be experimental.
How to Be Old tells the ten-year story of Lyn’s sixties, the sometimes-glamorous, sometimes-turbulent decade of Accidental Icon. This memoir is about the hopeful and future-oriented process of reinvention. It shows readers that while you can’t control everything, what you can control is the way you think about your age and the creative ways you respond to the changes in your mind and body as they happen. Rather than trying to meet standards of youth and beauty as a measure of successful aging, Lyn promotes a more inclusive and empowering standard to judge our older selves by.
In this paradigm-shifting memoir, Lyn exemplifies that even with its unique challenges, being old is just like any new beginning in your life and can be the best and most invigorating of all of life’s phases, full of rebellion and reinvention, connection and creativity.
About the Author
Lyn Slater is a cultural influencer, model, writer, content creator, and former professor. She started Accidental Icon in September of 2014 and has since garnered a loyal fan base of almost a million followers across platforms.
Praise for How to Be Old “In equal parts inspirational and aspirational, Lyn Slater’s How to Be Old is a rousing, thrilling ride of a book. Being old is a privilege and a gift. Slater’s combination of curiosity, glamour, and activism will make readers of all ages take heart.”—Dani Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author
“How to Be Old is a story of aging, of course, but it's primarily a story of living: with verve, with introspection, with great majesty. No one makes me more excited to be old than Lyn Slater."—Anne Helen Petersen, author of The Burnout Generation and Out of Office
"I have watched Lyn Slater from afar for years. She is the kind of woman I have been drawn to all my life, perhaps the kind of woman I am genetically coded to latch myself unto. She is older and wiser and does not seem to give many fucks about the social obligations of either. In this book she does what I have always wanted a cool older woman to do. She kicks out a chair beside her and casually invites you to soak in her courageous vulnerability. How to be Old is a vision for your life this year, next year, in the older years that popular media has made a blurry blank space for women. Through this compelling narrative of career, identity, and aging you can borrow pieces of Lyn's journey, her vision, and her inspiring closet to assemble a version of womanhood that grows as you grow. That is the promise of this inspiring book. Womanhood does not have to be a cage. It can be a stage. And we can dress for whatever part we would like.”—Tressie McMillan Cottom, author of National Book Award Finalist Thick
"What happens when you begin to live outside of the expectations of your culture, your family, your sense of yourself and your sense of your own possibilities? These are the questions I asked myself as I read Lyn Slater's remarkable memoir, a wise and funny story of the path she did not expect to find herself on, which is also the path where she found herself anew. How To Be Old is How To Live, too."—Alexander Chee, award-winning author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel
"Lyn would stand out in any crowd not because of her style but because of her presence. Fashion compliments her personality and is the thread through which she chose to tell us her story—but to me what it expresses is her uniqueness, the type that the world needs—the one that stretches the imagination and makes us question the status quo.”—Garance Doré, New York Times bestselling author of Love, Style, Life
“Finally! A book about growing older that isn’t focused on anti-aging or trying to hold on to the aesthetics of youthfulness. Through the generous retelling of her experiences and lessons learned, Lyn Slater provides readers (both young and old) with guidance on how to prepare for and embrace the blessings and benefits of our inevitable golden years. How To Be Old is an honest exploration of what it means to live… and to do so fully and unapologetically. What a gift Lyn has given us to help navigate this journey called life.”—Christine Platt, bestselling author of The Afrominimalist’s Guide to Living With Less
“Lyn Slater shows the world once and for all that women of all ages are valuable, beautiful and (dare I say it) sexy. Overflowing with inimitable style, wit and candor, How To Be Old is a powerful treaty on what it means to be comfortable, confident—and fully present—in your own skin.”—Debbie Millman, author of Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits and host of the Design Matters podcast
"By being visible on the digital side, Lyn undoes binaries and outdated thinking. And with her book, How to Be Old, Lyn undoes it again, bigger, intentionally, carefully, teaching the many of us who need her guidance to meet ourselves at our age (any age for that matter), again and again with creativity and heart. There is nothing accidental about the icon that is Lyn and this book."—LaTonya Yvette, Storyteller, author of Woman of Color and The Hair Book
"Lyn Slater is not only an accidental icon; she is a true phenomenon, a creative and cultural catalyst, a visual poet whose medium ranges from Watanabe to Miyake, Valentino to Demeulmeester and far beyond. This is a book about what it means to live one's life as an artist, to consider one's place in the world far beyond the prefabricated strictures of so-called age, and instead to think of beauty, creativity, and fashion as the right of every woman. I absolutely loved this book."—Elissa Altman, author of Motherland