40 Over 40 Project:

Celebrating women whose power, beauty, strength, grace, and spirit do not diminish with age.


I have photographed, profiled and celebrated 40 women over the age of 40.

WHY 40 OVER 40?

I have been witness to the strength and resilience of all kinds of women in my life but the stories that get to my heart the most often, are the ones of women that society used to label as “past their prime”.

What gives me hope for the future is that I have met woman after woman that have said HELL YES! Women that refuse to be labelled or diminished, are now stepping into their own power. Personally, I feel like I am only beginning to hit my stride. Now I feel called to give a platform to 40 of these women. I want them to be seen, celebrated and have a platform to use their voice to call out to us. I want women all over to hear their stories and be inspired. Will you join me on this journey?

I would like you to meet the UNSTOPPABLE

Maurie Mayer

Maurie’s application to be a part of the Unstoppable project made reference to the fact that she felt like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of her life. I knew that she was perfect. 

I think Maurie had no idea how stunning she is until she saw these photos. Her boyfriend has always known, you could see it in his eyes. But watching the realization in her eyes literally gave me goosebumps. It does. Every. Single. Time. It never grows old helping people see themselves the way that the people that love and respect them see them.

Maurie has a beautiful energy, filled with joy and optimism, as well as a little fire;) You would expect no less from a Phoenix, right?

Anita Watkins

Maurie Mayer’s Portrait taken at Anita Watkin’s Studio in London, Ontario. 

What is the one piece of advice you would give your 20 something self? 

“Do NOT settle for mediocrity. If you’re finding yourself on the back burner, walk away. Don’t go with people who merely tolerate you; surround yourself with people who truly love and appreciate you for the quirky, wacky woman you are. Wear your “crazy” as a badge of honour. Most importantly, your mistakes do not define you; so learn and move on.

Wear your “crazy” as a badge of honour.

My son. He keeps me moving forward and sane.

What gets you up in the morning?

“My son. Arthur and I have been on our own for the last 10 years and if it weren’t for him, I’d have gone down a terrible road. His talent, passion, motivation and drive inspires me everyday. I’m in utter awe of the incredible young man he is becoming. He keeps me moving forward and sane.”

When in your life, so far, have you felt most confident and why?

“My 40th birthday. I woke up that morning and had an incredible revelation; I no longer care what people think of me. Their opinions of me are none of my business. I also realized that I have the world by the balls! I have the knowledge and the power to make my dreams a reality. I’m a woman in my 40’s and I’m finally coming into my own.”

My 40th birthday. I have the knowledge and the power to make my dreams a reality.

I define my own worth and how I feel about myself.

Have your perceptions of what being “attractive” means changed over time?

“I truly feel the most attractive when my boyfriend Troy, looks at me. I used to think the only way I was attractive was by my appearance. Now, I feel beautiful and attractive every day. I have also come to realize that my self worth and esteem is not hinged solely upon my looks or how I dress; I define my own worth and how I feel about myself. I stopped allowing the world to dictate to me what is beautiful or sexy or acceptable. I’ve never felt more alive and beautiful than I do now. Troy helped me see that.

Are there any myths you would like to bust about being a woman over 40? If so, can you tell us about them?

“That you’re too old to start anything new. To that, I say BULLSHIT. I’m just getting warmed up!”

I’m just getting warmed up!

Is there anything you would like to share with people about your life?

“I’m not yet where I want to be; but I’m a lot further ahead than I was 10 years ago. Also, wearing an inflatable T-Rex costume to the grocery store really does make grocery shopping more entertaining! Try it sometime!”

Do you want to learn more about working with Anita?

Portrait Photographer in London, Ontario