What about women? Why are we invisible beyond the age of say, 50 if not before? This is where I put my foot down and explore my interests in, fashion, style, health, beauty, inner wisdom and vegan food to empower women who are fab at fifty and beyond. My mission? To destroy the archetype of the invisible woman … in other words, the woman who is neither young nor old in society’s eyes, often unavailable and as such, uninteresting, unattractive and undesirable. These are the women who are too old to be considered by employers as prospective assets or to have admirers leap through hoops for them, whilst at the same time, too young to be offered either a seat on public transport or indeed the reverent respect bestowed upon the elderly.
Am I too old for graffiti?
Should I be standing next to a Cathedral?
My words are not only for women over fifty, but everyone who, for whatever reason, feels invisible and wishes to be visible and vibrant!
What makes us feel past it?
Is it the fact that we have a few wrinkles? Or that we don’t know what to do on an Xbox game without reading an instruction booklet? Maybe we simply can’t get over cringing at the misuse of the word ‘sick’ as something desirable and positive? I have one phrase to accompany you on your journey towards being visible and vibrant …… 'Embrace with Grace and Compassion'. Sorry, this is maybe not quite the exciting and mysterious word that was anticipated, however it is the first word and believe me, it is an apt and very worthy springboard for greater things – insert smiley grinning face! Complaining about, rejecting or denying anything is the road to hell, or a lifetime of rocket salad with no dressing – insert grumpy face!
I have an eleven year old son who is in that no mans’ land of Mum is wonderful, knows everything and the fixer of all things whilst also being annoying, old fashioned and in short, totally clueless …. about EVERYTHING! This is the same son who can accuse me of total fashion blindness when I dare to suggest a certain hoodie looks great on him, but will call me after I’ve left the house in the morning to declare that he is having a total hair catastrophe and what is he to do about it? In fact, if I could fix it ‘remotely’ from my car using my Bluetooth connection, that would be deemed to be appropriate parenting. Show an interest and embrace, rather than criticize the changes. That is my note to self. Like all imperfect human beings, I do sometimes leave my notes lying around, I lose them or even forget to look at them; however, persistence is key. I listen to my son explaining how he won on Fortnight with the intense curiosity I could never have engineered had he been explaining a series of tactics and ball manoeuvres involved in scoring a goal in football. Thankfully for me, he is not interested in football. Phew!
The more I learn about his world, the more I can relate to him and introduce positive values in a way that he can, in turn relate to. He has recently been introduced to ‘Stranger Things’ which he watches with his older sister. He is engrossed in a world where geeks are OK, there is a positive feminist message and physics is fun. Would he have listened to me if I had told him these things? Hell no. He is off his Xbox and bonding with his sister to boot … everyone’s a winner.
The First Step to Freedom at Fifty!
''Four things do not come back: the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity.''
Embrace does not mean accept. Acceptance is optional. Embracing is smiling at your emerging grey hairs and saying ‘hello you little fuckers, be ready to die … or be DYED … mwah ha ha’. Do you see the difference my friends? No time for pathetic ‘Oh no, I’ve got grey hairs, I’m getting old, woe is me blah blah blah’ Get over yourself. Eat healthily, eat treats, exercise, but not too much, have some wine, spend time with friends, and cover or disguise what you don’t like. If all else fails, then just lie. ‘No I don’t have a trace of cellulite on my butt’. Who is going to check? Get your spandex on, drink your herbal tea – rose petals picked by vestal virgins, job done. We’ve been distorting reality for years, we are experts. When did you start shaving your legs or stop farting in public? Our lives are a constant stream of deceit and carefully controlled self-promotion. Even the dreadlocked crusty in the corner is a walking promotion of not only her or his cause, but also of her or his identity.
Do whatever it takes to make YOU, whoever YOU want to be. At fifty, I am not ready to be invisible. I am not prepared to join any ranks of people who need to take it easy and wear their glasses on a chain around their necks (although the latter is sometimes very tempting). At fifty plus we are a growing cohort of potential; our wisdom, experience, spending power and vitality can provide the refreshing elements of a more enriched society. Our beauty can shine through be it through laughter or Botox (if that’s your thing).