The invisible middle
According to We Are Superhuman’s Invisible Middle Study, 70% of women in their 40s and 50s feel they are largely ignored by the mainstream media.
We live in a society that values youth over experience, beauty over wisdom. The media projects an unattainable and airbrushed vision of beauty, and heaven forbid we should be seen with our real-women muffin tops, or cellulite on show.
Did you see the horrific and bullying treatment Stacey Solomon received from Now Magazine for posting a photo on her OWN Instagram page of her wonderful, real, untampered-with body? Talk about body shaming. Imagine how different women would feel if magazines stopped peddling this toxic nonsense and started celebrating our our uniqueness and strengths.
I wrote about it in my own ‘warts and all’ swimming costume photo on Instagram and it’s my most popular photo yet. So clearly I’m not the only one who feels strongly about this.
I read, listen and watch the news, but never buy glossy or gossip magazines. I’m not interested in hearing about who’s too fat or who’s beach body ready. Who decides this shit anyway? I’d much rather hang out on Instagram with my tribe of 40 plus women supporting each other. We’re all shapes, sizes, styles and budgets and that’s where I get my fashion and beauty inspiration.
The Age Well Revolution
I spotted Neal’s Yard Remedies’ competition on their Facebook page a few months ago, calling for women, aged 40 plus to drive their campaign to challenge the way society views ageing. The Age Well Revolution is all about celebrating the inner and outer beauty of women of all ages.
If you don’t know Neal’s Yard Remedies, they are an ethical health and beauty company, making natural, cruelty free, organic products in the UK.
The call for entries said the six winners would be selected by a panel of advocates from the beauty industry. They would become the faces of the Age Well Revolution campaign, featuring in catalogues, posters and online videos.
I have never felt my true age and am loving life in my 40s. So I entered the competition.
And then I bloody won!
This was my entry:
“Ageing well means being comfortable in your skin. Our bodies may have aged, but authenticity, confidence and experience are sexy too. Ageing means making choices that bring us happiness. In my case I chose to give up a 20 year permanent career and start my own business. The response from my clients has been amazing. I would love to share the message that midlife women need not be invisible. As a supportive tribe, we can be bold and powerful.”
Model for a day
So on a very very hot day in July I found myself in a photographer’s studio in South London with five inspirational women. I had a severe case of Imposter Syndrome as I learnt about their achievements. The positivity in the room was palpable. I put on my bravest face, got made up, dressed up and danced around for the photoshoot.
At the end of a sweltering day (did I mention it was hot?), we were filmed talking about our attitudes towards ageing. By then my brain had melted; I was worried about being late for the school pick up (I was, and had to send Thing One to pick up Thing Two); and the result was utter jibberish. Fortunately, Neal’s Yard employed a talented editor to salvage something from the bullshit.
Here’s the result
It’s really exciting to be part of this campaign. I visited my nearest Neal’s Yard Remedies store last week, where this MASSIVE poster of my face is displayed in the window.
And apart from featuring in all their lovely marketing materials, I also won a shedload of Neal’s Yard Remedies products. I’m not sure how many products it is safe to use simultaneously, but I’m going for the record.
Ageing well is all about balance. Finding joy, resting, exercising, eating well, spending time with friends and family, being mindful, surrounding yourself with positive people, ditching the energy sappers and finding your tribe.
Join the #AgeWellRevolution on all the usual social media channels.
Much love, Vx
[Disclosure: Neal’s Yard Remedies have not paid or sponsored me for this post and didn’t expect me to write about my experience of the Age Well Revolution campaign. However I did enter and win their competition and love their products and their values.]