Do you feel visible, relevant and confident after 50?July 3, 2016
During my conversations with many women in their 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond, I have been told by a majority, “I feel invisible. I feel as though I am not seen. I feel ignored. I feel my thoughts are no longer considered. I feel I have become invisible because I am an older woman.” So, darlings, let’s discuss women’s confidence after 50 and let me tell you a story.
Meeting up with an old friend
Yesterday, I had a spring in my step as I headed home after an exhilarating day with five of my girlfriends. I was walking down Michigan Avenue and ran into a friend I had not seen in a few years. Excitedly, I asked her about her new life; how she was fairing. She lost her husband three years ago and sold two homes one on the East Coast and one on the West to resume a new life back in Chicago.
Her smile was so up beat, it was contagious, as she answered, “I am happy! And how are you?”
“I am happy, too!” I smiled back.
We talked about many things and then the topic of age came up and I noted the conversation was peppered with those words again… “visible” and “invisible.”
She said, “I am not visible any longer because I am older and I don’t care. When I walk into any affair or a restaurant I know I am no longer noticed and admired because of my age. There are so many gorgeous young things with their high heels on the scene. This is a fact of life and does not at all hinder my happiness. Being physically invisible comes with age.”
She went on telling me with laughing eyes and a huge smile, “I am dedicated to the arts in all forms; I joined a major philanthropic group, sit on the board with my new young 40ish friends. I fit in fabulously and love hanging out with them. I just came back from studying the arts in Ireland!”
She went on, “I am so glad to no longer be a part of the retirement gated community country club scene. My old life was made up of old people, card games, gossipy women in high school-type cliques and men with physical complaints,” adding, as she laughed, “I did feel visible in that scene!”
We both were still smiling and laughing as we said our good-byes, promising to meet for lunch in the near future. We live a few blocks from one another in the city.
Instead of walking directly home, as planned, I purposely walked to the Museum of Contemporary Art, my thinking spot, that sits across the street from my condo, climbed the 50 or more steps and sat down to think. I needed to replay our conversation and ponder her words about visibility, relevance and a women’s confidence after 50.
Women’s confidence after 50
I recalled a conversation I had several months ago with girlfriends in a focus group. The word invisible was the topic of our two hour meeting. One of the girls said, “I feel invisible.”
These vibrant women opened up, expounding, on how invisible they felt! Their feelings were all related to this thought, “I feel invisible because I am now an older woman.” The women’s confidence after 50 was waning. They didn’t seem to know their relevance.
Fast forward to my conversation with my girlfriend today. She is able to compartmentalize, classify, categorize, pigeonhole…call it what you will… how she deals with the aging process with utter positivity.
She grasps she cannot escape looking older. She is comfortable in her skin. She does not care that she is invisible to strangers when she walks down the street or into a restaurant or attends a gala. She is a woman ‘who gets it!’ She has inner style.
In her private life…she is one visible dame chock full of visibility with her family, friends and young associates in the art world. I believe as she walks into board meetings, travels abroad to study the art of countries or visits with friends over dinner, all heads look up and admire this woman.
Darlings, my friend has found her relevance.
She says: “My fading physical appearance, no longer that of a young woman, does not matter to me.”
I say:“Her inner style is that of a young vibrant woman, living the lifestyle of the contemporary modern woman of today. I think she is beautiful.”
I admire my friend because she is content with her life. She is happy; she is involved in the arts full time, adding her relevance to the Chicago art scene. It matters not to her that she feels invisible when in public places because she knows she is visible where it matters.
Do something GOOD today! Something good for yourself of course, darlings! Find your inner style & share it with the world!! Explore your relevance and boost your confidence after 50. Let me know what you have found! Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook – or leave your comments below!