….Another day another altered state. The mind blows so many emotions around in a tornado of challenges. Who is this person looking back at my stripped bare face from the steam clouded mirror in the bathroom, hair on end, the errant remains of yesterdays makeup smeared down my face?….I kind of know her….Been kicking around since oooh 1956…

Face says 60.
Brain says 30.

The battle rages – Not between me and my brain, I know myself, there are no more illusions – but between me and the media image of my 60 year old self.  I’m thinking of a few poster queens: The surgically enhanced, photo-shopped Kardashianesque types.  The Theresa May school prefect and captain of the hockey team, glass ceiling busting hard-arse types.  The actress/musician/model verbalising their mid-life crises by bemoaning the lack of roles for older women, whilst nip/tucking/lifting/botoxing to ridiculous extremes.  Is this really something we want to aspire to in order to be visible? I personally try to venture out without being hyper-aware of my age and just approach the world with an open mind and heart. I endeavor to out manoeuvre the script dictators and stick to dancing to the soundtrack of my own life, continue to evolve from within my chosen colourful tribe. It’s fun to dress up, make the most of myself and promenade like the exotic, wisdom filled old bird I like to think I am. I strive to encourage and empower everyone I encounter to stop making excuses and say yes, yes, YES, rather than ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ whenever the opportunity arises to have fun.

Spitalfields Colour walk with an awesome bunch of creative people..

I’m convinced that we are more interested in seeing and being inspired by examples to emulate, from the ordinary extraordinary non-celeb older women who, like me, have been cracking on with this life thing since time.  After all, we are freer to do so than at any other time in our history.  We have been messily attempting and succeeding in doing it our own way, since we were old enough to customise our school uniforms and forge a fake ID, and the stories are often comedy gold….and lets not forget, laughter and sex is good for the health!

So what keeps us in the closet?
Who says we vanish from view post 50?

❤We simply don’t.  It just suits a whole load of other people’s agendas, when and if we buy into the hype that spawns a whole industry of pills, potions, surgery and dependence. Regardless of age or sex, one can find a virtually inexhaustible supply of people who will be happy to make you feel badly about yourself if you let them. Why would we give anyone that much power over us?

The mainstream media/advertising industry, for some reason are failing to see the rising tide of a more visible than ever generation of older women.  Once they believe that it’s financially advantageous to promote a positive image of us golden oldies – BOOM – we will go public in a big and hopefully enlightened way.  The current refusal to acknowledge the worth, beauty and sexuality of us post-menopausal women is their financial loss in my opinion. There is nothing stopping a revolutionary shift in mainstream exposure other than our demanding of it – if indeed that is what we do want. We are free and empowered to make those choices.

In the interests of research, I impetuously filled in an online advertisement for models of all ages and sizes required. I was confident in my belief that when they saw my age and photo they would not get back to me.  They did.  Eek. I decided to be truthful with the phone interviewer about my motivation – ie; seeking research material to prove my invisibility and the media theory for my book; The Invisibility Myth.  Surprisingly, amusingly gob-smacked, I am invited in for a photo shoot.  Double eek!

Showered, blank canvas – ish…..

Sooooo,  yesterday I rocked up at the photographic studio in Marylebone, London.  Fresh faced as requested (apart from my lippy – I feel naked without it!), with a suitcase full of “looks” trawled from my wardrobe for potential portfolio/agency photographs.  You know what? Not going to lie, I had a blast, despite my reservations.  Oh the joy of having someone else do the hair, the makeup…. the preening!  The only vaguely uncomfortable moment was having my waist size taken (no comment!).  I have posted some of the un-retouched photos on this blog, because I am proud of the me they show. Plus, the opportunity it afforded me, to chat to the young women who work there and those coming and going, about research for my book, and experience the less than glam reality of the selection process of potential models from 3 to 60, was both fascinating and enlightening. 

I have never looked this glam!

I felt nothing but huge respect for the courage and determination of young people who decide that a career in the media spotlight is their calling in life.  My own agenda was different, therefore being seen as a potential older model at the end of the shoot was an amusing and unexpected bonus. When and if, the agency concerned actually translates what happened with me yesterday into paying work, we shall see.  I shall look past any hype and have fodder for my book regardless.  Yesterday’s shenanigans may see my un-botoxed, unsnapped and nipped 60 year old face and body off on a whole new adventure, pioneering the glam older woman look into a more mainstream acceptance – squee!!!  Who knows? Stranger things have happened.

The gold shoes had another outing…

Just call me Helen for now – that’s Helen Mirren – Now THERE’S a glam babe….But she’s mainstream, therefore outside my chosen remit….

However, if anyone fancies making a film of my life, I always wanted her to play me…..in the absence of the real me of course …. And quite honestly that real me ain’t aiming on going anywhere invisible in the foreseeable future…Accompanied by my freedom pass of course… 

                                                   💋I am ever the optimist.💋
                                                           Love in abundance.

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