We women often complain that we’re invisible after a certain age. This doesn’t mean men aren’t interested, but that society at large ignores us. Ageism is, unfortunately, a fact of life. We need to call it out, but instead of hoping someone else will do the legwork for us, there are things we can do to counteract ageist attitudes. In my mid-fifties, I believe feeling invisible is, to a certain extent, a choice.
If you feel invisible, ask yourself whether this is something you always felt or whether it happened as you grew older. In any case, it usually has more to do with your level of self-confidence than with age. I’m saying this from experience. When I was very young, I had a severe eating disorder that shattered my already shaky self-esteem. No matter what others said to the contrary, I never felt I was thin or pretty enough, and I also thought I was a complete failure. Years of therapy and inner work helped me overcome this and I eventually wrote books on female self-esteem and empowerment. It wasn’t until I reached my forties that I realized my true worth. At fifty, I finally loved myself inside and out. And in my mid-fifties I feel better than ever both personally and professionally.
I already have my first “real” wrinkles, and I also have gray hair, menopause and some aches and pais. But honestly, my self-image is more solid than it ever was. Now I truly know it’s a matter of self-worth, and for that reason I cultivate it daily. Of course I don’t feel like a goddess each and every day, I’m human. But here are a few things that help me on my journey to preserve non-invisibility, for life.
Also read: Natural makeup tips for midlife women
1.- Don’t hide your age.- Giselle Blondet, Puerto Rican TV presenter and model, told me in an interview shortly after she turned fifty, that when a woman says her age publicly, she immediately looks more beautiful. I agree with her. I dream of the day when all women can say their age openly, proudly, fearlessly. I never fear someone will find out how old I really am and that is truly liberating. By the way, I turn 56 later this month.
2.- Unearth your charisma.- Your mannerisms, the way you smile, laugh, talk, interact, all comprise your style, your personal trademark. When you not only accept yourself but feel at ease with who you are, that makes you charismatic. A woman with charisma will never be invisible, no matter her age.
3.- Establish your personal style.- Instead of following trends, now is the moment to reinforce your personal style. In my case my long hair, silver and costume jewelry, shawls, and funky glasses are all a part of my midlife style. No matter how you dress, the important thing is that it reflects who you are today. If you feel comfortable with your clothes and accessories, you will always stand out.
4.- Find your life purpose.- When you have a clear life purpose, you are unstoppable. A woman who speaks with passion of her dreams and interests is impossible to overlook. If you have not yet found your vocation, ask yourself what you would do if you didn’t need to make money. Find the time and the resources to carry it out.
5.- Conquer a goal.- When we were younger, anything seemed possible and perhaps we didn’t give much thought to the goals we were achieving. But doing something difficult when you’re over a certain age not only increases your self-esteem, it makes you more visible to others too. I ran my first half-marathon at 48 and I rocked my first Crow pose in yoga at 52. I got my yoga teacher certification at 55. All these accomplishments made me feel superhuman.
6.- Surround yourself with like-minded people.- When you make new friends, look beyond their age. Don’t think you don’t fit in a group or activity because of your age. Connect with people who are younger, older and the same age as you, but make sure they share your same energy and joie de vivre. These like-minded souls will always have eyes and ears for you.
7.- Open your heart.- After fifty, we’ve all been through more than one challenge. Always keep a sense of wonder. This will always make you attractive physically, mentally and emotionally, no matter how hard you’ve had it!