You may think, "Well, OK, but I have no idea what you are talking about." Frankly, that's what I would be expecting you to say. So let me explain.
I have a friend in the cyberverse who is a year older than I am, and is a fashion blogger. She posts her outfits and makeup choices every day, and she also has a YouTube channel where she discusses beauty, fashion, life, etc. from the viewpoint of what she calls a "mature" woman (she just turned 63). She is attractive, seems like a lot of fun, and also has a good sense of style - you know, a person who can put things together and they look fashionable (whereas, I put things on and they are clothes). I enjoy her blog and her podcasts, but I am pretty sure that if we met in real life, we would not be good friends.
Because she is an activist when it comes to wanting advertisers and society in general to embrace older women, and the "pro-aging" movement. She writes to companies all of the time telling them to use someone other than 20-year-old stick models in their advertisements; she asks them to design with the older woman in mind; and she will cancel any magazine subscription where they do not feature any mature women, or use the term "anti-aging." (She must have a lot of magazine subscriptions, since she has cancelled at least 5 during the time I've known her.)
I get her point. I really do. And I will admit that when I see someone who is clearly out of their twenties in an advertisement (print or otherwise), I think it's great. I do wish that it was easier to find clothes that don't make me look as if I want to relive my teens or twenties (once was more than enough, thank you!), so I can appreciate that part.
But you know what? I really don't care, in the grand scheme of things. Even as a teenager and young adult, it seriously never ever occurred to me that women in magazines or on TV were supposed to look like me, or anyone that I knew. I figured they were out of the norm of my experience because that was their job. I didn't care about how thin they were/were not, because they didn't look like anyone I ever saw around anyway. I might think, "Oh that's a nice dress," or like their lipstick or whatever, but NEVER did I get the message that that is how I was supposed to look. I'm not exactly sure why, but really and truly it just never occurred to me. Probably because I was a pretty weird kid, but even as a young adult I never expected it.
Then I got older. And the first time it occurred to me that I was actually "invisible" was when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and had a mastectomy. It became clear to me that because I was older (late 40s) and had no children, it didn't "matter" as much. If the worst happened, I wouldn't leave half-orphaned children and/or grandchildren behind, and since I was the age I was, it's not like I should worry about whether or not I looked that good afterwards. I will admit that this was extremely frustrating, but again, I always just figured it was others' problem, not mine.
So do I care about my appearance? Yes, of course. I try to look the best I can, when I can. I keep active so I can enjoy my life more and be healthier, and live longer to be with friends and family. I enjoy dressing up on occasion, and I do wear makeup and [attempt to] fix my hair. I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin, and have been for most of my life. And though I would like the world to do things my way, it doesn't. I don't mind being invisible for the most part.
I don't think I have to look like her:
any more than I think I *should* look like her:
but I also hope I don't look like her:
What about you? Are you an activist like my cyber-friend? Or like me, who can understand and appreciate her position on things, but can't be bothered to get worked up over it?