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In/Visible after 45

Updated: Jun 4

We are only as invisible as we want to be

Maybe it's time to get those big glasses you've always wanted!

I was recently talking with a friend and she asked my if I'm feeling invisible now. For sure, I answered but then I wondered how much is it to do with my age and how much of it has to do with being a Gen X woman. I would love to go on about the woes of the forgotten generation but the invisibility that my friend was refering to was the age-related variety experienced primarily by women over the age of 45, thereabouts. There's being physically ignored, which for some women can be a big social shift in power. But the invisibility that I think we all face as women of a certain age, is similar to the Gen X experience- we just aren't seen as important. This can mean not seeing ourselves reflected in art and media, not having a political/social/cultural voice and generally having our experiences ignored. While I'm not an expert yet on navigating invisibility, here is what some real pros I've discovered have suggested:

Embrace your invisibility: This article is hilarious! Check out how one woman recognized her invisibility and created street art without anyone noticing her. In the author's words, "Joy and rage are both necessary tools to counter the effects of ageism twinned with sexism". Here you'll find a video that demonstrates both the rage about older women's invisibility and finally using it to get what we want.

Get funky: Big glasses, big jewelry, loud colours, and an "I don't give a shit what you think attitude"- it's your time ladies, don't be afraid to stand out!

Stop being a people pleaser: It's now more important than ever to work on being more assertive and confident. Start by paying attention to how you interact with others and notice how often you apologize, pretend to be satisfied and/or prioritize other's needs. Work on setting goals for yourself (what are you looking to get out of this meeting/discussion/group chat?), set boundries, and reflect before commiting to anything. Women who take on the role of "office mom" at work will get to a point where they realize it benefited everyone else and took time away from the work that might have advanced their careers.

Listen to the older women in the room: If women start shifting the attention away from men, that can make a big difference. Question the dynamics of a social situation and don't be afraid to shake things up.

Work on being the person you want to be: As this posh woman says in her personal story on overcoming feeling invisible as after 50, "When you are emotionally fulfilled, you become a visible woman." What do you feel is missing from your life and what supports do you need in order to feel more satisfied?

Use meditation, journaling or rituals: You don't have to be a deeply spiritual person to benefit from meditation or rituals. They can have an deep impact on our psyche. Sit in silence, take a walk or do a ceremony with candles, essential oils and focus on honouring yourself as a woman and your importance in this world.

Invisibles Unite! Reading stories of women who worked through their sense of invisibility, the word that came up the most was "connect". Connect to yourself and connect with other women who are going through this as well. To feel more relevant, there's nothing better than being seen for your invisibility!

Make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook where I will post content meant to lift you up.

Work with someone who understands you! Feelings of invisibility can come and go throughout your life but might feel particularly difficult during the peri/menopausal years . This is why I want to support women going through this stage of life because it is so much more than symptoms alone. Using a holistic approach, we can work together to design a life with more physical comfort, connectedness, and joy.

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