Fashion can really change others’ perception of who we are, no matter our age. Join us in discussion with lifestyle blogger Jodie Filogomo who knows what it means to be a fierce woman. Enjoy the show!

Margaret Manning:

My guest today is Jodie Filogomo. Jodie is a fashion blogger at Jodie’s Touch of Style. She’s really passionate about bringing women of all ages together and helping them to find their style and their voice in fashion. It’s really nice to have you here with us, Jodie.

Jodie Filogomo:

Thanks, Margaret. It’s my honor.

Margaret:

The reason why I think you’re a great asset to the Sixty and Me community is because you love to make fashion fun and accessible to women of all ages. I appreciate that.

Jodie:

Honestly, just because we’re getting older doesn’t mean we should become invisible to the world. I think it’s important to keep pushing others to remember that. Also, we have to get dressed every day. Why not do it and have fun?

Margaret:

We all know that our clothing expresses our personality. It communicates who we are and what’s important to us. Maybe our hair style and makeup contribute a bit, too, but clothes do say a lot.

I raise this topic because there’s a different attitude toward women who have reached the milestone of 60, and we notice that. But unless we show people that we’re still traveling, working, volunteering and wearing the clothes that represent who we are, we accomplish nothing. There’s real power in style.

Jodie:

Yes, there is. Your clothes showcase different facets of your personality every day, because none of us is one-dimensional. One day you can wear something bohemian, and the next day you may choose something more classic. It depends on which facet you intend to show the world.

Margaret:

I really like how your website is structured to feature three generations of women. You are in your 50s, your step-mom in her 60s and your mom in her 80s. And I noticed that in all your blogs you give off the vibe that women of all ages are always smiling and looking great, each with her own style.

Jodie:

Yes. It’s nice because we’re different shapes, and you get to realize that you don’t have to be stick-thin to feel and look good. You could be any shape and size, and you don’t need to conform to anyone else’s style. We all have different styles, and that makes us unique.

Margaret:

And our style can change people’s perception of us. There’s a campaign that you have been a part of along with a lot of other women bloggers in their 50s. It’s called the Fierce 50 campaign, and I’d like you to tell us more about it.

Jodie:

It started as the Fierce 50, but now we’re including other ages, and we call the movement Forever Fierce. Many women don’t consider themselves fierce, because the word has a strong connotation, and I, too, had trouble with it at first.

We ran a recent campaign to showcase women who aren’t bloggers and to find out what fierce means to them in midlife. It was very enlightening to see that even though we’re all very different – we’ve gone through many life experiences, we’ve lived different lives – we’re united by the fact that we’re standing strong after the struggles.

In a way, that makes us fierce. It’s not always easy, nor was it fun when we were going through those struggles, but it really makes us more human and more experienced in those aspects of our lives.

Margaret:

I totally agree with you. There are all those famous sayings incorporating opposites like, women over a certain age can love because they’ve been hurt. And, they’re brave because they’ve known fear. I think those are really powerful.

Campaigns like this one are sort of forcing society to reckon with women of all ages. As a fashion blogger, how did you participate in this campaign?

Jodie:

In the beginning, the whole idea was to get advertisers, media and retailers to look at our age demographic and realize we are important, that we shouldn’t be passed over as invisible. But it’s grown to be more than that.

So, as we mentioned, clothes do tell a story, and style shouldn’t be neglected no matter our age. The stories and life lessons we have to offer are important for the younger generations. But in order for those younger women to relate to us and our experiences, we need to be able to dress in a way that speaks to them. It may sound superficial, but that’s part of life.

Margaret:

You’re right about that. I see a lot of interest from women in our community to mentor younger women. We actually wrote an article a while ago titled, “60 Things That Older Women Want Younger Women to Know.” Some of the things were more fun and frivolous, but others were pretty involved.

It was all about sharing tough lessons and wisdom that we’ve gained with age, like, “Don’t marry the first guy that asks you.” And, “Always have your own savings account.” At this age, we’ve got important life lessons to share that will benefit the younger generations.

So, I’m really pleased that you’re involved in the Forever Fierce campaign. I know that there was one day when all of you decided to publish an article about fashion for older women. How did that go?

Jodie:

It was fabulous. It’s really inspiring to see other women your age dressing in ways you thought you would never dress. It makes you think, “Oh, if she can do it, I can do it.” Of course, you don’t have to copy them, but it kind of frees you to be bold in your style.

Margaret:

You could also see it as permission to be yourself. I talked with Dorrie Jacobson the other day. She’s an ex-Playboy bunny in her 80s, and she’s got a unique sense of fashion. She has Instagram where she shares amazing photos, and she’s right there with the Millennials, doing her thing on the social platforms.

In our conversation, she shared something really profound, that when you look in your closet, every item you see must be ‘you’. As older women, we can finally adopt an attitude where we don’t try to please anybody anymore. Of course, we still want to fit in, up to a point. But most importantly, we want to show our own identity.

Jodie:

When we were younger, fitting in was really important. With age, though, we’re starting to realize we want to be more unique and even stand out at times. Maybe not every day and at every occasion, but it’s not a bad thing to look a little more flamboyant and do things that we wouldn’t normally do.

Margaret:

Are you familiar with James Coughlin? He wrote a book called Longevity Economy. In this book, he says that the future is in older women. We are starting to come forward with our voices that we took back in the 60s and 70s. We still have strong opinions and views.

Jodie:

We’ve made great strides and getting older is not going to stop our progress.

Margaret:

Nobody expected it, but we’ll be around for a while more.

Jodie:

When women live to be 80, 90 or 100, 60 is considered young.

Margaret:

Absolutely. That’s what we keep telling everybody. We also know that life is fragile, and it can be taken in a moment. So, our wisdom says, “Get out there and take chances, but don’t forget that all of this is precious.”

Jodie:

Yes. You might as well try it. Have fun and enjoy life, every piece of it.

Margaret:

Exactly. I love your attitude, Jodie, and I think you’re an inspiration to women of all ages, but particularly us over 50. Thank you so much for what you do. We’ll keep in touch.

Do you consider yourself fierce? What does the word mean to you? What life experience have you gone through that have made you tough and independent? Please share in the comments below.

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