Many women in the Sixty and Me community say that they feel invisible. Sometimes, this feeling comes from no longer having your kids around to take care of. Other times, feeling invisible is more closely related to the way in which society treats older women.
It seems like turning 60 is an invitation to stop having opinions and to “age gracefully,” in the most negative sense of the expression.
As I’ve written about in the past, invisibility does not have to be an inevitable part of aging. There are plenty of things that we can do to fight back.
Do our bodies change as we get older? Of course! Does society value youth over wisdom? Yep! But, neither of these facts mean that we should “go gentle into that good night.” We have lived amazing lives. We deserve to be valued and listened to. We deserve to be seen and heard!
This is the topic that I discussed with my guest on the Sixty and Me Show, Lyn Slater. Lyn is an academic and an author with a passion for helping older women to embrace the unique beauty that comes with age. Enjoy the show!
There can be little doubt that society wants us to slow down. We hear every day how baby boomers should “hurry up and retire” to free up jobs for younger workers.
Lyn says that older women should feel free to work, take leadership roles and wear clothes that make them feel great. I couldn’t agree more. By the way, if you’re looking for some inspiration check out this article about fashion for women over 60. It has tons of pictures of stylish older women who are breaking the mold and refusing to be invisible.
As almost all of us have realized by now, getting older is not for the faint of heart. I’m not talking about the physical changes that take place as we get a little older, although these are certainly real. I’m talking about our search for meaning and purpose in “the best years of our lives.”
Lyn points out that many women accept invisibility as a defense mechanism. It helps to protect them against their fears and anxieties. It also helps them to delay or ignore the inevitable questions that we all face as we enter our 60s and 70s.
If this sounds like you, Lyn says that there is hope for a better more vibrant life. You don’t need to hide any more. You can find the courage to be yourself. You can embrace your own vulnerability and allow yourself to trust other people again.
Madeleine L’Engle once said, “The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.”
Most women in our community don’t feel 65 on the inside. Part of life after 60 is learning to bring our inside persona in line with our aging bodies. In order to do this, Lyn says that we need to learn to love our “imperfections.” They are what makes us who we are.
Lyn is also a big believer that clothing and style can lead to rebirth. Style after 60 should not be about trying to look younger. It should be about bringing the person that we are on the inside into the world. No-one is going to criticize you for being yourself. So, go wild! The most important thing is to find clothes that make you feel amazing.
Today, let’s commit ourselves to living our way. Let’s choose clothes that make us feel great. Let’s get involved with the political and social issues that matter to us. Let’s play an active role in our families and in society. Let’s refuse to be invisible. Let’s be ourselves!
Why do you think that the transitions that happen in our 60s are sometimes so hard to deal with? What one thing have you done recently to get more from life after 60? Please join the conversation and watch my interview with Lyn.