In a recent article in my weekend paper about women over 40, one particular participant was bemoaning the fact that she was now invisible to younger men. She was sharing one of the greatest fears of baby-boomer women. It is the fear of losing your attraction to others. Whether it is your size or what you are wearing, many women feel unnoticed and bypassed both in their professional and personal life.
Here are two questions for you to consider? Who are you dressing for? What do you want to do with the rest of your life?
Read on for my views on whether invisibility is the only option for business and professional women over 40.
Is Invisibility the Only Choice? Yes!
Invisibility is the only option if you choose to take that option. If you decide to retreat from contact from others, wear dowdy clothes, slouch and look unhappy, you will be invisible to everyone and not just young men.
If how you dress and look becomes unimportant to you and you decide to follow your current passions, you cannot be invisible. Your life-affirming attitude will shine through to others.
Is Invisibility the Only Choice? Maybe!
Beware of invisibility by accident. This is when you live in mostly beige or black clothes or become so much of a stereotype of your age group that you show no individuality.
You might have put on extra weight or wear dowdy, shapeless clothes because it is all too hard. You have no idea how to look modern and stylish. To you it seems like the media is only interested in women much younger than you.
You might relate to the survey result In Weight Watchers, July 2010 magazine that found that women today feel less valued by their partners than men do. If any of these are you, it is time to change invisibility by accident.
Is Invisibility the Only Choice? No!
Face the question that frightens you. Who are you dressing for? Are you dressing for men and of what age group? Are you seeking compliments from other women? Are you dressing to please yourself first?
Dressing for yourself to suit your shape and personality improves your posture and puts a smile on your face. Believe me, men of all ages may not notice your clothes or your hairstyle but they do notice your self-confidence. So do other women. They notice the women who walk tall and quietly proud of their individuality – the Helen Mirren, the Maggie Beer and the Mery Streeps of the world. Look around for female role models in your local community or women over 45 who are on a bigger stage.
Even if it seems that no one notices, it is your self-esteem that matters. Youth is spent dressing for others. Age is spent dressing for you only. Stand tall, smile and learn new dressing skills if that is what you need and you will never be invisible.
Now you are ready for the big question. What do you want to do with the rest of your life? Clarity on that attracts people to you. If you are not sure what to do with the rest of your life, I suggest you read I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was by Barbara Sher.
Last Words: Getting your partner to pay you compliments, now that is a whole different subject.