Women over 50 have been talking about the feeling of invisibility for years. Most women have felt it. Some more than others.
What are the connotations and ramifications of the label of invisibility?
Becoming invisible happens slowly, we don’t suddenly disappear, it is a gradual fading, almost imperceptible. Except for the feeling deep inside that something is changing, we barely realize it is happening.
Then one day we realize we are irrelevant and have become invisible within the eyes society. However, invisibility is not about aging. It is about how our culture imposes the stigma upon us.
For this reason, many women resist the aging process. Holding onto youth, shielding the truth of reality from themselves. They have not made peace with their reflection in the mirror.
Nothing in nature stands still, why are we resisting?
When I decided to follow the course of nature and let my gray hair shine, I let go of pressures that I hadn’t realized I was carrying around. Pressures of how I was taught to be.
I am not advocating all women to go gray, it is a personal choice just like our wardrobe. Yet, for me, it was a gateway to my authentic self. Letting go of the pressure to stay young was liberating.
Evidence of aging was not a ticket to invisibility, it was quite the opposite, it was a ticket to freedom.
It was a badge that said I could be and do as I wished. I no longer needed society’s permission to be me.
No longer hindered by limiting constricts, I now saw qualities like gratitude, kindness, empathy, and compassion more than I saw physical traits.
These qualities are invisible to the eye and it brings me back to the concept of invisibility.
Because someone cannot see us does not mean we are invisible, or we are of lesser value, it means they are looking for something we are not and ignoring the ‘who’ standing before them.
People have always been labeled. The adulterer, the witch, the spinster and the label of invisibility is no different. It is just something society has pinned upon us.
It is time to rethink how we choose to respond.
Perception is one of our greatest tools.
The power we wield is in the way we respond to the challenges which are presented to us. To change how society perceives us, we simply no longer buy the concept we are irrelevant. This shift in response will affect change.
While the label of invisibility at first felt like an affront to me, it actually provided a gift to explore who I am outside of societal norms and expectations.
Evolution equals change. The evolution of ourselves comes from no longer following and abiding by the status quo.
Transform from Invisible to Invincible:
Change our mindset.
Stop complaining about our age.
Stop blaming others for how they perceive us.
Change our inner dialog.
Adjust to reality.
Become our extraordinary selves.
Because we age, does not mean it’s too late to redefine our identities. We are 38.4 million cool, impactful, self-aware boomers. Let us embrace our wisdom and honor our value and worthiness.
The choices we make are paving the way for the generations of women to follow. Let us become the social trend worth following.