Use-by date or Best Before 40?
January 20, 2013
Question #138: Why is ‘young’ the only flavour on offer for women?
I started this post a long time ago. It was Question #31 when I began to write it – but then this absurd life threw in many a curve ball and am only now revisiting this very important issue:
Women’s invisibility once they hit their ineffectual use-by date – generally 40s and up.
The following article – The mysterious case of the disappearing women - says the following:
“Try climbing through higher education, motherhood, self-employment, years of self-improvement, gyms, diets, abstinence of everything enjoyable – from ciggies to Magnums to suntans – to selflessness, to finally reach the summit of womanhood, fit, exultant and ready to fly – to find . . . a generational wipeout,” she ruminated in a column in The Sun-Herald. “Visibility: zero. Scream ‘Where the bloody hell are you?’ all you like, but don’t look to the movies, the media or airwaves because, aside from Gillard, Germaine on Adam Hills in Gordon St Tonight the other week, glimpses of Jenny Brockie and Jennifer Byrne, Kristin Scott Thomas and Juliette Binoche buried deep within the bowels of a French film festival, there’s barely anyone out there who represents my age group.” Ouch.
The documentary Miss Representation disclosed statistics showing that although women aged 40+ comprise a large chunk of our gender, we are microscopically misrepresented in the media – like film, for example.
What we are being saturated with, are images of women in their 20s – generally looking ‘hot’ and ‘sexy’. Don’t even get me started on the damage this does to our developing young girls. Although women in their 30s are visible – there’s no denying that it’s the decade when it all starts to trickle down to invisibility.
Why? Because woman’s true value and efficacy seems to be solely attached to her youthful glow and, in turn, her sexual allure. Can’t be older AND be sexually attractive! Goodness me.
Doesn’t it infuriate women to know that even though we spend billions on ‘improving’ ourselves (just like they tell us to), it hasn’t afforded us any more airtime?
How sad that at the time when women are truly coming into their own skin (around 40) and really start to understand who they are; where they want to run out onto the street and toss their hat up in the air like Mary Tyler Moore – is the exact moment society doesn’t want to know.
I found myself feeling vital and energised when I turned 40, in many areas of my life – in other areas, not so much (the ones that are out of balance) – so:
Question #138: Where are the stories of my fellow sisters in the same proverbial boat?
It would be simply marvellous to actually hear the stories of women’s life experiences – with a spectrum of what’s possible – not just witness the same narrative over and over again, where young and ‘gorgeous’ girls chase guys for love, or worse still, we actually DO see the wonderful achievements of women, only to have them be overshadowed by her outfit or cellulite issues.
We’re ever so much more.