It may have been the adrenaline of finishing the 10km Bridge To Brisbane fun run, a rush of blood to the head, if you like, but when I sat down inception-like in The Sunday Mail subscriber post-race hospitality area and opened The Sunday Mail to read a story about me, I completely overlooked the headline.
But my Instagram followers didn’t. The DMs started flooding in seconds after I posted an Insta Story about the feature … and they’ve kept flowing all day.
The Sunday Mail August 25, 2019
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have no problem being labelled a Gran, Granny, Grandma or Nanna … when or if I become one. Last time I looked, you don’t qualify for such a status unless your kids have kids or step-kids. 🤷♀️
As I started to reply to each message, the 🤣 emoji was my immediate response. My second response was to check in with my adult kids to find out if they had something to tell me. HAH. Kidding. I can confirm neither are expecting.
Then … ever the person to think the best of people, I tried to explain to those messaging me that I’d been a journo and sub editor in a previous life and mistakes can and do happen. I know that the journalist did also talk to a friend of mine – Karen from @styleloving2 – for the story. And she IS a grandma. Her part of the story may have been cut to fit the space. Again, not unusual in newspaper land. So, maybe the headline and intro made sense when Karen’s bit was in the story?
Or maybe, as the hundreds of messages I received pointed out … the headline writer was trying to be a bit too clever with his or her play on words and, in doing so, missed the mark. Sloppy editing at best; ageism at worst.
I’ll let you think on that for a minute, shall I? If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ll know that my message couldn’t be further from the concept of ageism. I’ve long championed women of all ages – particularly through the #everydaystyle community I started on Instagram in 2103 and also through my fashion label.
It’s long been a mission of mine to flip on its head the idea that fashion should only be represented on one type of woman. Instagram has made that possible. Follow the right people and you’ll have a feed filled with diverse style inspiration. Yes, it’s alive, well and prospering in a sea of youth-focussed fashion marketing.
I believe reaching a certain age doesn’t mean we need to change how we show up in the world – unless you want to change. And I believe that every year on this planet is an absolute gift. Losing my mum suddenly when she was 51 underlined this for me … in the most heartbreaking way.
The reporter – Antonia O’Flaherty – was in no way ageist in her interview with me. She was thoughtful, interested and engaged. I’m grateful for the feature because, while the headline sucks and is mis-representative of who I am, it IS unusual for media to be even interested in featuring women over 40 and 50.
I’ve been in this online world since I was 41 and still maintain that the biggest positive experience I’ve had has been connecting with other women who I otherwise wouldn’t have met. Women, who don’t believe style has a use-by date. Women, who believe you’re only “invisible” if you choose to be. Women, who want to keep getting up each day and grabbing life by the horns.
It’s about time that the rest of the media and marketing world caught up and opened their eyes. We’re a generation that refuses to be boxed away or hidden. We’ve got more money to spend on ourselves than our 20 or 30-year-old counterparts. And we plan to be around for a good time AND a long time.
I’d love to hear your thoughts?
PS. Below the the over-50 influencers I shared with The Sunday Mail for potentially part of the story. They’re all based in south-east Queensland/northern NSW because that’s the main reach of the Sunday Mail. If you’re not following them or the #everydaystyle hashtag, please do.