Do you have an invisibility cloak?

According to a study, reported in Platinum Magazine, 70% of women believe they become invisible after the age of 45 but only 32% think the same applies to men.  How do men feel about that?  Would they say it’s true?

Have you ever experienced not getting served in the pub or being talked over in front of others? Do you ever feel that you are not noticed, seen or heard, or considered to have a valuable enough opinion, or relevant expertise?  Is it down to the vibes we give off ourselves?  That self-fulfilling prophecy?

A contributor to this article suggested that we (women) need to lead by example and not fade away, letting our expression, influence, legacy and knowledge crumble. We need to be seen, to be heard and to be fabulous.

Yet invisibility can provide an element of freedom.  OK, we may be considered as less desirable and may feel less relevant or interesting, but in becoming less visible, we can become freer, more independent.  We no longer need to worry about what others think, or care too much about how we look or act in public. It can be liberating. With life no longer being dominated by looks or the pressure to appear young, we avoid unwanted attention. Some of us just want peace and quiet.  There’s a different kind of confidence that comes with the devil-may-care attitude. 

Middle age invisibility can be a great leveller.  If you have that group of friends that has the pretty one, the clever one, the funny one, the kind one, now you’re all getting older, the pretty one is less likely to be able to rely on that, whereas at least the rest of you are still clever, funny and kind.

It’s up to us to help change perception about value being associated with youth and beauty, so that women are listened to for the experience, wisdom and decency, and have a lot more to offer than just a pretty face.

There are a few people, both male and female that make me feel invisible. They’ll talk over me. Not ask if I’d like another drink whilst they’re getting others one. Butt in and give the answer I was in the process of giving (maybe I wasn’t getting to the point quick enough). 

When I grew up I was always referred to as one or other of my sibling’s younger sister. When I got married I then became C’s wife.  When R was at school I was always her mum.  I didn’t have my own identity or visibility for very many years.  Work is the only environment where I’m known for myself.  But even there I can skulk back into the background, get talked over, or not given the chance to participate in the conversation.   I am learning to not let that bother me so much, but also stand my ground when I do have something to say. 

There are times when I want to be invisible.  To hibernate away from life and people and enjoy my own, cozy world.  There are others where I want to be visible either for my own benefit or in support of others.  If I notice someone else not participating, or being talked over, I will bring them in so that they too can be seen and heard.

How do you make yourself seen and heard, or do you prefer to be invisible?


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