A really wise man (George Bernard Shaw) once said that youth is wasted on the young.
Sadly, even that quote was wasted on me until a few years ago — but it really is true. When you are young you are there, you’re loud and proud and seen.
There is something selfishly terrifying about not being seen anymore — and I don’t mean the whole show off, brazen, in-your-face side of social media or even being the woman dressed like Lady Gaga at the local RSL.
I mean the day-to-day feeling of being invisible, all because you just hit a birthday that says you have more in common with what Kerry-Anne Kennerley and Hilary Clinton are wearing than Miley Cyrus. And guess what? That’s OK.
These days I’m definitely feeling it. Before you say, “Oh please you work in the media and you’re a loud mouth, cheeky, attention-seeking woman,” you have to remember feeling invisible is a feeling only relevant to the human feeling it, the human living it. It’s all in context of the life you’re used to living. And while admitting that you feel invisible can feel awfully selfish and self-indulgent the reality of ageing is that we can start to feel this way.
I was once voted the sexiest woman on Australian radio and before you bark back at me, let me just say — surely I’m allowed a little wankiness to explain the story. Right? What I’m trying to say is, I once turned heads at the red carpet events I would attend. And now? Well, photographers ask me to hold the bag of a ‘YouTube beauty blogger.’
Yes, I used to be the one that felt (embarrassingly) important because I was wanted. Was it shallow? Yes. Was it a fake existence that came crashing down the day I turned 40? Sort of. Do I care? No, not really. There’s no one more surprised at this discovery than me, let me assure you. I’m happy to hand over the baton and start a new life with a bit more substance and a bit more depth. I’m starting off easily, step by step, by involving myself in campaigns that have some real meaning to them. Like Nivea’s #standfirm campaign.
But, there is a way to change our thoughts. We don’t all have to disappear on an Eat Pray Love self-discovery expedition to find ourselves and our self-worth. We don’t need to delete our Facebook accounts. And no, we don’t have to stop uploading the occasional Sunday brunch selfie to Instagram. It can be as simple as sending supportive messages during the week to say, “Hey you’re amazing.” Don’t ever discount the importance of a well timed text — and chucking a #standfirm doesn’t hurt either. A little ‘textual healing’ is an easy way to pause our crazy day and play it forward. It’s a way to say “you are not invisible. You’ re important to me.” Surely that can’t be a bad thing (except maybe for your data usage).
I refuse to become invisible. I refuse to lay down and disappear just because my Instagram feed doesn’t feature 20 selfies a day. I’m here to stay with my authentic TMI daggy posts because after all, these days I’d rather be the UGG-boot-wearing-elastic-waisted-dog-obsessed-radio-lady on a mission to help women feel better about getting older.
I’m taking Nivea’s advice and choosing to #standfirm and I want all of you — the visible and the invisible — to stand with me. I’m not fading into an Instagram #sunset just because I’m getting older — I mean just look at that seamless hashtag usage. If anything, I’m getting better and I feel I have so much more to offer now than I did in my 20s. Please don’t take that as me diminishing all of the beautiful, smart, young women out there — it’s just simple maths. Life experience + age = bucket loads of amazing stories, collected words and intelligence to help others navigate the same messy pond we all share called life.
For more of Nivea’s #standfirm campaign, watch the video below:
The NIVEA #Standfirm campaign is asking mothers and daughters to #standfirm together and boost each other’s confidence
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