Years ago, my friend Jenn was the epitome of beauty. She had long blonde hair, piercing green eyes, and a pretty smile. Everywhere she went, doors were opened to her. She coasted through college, passing every class. When she went on job interviews, she almost always got an offer.
When we met for coffee the other day, she was lamenting that at her age, mid-’40s, no more doors are being opened to her. She noticed that even with her perfect appearance, excessive dieting, and Botox, employers and the general public could tell she was middle-aged. She is now no longer relevant and has become invisible.
How older women can combat feeling invisible or unseen in social situations
Here are some tips to avoid feeling ignored.
She is struggling with “Invisible Woman” syndrome.
According to the Daily Mail:
The situation you describe has been referred to as the Invisible Woman Syndrome. A survey by Gransnet found 70 percent of women in their study believe they will become invisible as they get older, feeling “unseen, overlooked, and patronized.” And that starts at age 52. Furthermore, two-thirds report that with age, women tend to be less visible than men drawing attention to society’s value on youth and beauty.
And she hates it. For those who love and crave attention like Jenn, this is devastating news. The study says it starts in the 50’s for women, but I think it’s more 40's.
According to The Atlantic:
The Invisibility of Older Women
As they age, women experience less public scrutiny-and entertain a wider set of choices about when and how they are…
The invisible woman might be the actor no longer offered roles after her 40th birthday, the 50-year-old woman who can’t land a job interview, or the widow who finds her dinner invitations declining with the absence of her husband. She is the woman who finds that she is no longer the object of the male gaze — youth faded, childbearing years…