On International Women’s Day, I am flying a flag for the midlife woman. We are a contemporary breed who are stepping out in style. Educated, sassy, confident and bloody non-conformist, we don’t show up apologising for being middle-aged.
We are visible whether in the workplace or in social spaces.
There has been an explosion of women tagging themselves as ‘#midlife’ on social media, especially on Instagram. What is a hashtag? It is the modern signifier of identity, if not a proud badge of one’s status. Being midlife is about more than reaching a threshold of age. It is about having lived a half-life and grown more comfortable in one’s skin.
Stupid phrases like ‘Mutton dressed as lamb’ and ‘Over the hill’ ought to be banished from the lexicon used to describe us. It demeans us and mitigates us. Clothing doesn’t come with age restrictions. These are constructed by a society who thinks that midlifers have little to contribute.
Modern feminism has made spaces for midlife women to shine. This is important if we are to move beyond the traditional expectations of us which was to only take on caring duties. While I have not had the joy of becoming a grandmother yet, there are numerous grans who are pioneering a balance of being themselves while taking on caring duties too.
We are versatile and bold. It’s a badass stage. I will continue to speak up for midlifers and for gender inequality or age discrimination where I see it.
So on International Women’s Day 2021, I am calling on midlife women to stand tall and take up your stride.