We women of a certain age often complain of becoming invisible. Nobody notices me any more, we sigh. Not even those cheeky builder blokes who’d whistle at anything remotely female (unless their preference is for other blokes, and even then they might give a woman the whistle just to be kind). Once you can pass a building site completely unacknowledged you know it’s all over. You have entered the twilight zone of the living dead.
Some of us try to remedy this situation by dressing to attract attention. Look at me, we – or rather, our outfits – proclaim. I may be getting on but I’m still here, still woman, still vital, still me. This bid for attention may or may not include a statement of overt sexuality. I’m still a sexy beast, I’ll have you know. Or something to that effect.
Then there are others among us who welcome our newfound anonymity. No more worrying about how we look. We can be comfortably unobtrusive in a crowd, unnoticed and unremarked. Attracting no admiring looks but no critical ones either. Safely hidden by the camouflage of age.
I call this “the merging with the wallpaper look”. It’s about embracing all things beige, literally or metaphorically, it doesn’t matter. Here’s a pic of me and my wallpaper. Hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. The perfect disappearing act.
Of course, recently beige has been revamped as the nude or flesh-coloured look for a younger generation. Maybe I lack fashion sense, but to my untutored eye those frocks and shoes still basically look beige. Granted, the shoes can be worn with anything, but that’s because they’re neither here nor there. Not even 6”-heels can disguise their essential dullness.
But while young women can rise above any amount of beige and still look wonderful, so often we older ones are automatically relegated to a desert of beige. Lost to sight in a sea of sameness, whether we want it or not.
If you’ve happily signed up as a member of the beige brigade, that’s your choice and a perfectly good one too. Anonymity brings its own freedom, as I’d be the first to admit. But if your ageing spirit longs to break free from the wallpaper and take an independent stand, then please don’t let anything stop you.
In my next blog I’ll deal with the other end of the spectrum – the ageing dames who are too sexy for their shirts (or even bras). The ones who are still tossing their tassles into middle age and beyond. Yes, Madonna, I’m looking at you.