As a woman in her thirties that blogs for a living, I often feel ‘over the hill’ and wonder when the bubble will burst in favour of the bright young things of the next generation. But then I metaphorically slap myself around the face and have a word: there are billions of women on this planet over the age of 29 that are rocking every aspect of their lives and inspire me to achieve bigger and better things. Thirty is definitely the new twenty, forty is the new thirty, and fifty is the new forty; we’re all living longer, looking more fabulous and embracing our years whatever our age. I’m continually hearing that women over the age of 30 are crying out for better representation online, as the majority of bloggers and vloggers don’t talk about the issues that really effect them – from the first signs of ageing, sun damage, limp barnets, age spots and makeup that works with rather than against them. Lancome’s new campaign provides a stepping stone to this conversation, encouraging us to ‘love our age’ whatever number those digits present; their ambassadors span three decades (Lily Collins is 25, Lupita Nyong’O 31, Kate Winslet 39 and Penelope Cruz 41) to illustrate their universal approach to beauty.
Although I applaud the message behind Lancome’s campaign, I only wish they had a star representing the 50+ market too. It seems that we just disappear from view after a certain age, both online and in the traditional media, which is simply not cool. I love reading blogs, but I often feel the majority are talking to an audience living a life stage that I can no longer relate to. I’m not really interested in ridiculous eyeshadow, bright pink nails, playsuits and Primark hauls; you’re more likely to find me pondering over an article on SPF, reading up on serums or making a wishlist for Habitat. I don’t want to be spoken to like a seventeen year old, because I’m not a seventeen year old (that’s not to say those teenagers don’t hang on every word and the blogger isn’t doing a stirling job – it’s just not for me.) I want to be spoken to like the intelligent 30-something woman that I am by someone who’s on my same wavelength, but it’s so hard to find those voices in the bloggersphere – or anywhere for that matter. Helen Mirren seems be holding up the ‘other end’ of the market single-handily right now, which is crazy when this poses such an incredible opportunity in every way.
Beauty is relevant at every age – it’s not the monopoly of the young. If anything it becomes even more important as we get older, as we rely on products to keep us looking our best; it’s not even about keeping those signs of ageing at bay, but embracing a new life stage and understanding the needs of our bodies as a result. At 32 I’m already aware of my face changing and the products within my repertoire have been edited accordingly; I’m far more interested in skincare products and makeup staples that will help me look fabulous all year round. The topics and products on this blog have evolved over the past five years, simply because the interests of a 27 year old are very different to those of a 32 year old. Although I love sites such as Not Dressed As Lamb (40+ fashion that makes me want to be as cool as her when I grow up,) British Beauty Blogger (Jane needs no introduction) and Forever Amber (great for vintage-inspired fashion and blogging commentary) I really wish the over-30’s market was much better represented online.
Where are all the awesome women hiding? It seems that if you’re over a certain age and not wanting to document your journey as a parent (nothing wrong with that, just not my personal cup of tea right now – as a childless woman who spends too much on designer handbags to procreate,) then you’re vastly underrepresented in the digital space. I would love to see more women in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond documenting their love of fashion, beauty and everything inbetween. We don’t turn invisible as soon as we hit our third decade, so why is it so hard to find authoritative voices and opinions from those that share the same questions and concerns as me? With the biggest growth in beauty coming from women over the age of 40 (presumably on the hunt for those holy grail products they can rely on,) it seems crazy to me that there are so few blogs aimed at this area of the market – or that there’s not the readership there to justify them.
Something needs to change.
Beauty really does have no age limit, as my Mum of 55 and Nan of nearly 83 proves, so I’m baffled as to why there’s such little representation in the places we seek opinion, news and advice. Lancome are definitely starting a positive conversation about age, but I do feel they could have done so much more by embracing somebody over the age of 41 (who looks like she’s ten years younger!) The average life expectancy of women in the UK is 83, so what happens to those forty-odd ‘invisible’ years? I think it’s about time we reclaimed them…
What’s your opinion of representation of older women in the bloggersphere, and the wider beauty market? Do you know of any awesome 30+ blogs that you’d love to share? Leave a link in the comments below…
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