Who else tries to limit themselves to 10 minutes max on the Daily Mail Online? And who else fails miserably, winding up goggly eyed, scrolling through stories about which Z-list celebs have just secured a £10,000,000,000,000 contract to be the Face of Flatulence or whatever new perfume/makeup/clothing line is hoping to be the next Kardashian inspired money making hit? I really hope I’m not alone here! Now, apart from the reality TV tripe, there is often a story or two that catches my eye, like the recent one by extremely talented novelist, Raffaella Barker, where she writes about feeling invisible at times and imparts the ways she has helped overcome that. So, my question to you is: Do you ever feel invisible?
I really enjoyed Rafaella’s article – you can read more clicking here, and can totally relate to her feeling like a ‘ghost ship’ in the wake of her beautiful 20 year old daughter who ‘sails forth on the tide of her youthful beauty’. Having two gorgeous girls myself, I’m well used to that experience. And, like Rafaella, I also feel a sense of pride and protectiveness as heads turn to look at them – they are so unaware of their youth.
Often though, I’m not worried about some of the times I feel invisible. For instance, I certainly don’t miss those workmen jeering: ‘Ello darling, don’t be miserable, it might never happen!’ What woman over 13 years old hasn’t heard that old chestnut? Of course, you must be miserable – because you’re not gleaming at these buffoons with a mega watt smile and your shirt unbuttoned to the waist. *Insert eye roll emoji*
But being invisible when you want to be seen is another matter, and I don’t necessarily think it’s an age thing – it can also be a confidence thing. I know lovely people – men and women – who have such little self-esteem that they somehow don’t feel that they merit being seen, or being interacted with. This low self-esteem in turn makes them avoid any kind of eye contact or interaction and thus, they actually do wind up being ignored or overlooked. It’s a vicious circle.
And I think making ourselves invisible is something that we can all be guilty of sometimes – whether it’s intentional or not. We will avoid things that make us feel uncomfortable, take us out of our comfort zone – or when for some reason or other, we are just not up to putting on our ‘happy face.’ And, it’s okay to do that now and then, we all have those days.
But don’t let being invisible become the norm. Whether you feel it creeping up as you hit 50 or beyond or whether you’re 20, and you’re shy or it’s a confidence thing. It is so important to feel vital and deserving. I don’t meant cocky and brash, but rather confident and sassy!
Here are some tips on puffing up your presence…
- Don’t feel that you have to save your favourite clothes and shoes for special occasions – wear them today! Those Jimmy Choos might not cut it on the dog walk, granted, but don’t just keep them in their box to gaze at lovingly from time to time – wear them when you’re just popping to your local pub – or supermarket – why not?! You certainly won’t be invisible 🙂
- Chuck away all those items in your wardrobe that don’t make you smile – even if they cost a lot, they’re not worth it – but you are!
- Empty your makeup bag and throw away the remnants of years gone by (don’t pretend you haven’t got a nub of metallic pink lippie circa 1999, we all have!) Get thee to a Space NK and ask for some makeup tips and look online or in magazines at what’s current. If it feels too trend led for you, there are always ways you can adapt it.
- Check out YouTube tutorials and follow the fabulous TheBeautyKnowItAll beauty journalist, Nadine Baggott for really do-able look good tips for us women of a certain age. You’ll pick up skincare, makeup and hair tricks and advice. I’m a big fan!
- On the makeup note, can I just steer you over to the humongously successful Facebook group called Mrs Gloss & The Goss which was set up by makeup loving Julia Langton to encourage other beauty junkies to share makeup tips and skincare advice. Now with 80,000 members ranging in age from 13 to 91, if you’ve heard of a makeup brand and not sure it’ll be right for you, you can bet one of the members on this group can help! The group is so popular that big names in the beauty industry from top journalists, makeup artists and skincare gurus through to social media influencers (it’s a whole new world out there!) pop by to leave their comments and supply us with helpful tips from the top. *Word of warning: you will want to try a lot of products mentioned and your wallet could suffer…I know mine did when I first joined the group!*
- I mentioned in my last blog post about avoiding a midlife crisis that keeping your mind and brain active and learning new things is a really great way of staying interesting and young at heart. I love checking out a Ted Talk video now and then. Often I’ll watch one of these short videos on a subject I’m not particularly keen on (nuclear war, anybody?) But I always wind up finding out something fascinating.
- Feeling in a slump can make the best of us prone to hiding away, so keep moving! I don’t meant you have to become a gym bunny – unless that’s what you want. Being active doesn’t have to come naturally but try to get in the habit. In fact, I consider myself the world’s number one procrastinator and shocked myself to discover I’d sat outside the gym for 40 minutes today, just scrolling through social media feeds on my phone – all because I was avoiding getting in there and actually working out. But I did it…eventually. And I feel 100 times better for it. It doesn’t have to be the gym – just a walk with your dog or running up and down the stairs with your headphones on, listening to some feel good tunes, will give you a boost.
- For me, the main way of preventing that feeling of being invisible, is to meet up regularly with friends – or to make new friends. A night out or a giggle over lunch is one of my favourite things When you’re engrossed in good company and connect with others who are on your wave length, you feel part of something special with likeminded people – so who cares about those that might not see you for the lovely person you are – those that matter will.
Is there anything you do to counteract that invisibility cloak? I’d love to know.