There’s something magical about people watching. I guess it’s seeing the hustle and bustle and knowing that every person has a story, a destination, a heartbreak, a joy, a marvel to behold. I see it in everyone, the very young, the very old, and everyone in between. If you watch closely enough, you can almost feel their emotions.
My interest in people and my natural curiosity has served me well in my advertising career. You see, in my job as a strategic planner, I am the voice of the consumer. I dig deep into how people think, how they behave, what motivates them, what ticks them off, what keeps them up at night, what makes them laugh. All of this in an effort to make ads that will connect and appeal to the people brands are talking to.
So while I keep my finger on the pulse and am always on the lookout for inspiration and ideas, sometimes moments of enlightenment happen when least expected. In this case, it occurred during a meeting where my idea went straight to the trash.
I needed to create an ‘out of the box’ idea for a well-known brand and my recommendation was to develop a campaign targeting bicultural consumers aged 50-plus, an often ignored and overlooked target. “This target audience is too old and the brand needs to be positioned as young and hip” was the overall sentiment and consensus. End of story, end of idea. It is here that I realized that age matters more than I thought.
That was my light bulb moment. Our society, our culture, our corporate world, our media, our advertising is conditioned to believe that once people reach a certain age, they lose their appeal, their talent, and their allure. In other words, aging equals being less significant and more irrelevant. That couldn’t be further from the truth. My years of people watching prove otherwise.
I opened my eyes wider and realized that this ‘invisibility’ phenomenon begins to happen around your 40’s, especially to women. That is when she begins to feel and notice the exclusion, yet ironically, this is a time when she feels most at ease and confident in herself. Satisfied with who she is, and more assured of what she wants and doesn’t want in life. Many of my friends who are in their 40’s and 50’s agree that ‘invisibility’ is slowly setting in.
I started asking myself, what could I do to start changing this perception and expand beyond what is considered a social norm? I’m 45 and have never felt better than I do now. After 4 decades on this earth, I have gone through so many life-changing moments – as a girl, a daughter, a girlfriend, a career woman, a wife, a mom.
All of our experiences have made us stronger and braver and strengthened our soul. We have picked ourselves up countless of times, we love and know when to let go, we venture outside our comfort zone, we find comfort in solitude, we’re creative, we’re influencers, we’re doers, we push ourselves and our families, and we dream big. We’re rocking big time.
All the experiences in my life and keen observations have brought me to this moment – realizing our stories are not being told enough or reflected in mainstream media and culture. This has propelled me to take action because it is during this time of our lives that we need all the attention, value, and support we can get.
Rocking Over 40 is here to validate and empower women. It is a lifestyle platform for mid-life heroines who are living in their prime, who are strong, smart, and still blossoming. A fun place where we can hold our power and our voice, and show the world what we’re made of.
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