The sight of a woman over forty, sashaying down a catwalk, is something that I thought I would never see, but savvy clothing companies, are now realising the potency of older women and how they often outspend their younger counterparts.
With our life expectancy increasing and the grey pound soaring each year, the clothes and travel industry are at last being a little more inclusive of the older consumer and what they have to offer. However, it is not enough.
I have always been a jeans and t.shirt kind of gal, but having dipped my toe into Instagram, I have been persuaded to hit the sales and purchase a few dresses and the odd pair of summer sandals.
I have never considered myself frumpy and have always tried to embrace my age, but never succumbed to the stereotypical blue rinse brigade, which is often wrongly associated with women over fifty.
In the 70’s I helped to set almost every fashion fad and remember my poor mother, scurrying out of our local Co-op, when she saw me adorned in my braces and Dr. Martin boots. She breathed a sigh of relief when I graduated to a more sedate Crombie and white lacey tights, but recoiled when hearing ‘Skinhead Moonstomp’, belt out from my Ghetto Blaster for the tenth time!
Forget the caravan, the must-have vehicle for seniors these days are motorbikes and Saga has seen an upturn in their insurance policies for silver bikers, who are taking to the road in their hoards.
Where I live in Dorset, the coast roads are often clogged with plump older men, whose ponytails flap in the breeze, like a Sainsbury bag caught in a car door! Strange really, since it was once the Mercedes and BMW who seemed to attract the older gentleman. I often wonder if it is because when we reach a level of financial security, we chose to buy goods to reflect the kind of person we want to be, keeping a tight grip on the dreams we never managed to achieve when we were young!
There are numerous studies, which prove the important health benefits of exercise, especially as we venture into our latter years. Regular physical activity helps to improve both our physical and mental well-being, which undoubtedly helps us to maintain our independence as we age.
Because of my busy work schedule, I tend to visit my gym during the week, between the hours of 10 and 11 am, where the majority of users are over fifty and rising. Indeed, you do not need to be a follower of ‘Love Island’, to wear stretched lycra, as increasing numbers of silver surfers are discovering the benefits of exercising in later years.
Women of today
In modern society, we have more role models for over 50 women than ever before. Women are taking control, even though we are still marginalised. We are reinventing ourselves and creating a new concept of what it means to be a senior in the modern age.
As for that image of two elderly people bent over with a walking stick, I know what I would like to do with that!