Enhancing Visibility of Aging Women in Body Positivity – Project #AgePo

SummerBody Image, Project AgePo, Self-Love

An important step that clients take in re-shaping the perception of themselves is by changing up their social media feed and following body positive accounts that illustrate body diversity. Seeing greater body representation helps to normalize the perception of bodies, instead of seeing one as superior to another.

I’ve noticed there is a lack of accounts to follow that feature women who are over the age of 40 and I’ve been hard pressed to find images of older women who are not thin, white, able-bodied and glammed up. Stock photo searches of “aging” bring up pic’s you’d see on nursing home websites.  I’m all for celebrating golden girls, but there appears to be a large gap of images featuring women between 40-60.

The process of aging is something we’re told to cover up and thwart, whether that be through cosmetic procedures, anti-aging creams or other tactics to appear #ageless.

Women in Hollywood are sent away to the land of bladder control and prescription medication advertisements and rarely do we see women’s aging bodies celebrated.  Hell, Mariah Carey won’t even use the word birthday because she is so committed to being ageless. Yes, I learned this by watching Mariah’s World—call it the greatest thing on TV or call it research.

I am turning 38 in a month and, given my heightened spidey bullshit senses, have noticed how women in my age demographic are becoming increasingly less visible in the media, encouraged to hide our age and throw a fucking parade when someone thinks we’re younger. Getting carded is like winning the lottery amongst 30 something’s.

Who cares if we look our age or *gasp* older? Why do we latch onto youth?

We’ve been conditioned to believe that aging is synonymous with being irrelevant, invisible, unsexy, uncool, no fun, never-gonna-be-considered-attractive and no-one-wants-to-be-you. Thanks beauty industry!

The number of times I’ve heard someone say, I’m too old to quit my job, try that sport, wear that thing, dye my hair that color or use those words, is plentiful.

This idea that you can’t wear something or do something after a particular age has got to go. I know lots of women who are busting these boundaries and it’s time we started celebrating them.

Enter Project #AgePo: A community initiative to enhance the visibility of women 40+ on social media.

The purpose of Project #AgePo is to breakdown the bullshit we’ve been fed about getting older, embrace the process of aging and increase visibility in this segment of body positivity.

What is it?

Project #AgePo is a weekly feature on my social media pages dedicated to sharing the stories of women who have embraced aging.

How does it work?

Every Saturday I will feature a different #AgePo image from our community via my Instagram platform.

This is an experiment and depending on how it goes, will hopefully grow to something bigger and more frequent.

But, I need your help to participate (since I’m not old enough yet)! Here is how you can participate:

Share a photo, commentary and tag me on Instagram:

1)      Share a photo on Instagram  it can be a selfie, full body photo, picture of a part of you (like your hands, grey hair, laugh lines, sun spots, any body part, or some sort of anti-anti-aging illustration).

2)      Make sure your photo has a blurb – this is about the imagery, but more importantly it’s about your story and experience. It’s about sharing what you want others to know.

      Here are some blurb ideas:

     – Thoughts on anti-aging culture (i.e. I’m sick of being told…)

     – Your personal experience with aging

     – What you are embracing about aging

     – What you wish other women knew about aging

     – What standards you are breaking with your age positivity

     – What you want other women to know

3)      Tag me @summerinnanen in your image and use the hashtag #AgePo (NOTE; your account must be public in order for me to see it).

That’s it! I’ll re-share them across my platforms. I encourage you to re-share across your page to increase the visibility—let’s make this thing a THING.

Let’s work together to increase the visibility of aging women and smash the narratives around what it means to cross the threshold of 40/50 and beyond.


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