Why should we keep our age a secret?
|Saga Stylista: Philippa Carr|
One of the wonderful things about blogging is the incredible people that you meet. Virtually and in the real world. Just before Christmas, I wrote about the Saga Stylistas – and then received a lovely email from one of the women, Philippa Carr. I asked for her permission to share it with you:
I just wanted to say thank you.
Until I found your blog I thought I was alone in growing older but feeling stronger and more myself. Then I started reading about and seeing other women who are happy-in-their-(wrinkly, saggy, age-spotted) – skin. I had thought my recent efforts to be bolder and brighter were just a determined raging against the fading light, and an effort to ingratiate myself with youthful colleagues. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I can now admit to myself that I simply love clothes and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. And the fact that I have the money to spend, at my age, after a career of hard work, should be celebrated.
Until the Saga Stylista piece, I would never tell people my age. Afraid to be written off at work, I guess, and I’m probably not alone. And now it’s out there. When people have said recently ” Well, you certainly don’t look 57,” I don’t respond in a wishy-washy ‘that’s really sweet of you’ way. I simply reply, “Well, there you go. That’s what 57 looks like for me.” Life doesn’t end, or begin, at 50 it just continues brilliantly with more self-knowledge and a devil-may-care attitude.
Philippa isn’t alone. A recent House of Lords report found that the BBC had an informal policy of discriminating against older women, and having worked in the fashion industry for decades I know that telling people, or just looking, your age can sometimes mean career suicide. But turning 50 had a galvanising effect on me. It was almost as if I’d developed some sort of compulsory, age-declaring disorder. Now I’ll quite happily disclose my age to anyone who’s interested…
How do you feel about telling people your age?