Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The Older Women In the Room

Well that title will scare off a bunch of people. I know my gray hair did at the conference. But that isn't the whole story. I want to tell the whole truth. I was in transit when I heard that President Obama would speak at BlogHer.

Once I got settled into the hotel, I went to a Duane Reed drugstore and bought hair dye. I was not going to be in that ballroom with the President without flashing some reddish hair. I was going to do it. Until I realized that there was no way for me to clean up hair dye in a hotel room.

I wished I had worked this out before spending $9 on Natural Instincts. Or getting the fact straight that he was doing a live video presentation from the White House.

Still, Little Miss Aging Affirmative got stuck in the hoopla of appearance phobia.

Then I went the other way. Washed and picked out my natural hair. It is gray and brown and dark brown and whatever else ancestor want to put a word in. to the mix.

It was like I opened a can of Raid or something. My friends and on-line acquaintances that knew me embraced me like a long lost friend. Newbies and those women under a certain age kept their distance.

There is a reason for that, check out the video.

I walked a lot in New York City. I saw many a woman stroll down the street styled perfectly. Young, old, trendy. They were wearing the perfection suit of invisibility. Attractive enough to approach but only if you could reach the bar of acceptance.

Time and living have raised the bar on me and I didn't know. Or want to know. I kept on walking and looking at the images of Park Avenue mannequins, the ones in the window. Alabaster white, sleek and implacable in the seller's point of view.

To be fair, there were some onyx mannequins that did little more than hold up the status of tight clothes on young ridged bodies.

Brand identity and storytelling they call it. But it leaves a lot of people out of the narrative.

My bodies story isn't being told. This is not acceptable. Really, it is not.

The video clips are excerpts from my recording of the Blogging Into MidLife session at BlogHer 2012 NYC.

Ann Dunnewold writes about aging issues on her blog at
Darryle Pollack blogs at
Patricia Patton hangs her shingle at

I'm working on uploading the full session, hope to have it up soon.


  1. This is a great post. We definitely live in a culture that is focused on the young. The first two videos aren't showing up on the post, so I can't see them. I'm getting ready to watch the third.

    1. Thanks Lisa, I'll double check what is going on. Sometimes Blogger drops the video out for no reason. Gremlin power working overtime.

  2. I can see them now. Thanks! Also, I included this post in a roundup post that I just wrote.