Isn’t it weird how sometimes, you can meet someone, and they make such an impact, you want to make adjustments to your own life. They leave such an impression on you, that you want to make changes to how you may act, think, behave.
The story – I had a client walk into my salon when I had it, who I just fell in love with. She had a sense of style, a real quirk to her style, accessorised to perfection and such chic individuality that you couldn’t help but want to know where every item she had on was from. The icing on the cake for me, was that she was 76 years old!
When I closed my salon, I lost touch with Barbara, until last month when she tracked me down and came in to my treatment room for a lash treatment, (LVL lash lift). Barbara as ever, was dressed beautifully. She has a royal blue jump suit on, tan wedges and gold jewellery. In true Barb style, she had customised her outfit by taking up the trouser to “make it a more interesting length Kerry”, had sewn some little gold beads onto the collar, and had a neutral scarf tied round her waste to “bring it all together” (her words) She is so fabulous!
While doing Barbara’s treatment, we were chatting away and I learnt that she was still working, for a large department store, as a personal shopper! She had worked in the role for 30 years,(although part-time now) and her face just lit up when she talked about how she dressed her clients, helping them find their style and confidence in how they dressed. How amazing is that! The passion that Barbara had for her job, fashion and clothes oozed out of her, and her style was impeccable. I was so sad however, to learn that Barbara had made a request at work that she only see her regular, seasonal clients now as she was worried that people might walk into the Personal Shopping appointment and think, “Oh, an old woman is going to dress me”! How sad is that! Beautiful Barbara, that I would absolutely love to dress me, who had such amazing taste, felt like her opinion was possibly no longer valid in the eyes of some. How awful. I hate that this is how more mature people are made to think/feel. It really saddened me. (I wrote a post on my view on being age appropriate, you can read it here, Age Appropriate? I’ll pass thanks if you fancy)
Anyway, I told Barbara about my blog, and that I didnt really write fashion posts as I just dress “normal”. Barbara turned to me and said, “Kerry, darling, however you choose to dress is your style, so that itself is style. No one but you needs to validate you”. (hence me putting a pair of shoes that I took a pic of that are on my wish list as the head picture on this post) Barbara’s impact on me that day was great and lasting, (although you probably still wont see many fashion posts). She has made me think about how I put outfits together. She has made me think about how I don’t need a wardrobe full of clothes, but just a few, good quality items to build on. She has made me feel that you are never overdressed if its what you want to wear, and she made me know with certainty that some 76 year olds have more experimentation and vision in their clothing and style than many of the younger people I know! She also made me remember that age, whatever number that is, has massive benefit, and we have valid, talking from experience opinions. Barbara Rocks!
My encounter with Barbara also got me thinking about how we as a nation, regard our older generation. Also how the blogging world, of which I am very new to, regard us older bloggers. Now I personally adore people, and spent time volunteering at a Nursing home when I first qualified as a beauty therapist. I loved the residents stories and their wisdom. I enjoyed spending time with them. However, can I say with certainty that I don’t bustle past the older generation in Tesco’s when Im rushing to get my shopping done? Do I ignore the style/hair/make up of the older lady as I people watch with my soy latte in Costa? I don’t think I do, but I will definitely be mindful to make sure I don’t!
As an older blogger, I personally haven’t felt deliberately discounted or ignored, and in general life I have never felt that, but I definitely 100% hold back from discussions/attending things in my blogging life as I feel it will probably be full of young 20 somethings, who would think “oh, who’s brought their Mum”. I was recently invited to a blog event not to far from me, but I had visions of standing there on my own, looking like the rest of the girls mother who was waiting to give them a lift home, so declined the invite. I was annoyed with myself as I would have loved to have attended. I don’t know any other older bloggers near me, so its either something that I will have to pull my big girl pants up and get over, or never accept any invites! I do have a few over 30 blogger “online friends”, (so supportive, my squad, thanks ladies) and chatting with them I know they sometimes feel the same, but I do think it is getting better. I think bloggers like Catherine from Not Dressed as Lamb have helped with this. In the 8 years or so that I have read blogs I have seen the growth in over 30 bloggers, and even in the year I have been blogging myself, have seen a few more over 30/40 newbies like me start their own blogs. Big Up to the over 30’s!
The only thing I do think, it is a bit slower/harder to grown an audience as an older blogger. I read a post from a lovely 20 year old blogger the other day, celebrating the fact she had hit 500 followers…….in 8 months! Brilliant and massive well done to her but for a day or two made me feel a bit deflated with my own, (that Id previously thought of as amazing progress) growth. Obviously Im over it now, (pity party for one has been cancelled). I personally follow lots of blogs written by talented bloggers of all ages, but totally get that to a 20 year old, they may feel older bloggers wouldn’t share anything relevant to them. I get it. (we do though ladies, we really, really do, give us a read)
So, in conclusion, Iv decided on a new mantra. From now on, whenever I have that crippling self doubt that can creep in when Im asked to go along to something nice, if I have an outfit on I think is a good’un, or when I want to join in on a twitter chat, Im going to think;
Embrace your inner Barbara Kerry, Be Like Barbara.
Iv linked up with Not Dressed as Lamb SaturdayShareLinkUp join in here