How do you cope with becoming invisible with age?

coolonecoolone Posts: 44Registered Users
I really feel since I reached my mid-forties that I am treated by men as if I am invisible. That would be an interesting premise for a movie--a woman treated as she is invisible who actually becomes invisible.

Does anyone else feel this way? How do you cope?
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Comments

  • jeepcurlygurljeepcurlygurl Posts: 20,709Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Virtuoso
    Oh yes yes yes! This has been one of the hardest things I've had to deal with since becoming "older".
    As cliche as it sounds, I first noticed it when construction workers stopped whistling at me! That's when I knew I had become invisible.
    I was surprised that it hurt so much. And it still hurts sometimes, but I don't think about it much anymore.
    I know I'm still great (just an older great!) and I walk down the street with my head high, my hair wild, and a friendly smile on my face.
    --I'm located in Western PA.   --I found NC in late 2004, CG since February 2005, joined the forums in May 2005, started going grey in late 2005.   --My hair is 3B with some 3A, currently at mid back length when dry,  texture-medium/fine, porosity-top is low, middle is medium, ends are porous, elasticity-normal.   --My long time favorite products are Suave & VO5 conditioners, LA Looks Sport Gel, coconut oil, honey, vinegar.   
    --My CG and grey hair progress -  
    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/going-gray/179328-jeepys-grey-hair-progress.html   
    --My article at NaturallyCurly about going grey - 
    https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/color/how-i-went-completely-gray-and-loved-it
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Yes, I feel it too. I had a lot of male attention all my life...not much anymore though. But, there is a certain freedom in being invisible. It enables me to step back and watch the interactions of the young without having to be involved in the drama. It frees me to speak my mind, which I do at every opportunity. As for dealing with that loss of male attention...it helps that I'm not in the market for a man (got one).

    I definitely have a new perspective. I can look at what men are looking at objectively. I have a beautiful 9 year old daughter, and it's going to infuriate me when I see men leering at her as she gets older. I know what their intentions will be. I might have to kill them...
  • g-stringrannyg-stringranny Posts: 2,701Registered Users
    This is such a good topic. I've noticed the same thing and it is disappointing. I use to get upset over the attention, but now I would love some. I asked a very good male friend of mine about this & here are his words of wisdom. "Older women may still look hot, but men will still look more at the younger women. Why? Because they associate youth with being primed for sex and having a lot of energy."
    AKA lotsawaves
    AKA new2curls
  • nepanthenepanthe Posts: 292Registered Users
    This happened to me also. I remember when I went somewhere and men would not look at me to save my life. Although I don't look my age, I did not get any attention at all. However there are times that like being invisible. I thought I was alone, good to see that I am not..Keep your head ladies!!!
  • ShrekLoverShrekLover Posts: 2,551Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I feel it too. I was used to getting male attention and since I turned 40, not so much, and since 50 none. But I met my now husband at age 41 and am very happily married. I have to say because of this I don't care too much about being invisible to other men, (not saying I wouldn't mind being admired, but I'm ok with the fact that it isn't going to happen). My hubby thinks I'm beautiful. I do however, care for my own sake that I don't look as good as I used to. I still try to keep myself up and I think for 53 I look pretty darn good. However, no man is ever going to wolf whistle at me again and sometimes when I see women in their 20's and see how smooth and tight their skin is I am jealous.

    I've been thinking lately that one thing that really makes older women look frumpy is gaining weight. I see so many over 40 women who are 25 or 30 pounds overweight and they just look matronly. That is a big reason I am trying to lose the 10 pounds I've gained since I got married.
  • MarMar Posts: 3,004Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I have had the opposite reaction!
    I think it is because as I get older,I am so much more confident with myself!
    "what's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?"



    "If you judge people,you have no time to love them"
    -Mother Theresa
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I've been thinking lately that one thing that really makes older women look frumpy is gaining weight. I see so many over 40 women who are 25 or 30 pounds overweight and they just look matronly.


    The area that really can age us is the waist. If a woman keeps a good waistline, even if she gains weight everywhere else, she will look youthful.
  • csbcsb Posts: 225Registered Users
    I wonder if we're getting less attention because we're more attractive to men our own age who don't act like idiots. I have a wonderful husband, and some good guys friends who think I still look fine, but they don't act like morons about it. Strangely, I've noticed that the age thing does screw up your fantasy life, though. It's hard to imagine stuff with some young guy (like Orlando Bloom) when you know he wouldn't find you attractive. Changes your perspective. Pierce Brosnan is still a possibility, though.
  • g-stringrannyg-stringranny Posts: 2,701Registered Users
    I agree about the weight, sdcurly. I also have 10 extra lbs to lose.
    AKA lotsawaves
    AKA new2curls
  • ShrekLoverShrekLover Posts: 2,551Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I've been thinking lately that one thing that really makes older women look frumpy is gaining weight. I see so many over 40 women who are 25 or 30 pounds overweight and they just look matronly.


    The area that really can age us is the waist. If a woman keeps a good waistline, even if she gains weight everywhere else, she will look youthful.

    The problem is that is where those of us who were formerly svelte seem to be gaining the weight. I'm really working on it though.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    The problem is that is where those of us who were formerly svelte seem to be gaining the weight. I'm really working on it though.


    Oh, it's definitely the biggest problem area. Even women who remain really slim seem to get that squared-off thick waistline after 40. I'm sure there is something biologically wired in men to notice the hourglass figure in younger women, probably as a sign of fertility or something, because the older women I've seen who retain an hourglass figure still get just as many looks from men.
  • banjocurlbanjocurl Posts: 1,030Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    i have found this sometimes, but not always. since my hair is long and not gray, i often get flirty looks from guys when i am driving. when i am hiking, i get lots of attention from guys--it helps to have gorgeous dogs :)
    i am 57 but find that i am not as invisible as i used to be--now i can get attention from any guy over 75! :roll:
    banjo
    Susan suburban NY
    3b going gray, not thick, waist length when wet, a bit below shoulders when dry
    CG since 11/11/04
    http://public.fotki.com/banjolady/
    PW: banjo
    HG: suave and honey for co-wash, deva, i use garnier fructis regular CO's or boots pink or white as leave ins and LA looks sport gel. plop w microfiber turban, then curl towel scrunch, then another turban.i sleep with the turban on. little one minute hair styling videos http://www.youtube.com/user/lazycurls
  • ShrekLoverShrekLover Posts: 2,551Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    banjocurl wrote:
    i have found this sometimes, but not always. since my hair is long and not gray, i often get flirty looks from guys when i am driving. when i am hiking, i get lots of attention from guys--it helps to have gorgeous dogs :)
    i am 57 but find that i am not as invisible as i used to be--now i can get attention from any guy over 75! :roll:
    banjo

    My mother's best friend would hate you. That woman wants a boyfriend so badly she chases after anyone who shows her a little bit of attention.
  • jeepcurlygurljeepcurlygurl Posts: 20,709Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Virtuoso
    csb wrote:
    I wonder if we're getting less attention because we're more attractive to men our own age who don't act like idiots. I have a wonderful husband, and some good guys friends who think I still look fine, but they don't act like morons about it. Strangely, I've noticed that the age thing does screw up your fantasy life, though. It's hard to imagine stuff with some young guy (like Orlando Bloom) when you know he wouldn't find you attractive. Changes your perspective. Pierce Brosnan is still a possibility, though.
    ditto. Well said.
    My fantasy guys have definitely changed. I found myself attracted to Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine. I figure he'd still think I was young and cute. :)

    I still have an hourglass figure but I also have grey hair, which I think instantly turns off most young guys.
    --I'm located in Western PA.   --I found NC in late 2004, CG since February 2005, joined the forums in May 2005, started going grey in late 2005.   --My hair is 3B with some 3A, currently at mid back length when dry,  texture-medium/fine, porosity-top is low, middle is medium, ends are porous, elasticity-normal.   --My long time favorite products are Suave & VO5 conditioners, LA Looks Sport Gel, coconut oil, honey, vinegar.   
    --My CG and grey hair progress -  
    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/going-gray/179328-jeepys-grey-hair-progress.html   
    --My article at NaturallyCurly about going grey - 
    https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/color/how-i-went-completely-gray-and-loved-it
  • munchkinmunchkin Posts: 2,909Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    That's funny. I have found my fantasy men have changed too. They keep getting older right along with me!
    3b/c
  • MaloryMalory Posts: 379Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I think a lot of this is psychological. If you feel like no one is going to be interested in you, nobody is going to be interested in you.

    I'm 41 and don't feel invisible at all.
  • curlee4lifecurlee4life Posts: 219Registered Users
    I am with Malory in that I will be 45 in the fall and I do not feel invisible either...I actually feel more vibrant and energized :)

    event.png

    Germany Curly

    Last Relaxer(Texturizer): Aug. 2005
    BC: May 2006

  • TamrinTamrin Posts: 43Registered Users
    banjocurl wrote:
    i am 57 but find that i am not as invisible as i used to be--now i can get attention from any guy over 75! :roll:
    banjo

    This is the weird thing -- as I've gotten older, the ages of the guys who notice me has changed. When I was in my twenties, I'd get attention from guys in their thirties and forties. When I was in my thirties, and early forties, I'd sometimes get attention from guys in their twenties. Now, in my late forties -- it's the grandpas. Oh well. At least I can still be a hot young thing to somebody.
  • PartyHairPartyHair Posts: 7,713Registered Users
    I'm 41, 42 in August. I don't feel invisible either. I never even thought about that ever happening, to be honest. I think part of it is that I'm still chatty and happy all the time. A big smile goes a long way to making you look young and youthful and fun.
    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Rock on with your bad self.

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Be excellent to each other. ~ Abraham Lincoln

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
  • MaloryMalory Posts: 379Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    PartyHair wrote:
    I'm 41, 42 in August. .

    I'll be 42 in August as well. :D
  • majimaji Posts: 278Registered Users
    The area that really can age us is the waist. If a woman keeps a good waistline, even if she gains weight everywhere else, she will look youthful.

    Same thing I was thinking when watching "Shirley Valentine" again.
    She suddenly developed a thin waist only by accentuating it with the right clothing style.
    Maybe that is where the secret lies.
    Personally I do not think attractiveness is an age-bound thing..
  • jeepcurlygurljeepcurlygurl Posts: 20,709Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Virtuoso
    For those of you who haven't had to deal with the invisibility issue yet, yay for you! It's no fun, that's for sure.
    When someone looks around you to catch a glimpse of the 20 year old girl behind you, it can be hurtful. I don't think it's abnormal or unusual for this to happen. Youth is everything in our world.
    But no matter how attractive one is, how young they look, no matter their genes, no matter their hair color, no matter the smiles and upbeat attitudes - everyone gets old. Until the day comes and there's a miracle youth pill or we can have head to toe plastic surgery, we will all become invisible to the young people around us. And we have to deal with it. And one of the best ways to do that is to laugh. Laugh at ourselves, laugh at the cellulite, the grey hairs, the wrinkles, and just live a happy life! :)
    --I'm located in Western PA.   --I found NC in late 2004, CG since February 2005, joined the forums in May 2005, started going grey in late 2005.   --My hair is 3B with some 3A, currently at mid back length when dry,  texture-medium/fine, porosity-top is low, middle is medium, ends are porous, elasticity-normal.   --My long time favorite products are Suave & VO5 conditioners, LA Looks Sport Gel, coconut oil, honey, vinegar.   
    --My CG and grey hair progress -  
    http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/going-gray/179328-jeepys-grey-hair-progress.html   
    --My article at NaturallyCurly about going grey - 
    https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/color/how-i-went-completely-gray-and-loved-it
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    As for those who don't feel invisible yet...it will come. It won't come all at once, but one day, you'll be at a party and realize that you are no longer the prettiest woman in the room that you used to be (we all do that don't we?)

    I think there is beauty at any/every age. I see beauty in a lot of older women. It's not conventional Hollywood beauty, but there is beauty. I try hard to remember that I can have that same beauty even if I'm no longer 25. It's all in the attitude. If you feel beautiful and sexy, then you will be beautiful and sexy to others too.

    I'm going more for classiness lately. And softness. I don't want to wear anything harsh anymore. I've softened all my makeup and clothing and hair. My face looks pretty darn good for my age, but it's still not 20. I can't carry off the harsh looks anymore. I saw a small town politician on TV recently, and she had bright green eyeshadow on. It would have looked pretty at 26, but at 56, it was just wrong. Subtle/soft eyeshadow would have been much better.
  • rushirb55rushirb55 Posts: 146Registered Users
    Well said jeepcurlygirl and redcatwaves. I could not have said it any better myself. You are both right on.
    2C-3A??? Currently using Curly Q Milkshake, 3-minute Aussie Miracle, using non-sulphate shampoos, MopTop Pomade, Boots curl creme, always looking for that next miracle product for my hair! My PJ is never satisfied.
  • ShrekLoverShrekLover Posts: 2,551Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    rushirb55 wrote:
    Well said jeepcurlygirl and redcatwaves. I could not have said it any better myself. You are both right on.

    I just had to chime in and say I agree 100%.
  • girlcat36girlcat36 Posts: 40Registered Users
    I think the weight gain is the most telling sign of age. I have been extremely lucky in that at age 41 I am still a size 1/2 and I am still getting carded. When I took my daughter to her college of choice for a tour last year the staff and some of the incoming students thought I was a high school senior. Ha ha. Anyway I think my small size ( and small chest size) are the reasons I am constantly being mistaken for much younger than I am.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]3a/b, very fine, very thin. Regrowing after chemo and radiation hairloss.
    Cone-free, sulfate-free.
  • cara4curlscara4curls Posts: 336Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    RedCatWaves has a good point, and one thing to remember is that many men are just wired to seek out younger women. That means that those 50 and 60-year-old guys are eyeing women in their 30's, maybe 40's at the oldest. This is a huge cultural problem, and that part is not our fault.
    But I really do have to agree with others about the weight thing. Nothing is more aging than an unfit body, and lack of attention to good basic skincare and grooming. I know there are lots of women out there who say they don't care about this, especially as they age, because they think it doesn't matter anymore. We're not talking scary overdone peels and plastic surgery here, just basic stuff, like a good face cream and flattering haircut and color(if one wants the color), and some attention to flattering style. It seems that many people once they get into their 40's and up start dressing frumpy or too conservative because they think they should. Nothing could be further from the truth! Now's the time to pull off distinguished-looking style, and too bad if guys can't handle it - that's their problem!
    If one keeps going(or gets seriously going) with a good exercise program, and a very healthy diet that gets one to a reasonably trim weight and shape, good skincare and avoiding excess sun, one will look A LOT younger than those who pay no attention to these and let themselves go. In fact, as we age, it is even MORE important than ever just for general good health to eat healthy and exercise plenty. And having the reasonably trim body will allow one to wear some cool styles to boot, which makes one look sharper and younger!
    Last but not least, a good attitude is key - we won't be 20 again, and honestly, who really wants to be. There were plenty of insecurities and uncertainties at that age, and we have the advantage now of life experience, and our own personal gifts.
    health-conscious, visionary artist in transition
  • journotravelerjournotraveler Posts: 2,816Registered Users
    for me, i seem to become invisible when i'm feeling invisible, which is to say, when i'm not feeling so great about myself. in the past 2 years, i've had back-to-back miscarriages, and it's definitely taken a toll on me--i haven't been working out as much, etc. i've noticed on the days that i'm feeling blue, i don't get checked out as much. if at all... i must radiate frumpy.

    on the other hand, on the days when i'm feeling good about myself, when i'm working out, happy, etc., i notice that i get a lot more looks/compliments.

    i remember when i was in my late 20s, complaining about being hit on by men in the street--ie., "i wish they'd leave me alone!" an older friend told me, oh, just you wait! there's going to come a time when you're going to wish they were hitting on you!

    there's a lot of truth to that....
    3B corkscrews with scatterings of 3A & 3C.
  • girlcat36girlcat36 Posts: 40Registered Users
    crar4curls is right many women THINK they have to cut their hair to a certain length(short) and pull on the elastic waist pants after 40 subconsciusly making themselves invisible. When I see a well groomed, fit woman over the age of say, 50 or so, it catches my eye and inspires me. Women over 40 need to identify their assets (be it hair, great skin, or a certain body part) and capitilize on it.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]3a/b, very fine, very thin. Regrowing after chemo and radiation hairloss.
    Cone-free, sulfate-free.
  • PartyHairPartyHair Posts: 7,713Registered Users
    Malory wrote:
    PartyHair wrote:
    I'm 41, 42 in August. .

    I'll be 42 in August as well. :D

    Mine's August 12! You?
    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Rock on with your bad self.

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Be excellent to each other. ~ Abraham Lincoln

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
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