Tag Archives: self-image

AGEISM? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? WHO DOES IT AFFECT? HOW DOES IT MANIFEST?

I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard… we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.

Malala Yousafzai

Women’s Radio Station

I am delighted that Fit Fabulous & 50+ has been given a slot on Women’s Radio Station.  Our first podcast will be on the subject of ageism. I hope you will enjoy listening and get involved by leaving a comment and letting me know your thoughts and feelings. Also please contact the radio station and give your feedback in order that we can know how best to serve our community of women after 50.

Ageism?

Today I want to talk about ageism. What does it mean? Who does it affect? And how does it manifest in our language, attitudes and beliefs?

Ageism is stereotyping and discrimination against individuals or groups based on age.
Stereotyping?

I would argue that unlike more obvious forms of stereotyping such as racism and sexism, ageism is more resistant to change because it is so ingrained in our ideology that it is rarely challenged or acknowledged. Words such as elderly, frail, past it, over the hill and decrepit diminish the value of older adults. Ageist terms should be as unacceptable as racist or sexist ones!

Even older individuals themselves are sometimes guilty of using ageist language and therefore ageism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. How many times have you heard an older person say, ‘I’m having a senior moment’!

Researchers have analysed the effects of ageism on society and found that cultures that venerate older generations have less ageism in their language. And as a consequence these groups of older people perform much better in memory tests. They show larger independence, defying ageist assumptions, demonstrating a healthier lifestyle, both mentally and physically.

So how does ageism affect us as women over 50?

I work as an actress and it is my heart’s desire to represent women in a positive light. However women after 50 in America and the UK on television and in film are very rarely presented in a positive light. Older women are often presented as unattractive, bitter, unhappy or unsuccessful. This can have an impact on our self-image, with thoughts of underachievement, ugliness, and disgust.

Why do we feel the need to look younger than our age?

I think the reason some women in my business are obsessed with looking younger is because we are not expected to look our age. We are expected to look younger. When people guess our age correctly it can be seen as some sort of failure. We become fearful of wrinkles, cellulite, or any other signifiers of aging.

Without the visibility and representation of older women who are aging in a healthy, happy and successful way in the media there is an implicit agreement that women never age. The idea that women do not age, and that older women are less attractive, is harmful to all women. By not challenging this we because complicit in the invisibility of older women in the media and consequently set women up to strive for something that is impossible to achieve: eternal youth.

So what can we do to bring about awareness and change?

I would love to hear your comments on how to bring about change and raise awareness on this subject. Let us become acutely aware of patronizing language on both the young, middle aged and older generation. AND let us stop feeling SORRY for older people (like it is some sort of affliction) and start to venerate a long life, experience and knowledge. Let us stay as healthy and vital as possible by learning new skills and keeping our bodies and minds flexible.

Words such as elderly, frail, past it, over the hill and decrepit when talking about age should be as unacceptable as racist or sexist words. I recently became aware of a new phrases: sexpiration date! Apparently referring to somebody who is considered past the date of attractiveness. This is offensive and quite honesty not acceptable in a society that has equality as one of its core values.

We need to kick ass!

Let’s petition, demand, shout and kick ass, to get more older women on our screens. But most importantly let us make peace with the aging process and be happy and proud of our age. And lets stop trying to conform to a standard that does not exist.

Old Souls & Beautiful Hearts!!

Aging is in the mind and in the soul. We often refer to wise people as being, old souls. Well when I grow up I want to be a very OLD soul with a huge heart and a fierce spirit. Join me, have your voice heard, express what is in your soul, and shout as loud as you can. We need to unite, we need to make noise, we need to bring change so that future generations will feel deeply valued and appreciated whatever their age, whatever their sex, whatever their race!! In this year of ‘The Woman’ let us fight for equality across every strata of society. Like Emily Pankhurst, let us stand up for women, of all abilities, cultures and ages.

Please get in touch if you have experienced discrimination because of your age? Or Please get into the conversation if you have a positive experience to share.

And if you have any further questions or comments for ‘Fit, Fabulous & 50+ please get in touch  in the comments box. You can also tweet about us.  Or join us on Facebook or Linkedin. And if you would like to hear more sign up to our newsletter. You are important to us so let us know how we can best serve you and our community of Fit, Fabulous & 50+ women.  Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and wishing you a happy and healthy summer.  Bye for now!  Margaret Tully

 

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7 Ways We Give Away Our Power

Fit, Fabulous & 50+

7 Ways We Give Away Our Power!

 People Pleasing

Inauthenticity

Seeking Approval

Taking Offence

Feeling Superior

Betrayal

Dishonesty/Being Fake

Christmas is nearly here again! A joyous time of year! A time of connecting with friends and family, expressing love and feeling appreciation of all the good things in life!

It is also a time of extreme loneliness and isolation! Fear and anxiety can grip as we struggle financially, physically and emotionally!

This year I enter the holiday season with much sadness! I have lost friends this year! They will stay in my heart forever! Some friends have been taken from me and some have chosen to leave.  Loss is loss, however it comes! It pierces the heart!

This year I have become acutely aware that life is short and it has brought me to a decision.  I am finally coming out of the closet!! Yes, I am not going to pretend anymore!

Friends and family provide a deep and complex reflection of who we think we are! Sometimes they affirm and sometimes they injure; whether it is intentionally or not the pain is the same. It is fierce and it can cut deep!!

Now, being super evolved, aware and spiritual I realise that when I take offence that is my choice. In the past I have taken my offences and placed them on my mantelpiece next to disappointments and frustration. I keep them visible should I need at any time to justify my bad day, feeling down, feeling depressed or angry. Sometimes (more often than not) I get super superior and believe that the person causing the offence would not have behaved in such a manner if they were more conscious, more enlightened and more evolved (like me).

This well constructed philosophy falls down however, when I betray or offend myself. It is a tricky negotiation trying to maintain the moral high ground, against oneself. I believe arguments and grudges provide a convenient distraction from taking a good hard look at our own behaviours and impulses.  We like to blame others rather than own our behaviour!

I did promise to come out of the closet! – stay with me I have one toe out.

Right here goes. I like people and I like having friends, lots of them. I am pretty good at getting rapport and connecting with people, but at what cost? Sometimes, and only sometimes, I exchange my authenticity, with people pleasing, seeking approval and a need for validation for love and connection or my perception of love and connections.  This transaction or bartering renders me dishonest with myself and in my relationships. Out of fear of not being liked I have sometimes pretended to be happy, impressed or amused when the truth is I’m none of these things! I am very good at presenting a version of myself, that I think people will like. I have learned to be funny; agreeable, someone who acquiesces and nods, A LOT.

Thank you, for staying with me – I AM FINALLY OUT! And I mean out, OUT!

So I have made a decision to stop being fake! Strong words I know but such a relief to finally be honest, imperfect and real. I am going to own my power, and I am no longer willing to betray myself any more!   I am cleaning my mantelpiece (love house hold metaphors) and removing all the old excuses. And guess what? If I have betrayed myself with timidity and a need for approval then I have probably betrayed others with dishonesty and inauthenticity. I am probably sitting right now on somebody else’s mantelpiece!

Owning My Power!

I am not afraid to let go of the relationships that drain and deplete energy. I no longer feel the need to negotiate my sense of integrity in order to please another person. I believe that all the love and connection and self-worth I was seeking in others I already possess! Allow me to explain:

We possess the power to love ourself more and more everyday.

We possess the power to accept and love our imperfect self.

We possess the power to take responsibility for our own growth and development.

We possess the power to enjoy life’s journey and love every lesson along the way.

We have the power to let go of any offence and forgive our self for offending others.

We possess the power to feel deep connection with our self, our friends, our family and everyone and everything on this planet.

We have the power to come out of the closet and stay out!

We all have the power to live a free, authentic and courageous life!

If any of this resonates with you, or indeed,  if you disagree we would love to hear your comments. Join our community of Fit, Fabulous and 50+ by subscribing  to our newsletter. We talk about health, goal setting, aging, motivation, gender roles; going after your dreams and much, much more.

You may encounter many defeats, 
but you must not be defeated. 
In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, 
so you can know who you are, 
what you can rise from, 
how you can still come out of it. 

~ Maya Angelou ~

Our community celebrates women who have something to say and who own their power. We need more role models in this world. So please get involved and start by leaving a comment, about how you have taken back your power. Or indeed, you may never have lost it, which is equally enriching. The best conversations take place, in the comment box, which you can find at the top/bottom of this page.

If you have liked what you have read then please give us a shout out by sharing with friends, tweet about us or share on facebook.

As this Christmas season brings us into contact with family and friends let us be grateful for the friends that have touched our hearts and let go of the need to please and cajole. Let us all grow in courage as we speak our truth in love and let go of offences. Happy Christmas everybody, I hope it is a good one!

Dear Margaret Stubbs and Abraham Oswagwo I hope you are resting in peace, you will always hold a place in my heart and I thank you for it!

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate 
our heroes and she-roes!

~ Maya Angelou ~

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Fit, Fabulous & 50+

Margaret Tully’s blog

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Hello I am an actress, director, teacher and life coach. I created Margaret Tully International because I want to work with people who want to experience life at the most exciting level. I live in London, spend a lot of time in the US, have studied with Anthony Robbins and feel what I have learned along my journey could benefit others.

So why do a blog? Well, I need to communicate. I always have! As a young woman it was not too difficult, as being reasonably attractive, I got a lot of attention and some people even seemed interested in what I had to say. I learned to handle the attention by being in charge, in control, humour, wit, funny and sometimes tantrums. As I got older I began to notice the currency by which I once traded (how attractive I felt in the eyes of the world) was producing different returns. Financial metaphors are quite useful when talking about intrinsic value and worth! You see I believe our identity is closely linked to how we view ourselves, in life, in other people’s eyes and in the mirror. Whether you gain significance and value from your career, family, physicality, education, skills or significant other, fundamentally the relationship you have with yourself will be what shapes your identity.

So what happens to us when we get up there in age and are no longer regarded as attractive, no longer of value, no longer sexy, invisible? My blog is about us women who are 50+ but unwilling to settle for the glib stereotyping inundating us by the media. If we have poor opinions of ourselves, and let’s be honest that is encouraged by most advertising companies who want us to compare ourselves to each other, to bill boards, and to a fantasy that is not only unattainable but non representative of a hugh demographic, then we need to take our power back. Back from the advertisers, public opinion, and unrealistic expectations of ourselves and each other.

As a 55 year old woman I can honestly say I feel more excited about life, more confident, much, much more sexy, more energised and vibrant than I ever did in my youth. It is a shame that this representation of women is not celebrated and reflected on TV, magazines and in our conversations. Fit, Fabulous and 50+ will speak to those of us who love who we have become, what we have achieved and contributed. Fit, Fabulous & 50+ supports and celebrates strength, competence, confidence, creativity and compassion.

So relax, get involved, have a natter, sound off, find support and help anyone who is feeling old, unattractive, devalued, invisible, unsexy, fed up or angry. Instead let’s get inspired to stand up be counted and heard. I’m listening, I’m here to serve, encourage, support and love on a big scale. Subscribe to the newsletter for once a month tips on health, wealth, love and career.

Leave a comment and share your amazing accomplishments so that we can get talking, agreeing, disagreeing (respectfully), thinking, confronting and most importantly connecting. Scream about us on Twitter and facebook because there are a lot of US out there. We are Fit, Fabulous and 50+.