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Invisible Woman – Social demotion of aging women

Invisible Woman – Social demotion of aging women

When I think of my mom, I see this gorgeous woman with mystic blue eyes. She has always been so beautiful to me. When I was a little child, I believed my mom was the most beautiful creature on earth, and as a teenager, I wanted to have a body like hers. Ever since I can remember, it has been easy for her to draw the attention of both women and men. After all, my father has been crazy about her as well. My mom and I have always been close, and we have been able to talk about any subject.

Last year, when she visited me for a couple of days, we had a chat about motherhood, womanhood, and gender roles in our society. During that powerful conversation, she said something that truly touched my heart and stayed with me for a very long time. She called herself an invisible woman. She talked about the social demotion of aging women and how it feels to be a woman of 59. While working on No Taboo Mom, I decided to ask her if she could share her story and her perception with us because I am convinced that invisibility among aging women is not an isolated case. Here is what she said:


59 years old, mother of two, Germany

Billy’s Story

I am a mother of two children and grandmother to four granddaughters. Today I am 59 years old and, among other things, in the middle of a woman’s menopause. My life has always been very varied, eventful, full of ups, and, of course, full of downs—otherwise, how else would I learn to live life to the fullest? (laughs) I have always considered myself a sweet, charming woman, and I have certainly been able to use this trait to my advantage. In fact, I have never had to try too hard to get the attention of men, and I have had many interesting and magical acquaintances because of this. I can only now understand how a woman feels when she gets older. And I would like to share a little bit with you today.

One day, when I was standing in front of the mirror, I thought: who does this face belong to? Suddenly, my reflection no longer matched the image of my inner self. The perception of myself stopped somewhere at the stage of a young, sweet girl. In the meantime, I noticed that no matter which direction I position myself to take a great selfie, it doesn’t work out for me anymore (according to my personal taste). Well, maybe a possible profile picture is still acceptable…(laughs)

Finally, one day while I was waiting for a plane at the airport, I realized my new reality. I had become air, an invisible woman. My attempt to catch eye contact with people no longer worked. None of those many eyes stopped, even by accident. However, the airport was not the only place where this happened to me. Not even my partner would notice when I wore a dress, even though I usually like to wear suspenders. The feeling that you are no longer seen as a woman is almost painful. At first, I had to learn how to process this new reality and deal with the new experience. So, if the cute part of the girl has now fallen away… what remains?

Reorientation? Looking for new tasks in life? The answer is yes! For example, I looked for various mentors online and observed whether they matched my interests. Only a small circle of those mentors touched my heart, and so I remained loyal to them and let them take me by the hand in this new life of mine. That’s how I, personally, found my way back to myself. What I found out is that the whole universe can also be about me. I realized how valuable each and every one of us is in this world, how deeply connected we all are. Everything is love, and together we can make the world so much more beautiful. And that is so much more than just being a cute girl.

I wish us all a wonderful time!

The Bigger Picture: Social Demotion of Aging Women and Our Future

This story highlights the often overlooked issue of the social demotion of aging women, a topic that resonates deeply with many. Since we are living in a world designed for men, the invisible women’s issue affects so many individuals all over the world. It will most likely happen to me too. I have already noticed the signs of change and social demotion just by the fact that I became a mother.

Billy’s story is a moving reminder that aging is not just a physical transformation but also an emotional and social journey. So, where does this take us? How do we cope with aging? Do we fight it, do we surrender, or do we cherish that transformation, embrace it, and create a new, better perception of ourselves—full of acceptance, love, and understanding?

How does Billy’s story resonate with you? Have you felt the societal pressures of aging? How do you cope with these changes? Your stories and feedback are vital as we strive to create a more inclusive and understanding community. Please share your thoughts and experiences with us.

Billy’s Original story in German:

Ich bin Mama von zwei Kindern und Oma von vier Enkelmädchen. Nun bin ich 59 Jahre jung geworden und u.a., mitten in den Wechseljahren einer Frau. Mein Leben war bisher ereignisreich, mit Höhen und natürlich Tiefen, sonst hätte ich ja fürs Leben nichts gelernt…, lach. Ich empfinde mich als eine süße Frau und wusste dies gut einzusetzen. Ich brauchte mich nicht bemühen um männliche Aufmerksamkeit und hatte so viele nette und magische Begegnungen. Wie es einer Frau ergeht, wenn sie älter wird, kann ich erst jetzt nachvollziehen. Und ich möchte mich hier ein bisschen mitteilen.

Es gab irgendwann einen Tag, an dem ich vor dem Spiegel stand und dachte…., wem gehört diese Gesicht? Es passte plötzlich nicht mehr zu meinem Inneren, welches dir sagt, du bist noch ein Mädchen, eine junge süße Frau… Inzwischen auch egal, wie ich mich drehe und wende… um ein einigermaßen tolles Foto von mir zu bekommen, es klappt bei mir nicht mehr (für meinen Geschmack). Na gut, das Seitenprofil geht noch… 😊

Spätestens bewusst wurde mir das Ganze, als ich letztens am Flughafen am Gate auf den Flieger wartete. ICH WAR EINFACH LUFT GEWORDEN. Meinen Blickkontakt mit so vielen Menschen…. Keines der vielen Auge hatte sich bei mir „verewigt“, nicht mal verirrt. Und nicht nur an diesem Ort. Selbst meinem Partner fällt nicht mal mehr auf, wenn ich mal ein Kleidchen trage, bin sonst gerne ein Hosenträger. Das Gefühl, man wird als Frau nicht mehr gesehen, fast schon eine schmerzliche Angelegenheit. Mit dieser Erfahrung muss ich erst einmal lernen umzugehen. Also, NUR süß ist jetzt weg gefallen… was bleibt? Neuorientierung? Neue Lebensaufgaben suchen? Unbedingt JA! Ich habe mir zum Beispiel diverse Mentoren im Netz gesucht, beobachtet, ob es meinen Interessen entspricht. Nur ein enger Kreis davon hat mich berührt und so bin ich ihnen treu geblieben und lasse mich von ihnen in manchen Dingen an die Hand nehmen. So fand ich den Weg zu mir selbst.

Ich wusste bis dahin nicht, dass es sich auch um mich dreht in diesem ganzen Universum. Mir ist dabei klar geworden, wie wertvoll jeder Einzelne von uns ist, wie verbunden wir im Grund alle miteinander sind, dass alles Liebe ist und wir alle zusammen die Welt umso schöner gestalten können. DAS ist sooo viel mehr als nur süß sein.

Ich wünsche uns allen eine schöne Zeit!


Meet the Author

Julia Kolbe born in 1986 in Thuringia, Germany. Co-Founder of No Taboo Mom. Married to Robert, mother of Ida (5) and Elsie (3). After working as a psychiatric nurse for couple of years, she began to question healthcare system in Germany. While pregnant and later as a mother of two girls she began to recognize the myriad inadequacies in the health system, especially when it comes to women's health. As a B.A. graduate, she continued her career as a medical instructor in a nursing school. Her goal is to train the best healthcare professionals with a holistic approach. Today, at No Taboo Mom, she shares her real-life experiences with others and connects with woman around the world.

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No Taboo Mom is a place of kindness. We believe shared narrative brings people together and leads to a positive cultural shift. Therefore, we encourage you to share your stories with others.
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No Taboo Mom is a place of kindness.

At No Taboo Mom we believe shared narrative brings people together and leads to a positive cultural shift. Therefore, we encourage you to share your stories with others.

Please notice, the submission of illegal, harassing, hateful or hurtful comments will be deleted from our blog in order to protect our readers and writers. 
Be kind.