Okay — 10 Reasons It’s Time To Stop Saying Older Women Are “Invisible”.

Monica D Drake
11 min readMar 24, 2022
One Storyline for “Older” Actresses, Summed Up In a Single Frame

Testing, testing…1…2…3…Is this mic on? Am I…here?

In 2015, Reuters printed the decisive headline: “It’s Official! Many Women Become Invisible After 49”.

It all sounded so exciting!

A previous New York Times headline, back in 1981, shouted with equal conviction, “Older Women: No Longer ‘Invisible’”!

Wow. Trends come and go in haircuts, jeans, hemlines, eyeglasses and…the refraction and dispersion of lightwaves as they cross the boundaries of aging women’s corporeal materiality, apparently. Astounding.

The New York Times article is over forty years old, old enough to begin its own walk into a distant vanishing point, yet the conversation hasn’t gone away. In a lovely, recent fashion interview, two women discuss “…How to Stay True to Yourself and Not Become Invisible.” Nothing wrong with that! Godspeed. Another piece offer tips for combating “Invisible Woman Syndrome.”

Women over fifty, like me, are “becoming invisible,” or “feel invisible” or are “no longer invisible.” The internet is rich with articles by and about women who mourn the sense that they’re sinking into invisibility, who actively embrace the newfound “freedom” brought on with invisibility, or who fight off the inevitable, raging into the dying of the light in mismatched florals and gorgeous candy-colored sunglasses, creating a style that screams in defiance of invisibility. I get it, feel it, am ordering my sunglasses now, and welcome any of these approaches, sometimes all at once. I’m not here to criticize. Bring it on, bring it all!

Thankfully, there’s that old saw that those leaning toward the female side of the continuum of gender can multi-task, big time — because from what I gather, we are currently visible, invisible and working to avoid invisibility all at once, now and through decades (while also, hopefully, keeping up with the kegels, which sounds like a sequel to Keeping Up With the Kardashians, I know, and I will pitch that reality series, very soon…)

Meanwhile, I’m the same person I’ve always been, walking the city, taking an interest in the world, expressing ideas, imagining myself to be a whole and reasonably legitimate being. I look outwardly…

--

--

Monica D Drake

Monica Drake is the author of the novels, Clown Girl and The Stud Book, and the linked story collection, The Folly of Loving Life.