F**k You, I'm 50

07/04/2017 17:15
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I've been thinking about this a lot.

I think about this when I'm wandering around Topshop or ZARA. And wandering around super-cool trainer shops for the perfect gum sole.

Not for my kids. For me. Think about the last time you saw a woman aged over 50 on a TV advert or big billboard. Chances are they were flogging some cure for slack bladders, or else it was the impossibly glamorous Helen Mirren pushing anti-ageing face cream that promises to miraculously turn you into a soft-focus sexpot.

And if you're not being sold incontinence pants or told you too could be as desirable as 71-year-old Mirren, you're being targeted with anything from elasto-waist pants, to life cover or stairlifts. At 50. Trainer-wearing, skinny jean-pouring, 14-hour-a-day working me. With a mortgage and a liking for expensive gins.

The over 50s have the biggest spending power in the UK, contributing £300 billion to UK economy and holding 80% per cent of the UK's wealth.

On top of that, it's a population that's growing too.

Yet over 50s women are widely ignored in culture. And if we are represented on screen or in adverts, it's in a clichéd, stereotyped 'mum of someone' way.

What my industry forgets is, women in their 50s could kick their arse.

I was marching against fascism and racism in the 80s and I was wearing a hood and blowing a whistle in the 90s. And if you're going to tell me that I'm right for a Saga holiday, a comfortable pair of shoes, or big knickers, you can fuck off.

I remembered the day I turned 50, overnight the side bar on my Facebook filled with ads telling me to write a will, how to plan my funeral, or selling me dreary couple's holidays. So thanks for that birthday present, Mark Zuckerberg.

Sorry but marketing's view of a 50-year-old woman doesn't sit comfortably (on a white sofa to show no leakage). By and large we are affluent, confident opinionated women who have heard it, done it and seen it all before. We're smart, stylish, and we don't take kindly to be talked down to or sold to.

This isn't trendy East London bias speaking. I lave a twin sister who still lives in my hometown of Leicester. We couldn't be more different. She's a teacher, she's savvy, she's smart, she's sensible, she's solvent.

Brands are obsessed with chasing the millennial market - but we baby boomer over 50s are the ones with the money. Home owners who've mostly paid off their mortgages, when millennials have next to no hope of even buying while paying cripplingly high rents and earning low wages.

We have money, we have disposable income, and if you're going to talk down to us, we'll go elsewhere. We want the latest fashions, but cut for our 50 plus bodies. And while I don't want to look like mutton dressed as lamb, I don't want to look like mutton dressed as mutton either. We've been dressing ourselves for 50 years after all.

By not catering for us, by cutting your clothes a little bit smaller, by making your skirts a little bit shorter, by making your heels not as substantial as we would like, you're missing out on millions of pounds of business.

Don't talk to us like we're senile or we're going to piss ourselves if someone tells us a joke. I'm not senile yet. I'm over 50, I've got money to spend. Celebrate who I am, not my age.

So you can stick your ads for hemorrhoid cream up your arse.

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