The middle aged women they are not the same as before. Most of us do not imagine women with long hair, jeans and women who wear convers sneakers when we hear this term, but today, we no longer imagine them, we see them on a daily basis. A 2017 survey conducted exclusively for The Telegraph, shows that society’s image of women in their 40s and 50s no longer matches who they really are. This is the new “ageless generation”.
Middle-aged women, the eternal generation
Marketing agency Superhuman conducted a survey of 500 women exclusively for the Telegraph to find out how they feel about their age and what it represents. The study found that:
80% felt that society’s assumptions about middle aged women they do not accurately reflect who these women really are and how they live their lives.
- Two-thirds felt they were having the time of their lives.
- 59% felt as vibrant and young as ever.
- 84% said they don’t define themselves by their age.
- 84% of women use products and services aimed at younger women.
- 90% think they have a younger attitude than their mother’s generation had at the same age.
- 49-year-old internet entrepreneur Gina Pell called this ageless generation “perennial.”
“Perennial women are relevant, ever-growing people of all ages who know what’s going on in the world, keep up with technology, and have friends of all ages. We engage, we remain curious, we mentor others, and we are passionate, compassionate, creative, confident, collaborative, and globally minded risk takers.” She explained herself.
Middle-aged women don’t try to look 20 againOn the contrary, they feel quite comfortable with themselves and with their age. They just aren’t buying the idea that at a certain age they have to see themselves as “senior” or stop creating and achieving new goals for themselves.
The look of the eternal generation
Perennial women dress completely differently than women of previous generations did. These women are challenging what is meant by dressing “age appropriate” (whatever that means) and their goal is to look fresh and sexy.
There are several reasons why this started to happen. First of all, women are not retiring as early as they used to. Retiring at 50 is fast becoming a thing of the past for many people, including men. Many women continue to work and are therefore surrounded and influenced by their younger colleagues.
Second, the adult children of many perennial women they still live at home with them. It used to be that once a child left home for college, they “left the nest” for good. This is not the case.
Adult children can have a massive impact on their parents: what technology they use, what eating habits they have, and how well they keep up with current fashion trends.
Polly Kemp, 51, who teaches lives with her three children, is a photographer husband and teaches yoga at The Babington House in Somerset in the UK, couldn’t agree more.
“I know that I live very differently from how my mother and grandmother lived at my age,” she says. “Iggy (her 19-year-old daughter) and I often borrow each other’s clothes, even though we may not wear them the same way. And we both love vintage clothing, so we often look for charity shops together. We enjoy the same TV series on Netflix, such as Schitt’s Creek, Girlboss, and Grace and Frankie; and we follow the same daily online yoga challenge on YouTube.”
Brands need to get on board
The ageless generation has the strongest purchasing power of all others: more than millennials and certainly more than generation Z. Despite this, they do not feel seen by marketers and think that brands have not recognized how much the “middle-aged” woman has changed.
“Eighty-four percent of women who were surveyed used products and services that they felt were geared toward younger women.” says Rebecca Rhodes, founder of Superhuman. “Today, women over forty they look, feel and live differently than the generation before them.”
He further explains how this brand myopia is a problem.
“We know that 85% of purchasing decisions are made by women, and yet 91% of women don’t think advertisers understand them. This is not good enough.”
Middle-aged women under pressure
The women surveyed were overwhelmingly positively inclined toward feeling more confident in themselves and their abilities. However, most admitted to feeling increasingly self-conscious about their appearance. The pressure to look young is enormous and it is negatively affecting their self-image.
According to the cosmetics brand’s 50-year-old founder Studio 10 Grace Fodorthe key to making the perennial women feel seen, is profiling customers based on their tastes and preferences, not their age.
“Currently, older women are part of the zeitgeist,” she says. “Defining people by their year of birth is so old-fashioned.”
Perennial women is the new millennium
Gone are the days when older women faded into the background. With countless “older” women going on to have successful careers and defy age-related norms, ageless generation it is the new generation aa turn to see.