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Is The Invisible Midlife Woman Happy?

Jennifer often writes about the invisible midlife woman. You can find her posts on this and other topics on her blog, A Well Styled Life.

Is the Invisible Midlife Woman Happy? VI spotted her at Safeway yesterday. She smiled at me over the tomatoes. She wasn’t hard to see, but she was invisible.

She had on wrinkled, beige pants that may have been 15-20 years old.  They were clean… but totally un-stylish.

She was wearing a floppy hat that had seen better days, but was protecting her face from the sun. I don’t remember her top. It left no impression. She wore no makeup.


Her shoes looked comfortable and totally utilitarian. They were beige too.

There was not one stylish or chic thing about her appearance. She had a happy, carefree smile on her face. She appeared to be enjoying her day as much as I was. She wasn’t much older than I am. Perhaps late 60’s, but she looked much older.

I wondered why we were so different in the value we place on our appearance. Were our priorities were simply different?

As I watched her, I felt her lack of concern for what anyone thought of her appearance.

I briefly envied her freedom from concern. Not caring a bit, what anyone thought of how she looked. I wished I could be so relaxed about my appearance.

I can’t remember feeling that way. Ever. I’m not judging her. She looked blissfully happy. Each to her own!

My confidence would be shot to hell if I went out looking the way she did. I was raised by a mother who never left the house without fixing herself up and it rubbed off on me. Some may call that shallow. For me it’s personal pride. Sure, I have days when hope I won’t run into people. But they’re seldom.

Did I meet the invisible woman who is happy to fly under the radar?

I think I did. And she’s very happy with her look, her life and her appearance.

I wondered if I may be like her in 20 years? I doubt it. We simply have different priorities and values.

Do you ever wish you didn’t care if you looked well dressed? Nicely put together. Stylish?

Of course I could be projecting. She may have just given up caring what she looks like.

Ever see women like this? What do you think when you see her?

Style Your Day Beautifully,



Jennifer Connolly

Jennifer Connolly celebrates the unique experience of women over 50. As a Certified Image Consultant and Personal Stylist, she empowers women to develop their image, personal style and self confidence. Her blog, A Well Styled Life, gives women the tools to appreciate their beauty and fully embrace the joys of midlife. Jennifer is a blogger, writer, wife, mom, grandmother. Pro-aging troublemaker, searching for the perfect foundation shade since 1973. Instagram: awellstyledlife

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Kelly Shelly

Friday 16th of September 2016

I often think like you do with regard to women in public places not "done up." I wonder at what point... if any I'll ever give up. When I do leave the house in a rumpled/no makeup rush I feel so self-conscience I hope I'm invisible. I was also taught to make myself presentable before I leave the house... so I feel both guilt and laziness. We women really should start thinking like men. No matter what we look like we always feel we look great!


Friday 27th of November 2015

Hi Jennifer, a very interesting perspective. I see women like this all the time and also wonder if they feel free, feel invisible, or have a sense of being stuck and as a result are not able to make an effort as they believe no one "sees" so why bother. Like you, I cannot imagine ever not caring about how I look; to me looking good equals feeling good about myself. Thoughts?


Friday 27th of November 2015

I think many woman do give up. Some say they enjoy the freedom from being "seen". But digging deeper, I'm not sure they're speaking from a confident place. It may be easier to not try, than try and feel they've failed.


Wednesday 25th of November 2015

I have to say that this is quite possibly one of the most shallow, judgmental, and ignorant things I have read as of late (aside from transcripts from Trump's interviews). While you may have written this with a different message in mind the only message I took from it was that any woman who wanders her way through your line of vision, makeupless and comfortable, can expect merciless ridicule based solely on her outward appearance. A woman, no matter her age, is in no way defined by her pants or her floppy hat or her 'utilitarian...beige' shoes, but instead should be valued for who she is and what she has accomplished in her life. I hate to say it but this particular piece read like a middle aged white man rambling to his friends about how 'unhappy ugly old women' must be. While you yourself may base your self worth on what you project to the world I certainly hope that in the future you take a moment to remember that each person on this planet has their own life to live and sometimes you just really couldn't give a flying fuck about Dressing Up to go grocery shopping.


Monday 30th of November 2015

Hi Maggie,

I respect your opinion, but think there's a chance you misunderstood my point. Perhaps you missed a few points.

I said I "envied her freedom from concern" ( for her appearance) I was neither ridiculing nor criticising her. I was merely observing the difference we placed on our appearance.

That does not make me shallow or ignorant. I was simply contrastring how we choose to express our outward appreance as we each went about our day. Not judging either one.

All women should be valued for who they are and how they act. Even old white men should be.

I don't value myself based on my outward appearance, but I am aware how often others take it into consideration.

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