The Not So Invisible Woman

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Madeleine Morley

A not so funny thing happened to me this summer. I turned fifty. And unlike some of those Instagram fitfab50 women you see, I was not feeling fit or fabulous. In fact, I was feeling pretty crappy about myself and I went into a funk, big time. Who was this woman and what had she done to the smart, confident daughter my mother raised?

And the fact that I consider myself a feminist just added to the insult of my perceived injury. Then this happened.

The Not So Invisible Woman

A man I had never met told me I was beautiful and congratulated my husband on marrying so well. The Not So Invisible Woman.

source link Suzanne Portnoy. Divorced, she is attractive and finally a size 12 after 20 years spent yo-yo dieting. The Not So Invisible Woman is her second book. But in both cases, invisibility is voluntary. I am 62, and I have been ceasing to exist for a decade or so. The process is so discreet that I barely notice most of the time but, a couple of nights ago in a south London bar, I had a jarring reminder of my non-existence.

The barman — or rather, mixologist hiding beneath a vast beard — appeared to have selective blindness in favour of the millennials at his bar. Shaking and twirling an Old Fashioned gin is dead he served three people who materialised after me.

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Was my money not good enough? So how does an older woman command attention without risking jail or ridicule? I riffle through an imaginary Rolodex of role models who grew old without vanishing. Hollywood certainly seems to think so. She has also stood down various cancers on top of meting out justice by the shovel load.


And how about year-old philanthropist Dame Steve Shirley? She is still highly visible.

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Bunny Mellon , the Listerine heiress, gave away oodles of money too. In the last few years before her death in , aged , the widow of the philanthropist and art collector Paul continued to run her estate by broadcasting instructions from her chauffeur-driven car. Hot and cold running staff are such a boon.

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Her powerful model for ageing was eased along by a close friendship with Jackie O, and her elegantly understated design brio. Her clothes and hats looked as if they were timeless classics from French couture houses. Many were.