Mind

Why the view that women become 'invisible' once they turn 45 is utter nonsense

'Invisibility' really says more about the men whose eyesight is failing.

By Lisa Scott
Now, I have heard some utter bollocks in my life: "I just couldn't choose between the two of you" and "the pain will be worth it". But this week I heard some next-level shite.
This new stupid thing is called the Age of Invisibility, the age at which women disappear from the male view. It's 45, as decreed by boffins who don't seem aware of just how banging women now look at this age. After 45, men apparently stop seeing us, stop opening doors, whistling as we walk past building sites.
I've heard of the visible signs of ageing: smile lines, and a low tolerance for f*kwittery, and I've got a cream to fix both of those, but an Age of Invisibility, the sudden death knell of sex appeal – where in a blink you go from a babe in polka dots to mad Aunt Dotty – this knocked me for six. After all the daft things women are told to do to maintain allure – all that thigh gapping and hair-plucking – now we're just going to fade into the background?
As many as 67 per cent of women claim they received less attention from men once they hit 45 and even Christie Brinkley said she felt invisible to men her own age; and if Christie feels invisible, then the rest of us must be nearly able to walk through walls.
Columnist Emma Bradshaw wrote that she was quite pleased about it, she could now get things done without men shouting, "Nice tits!" when she tried to post a letter. She saw it as a cloak of invisibility, a superpower.
I think invisibility is a choice. I'm invisible if you don't look below five foot two and I once used this to infiltrate a pack of seven-foot rugger players to deliver an uppercut to the cad who broke my sister's heart.
Invisibility believers cite not getting served in a bar as an example, or a personal Pretty Woman moment (when you have a wallet full of cash, but staff ignore you). However, rudeness abounds in service industries due to the fact that the pay is dreadful, and the staff are usually suffering hangovers. Perhaps go to a different bar?
I may be short, but I refuse to be overlooked (plus you'd have to be deaf not to hear me) – any man who can't see me will be given a white stick to beat himself with. I believe all women can be sexy, elegant, have poise and be head-turners at any age, if they want. Fair cop if you're tired of being admired and seen more knobs than a locksmith, the rest of us will still shine like butterflies who can't remember what they came into the kitchen for.
'Invisibility' really says more about the men whose eyesight is failing: young women are vulnerable and uncertain, and possess a politeness that hasn't learnt to deal with unwanted attention from that guy passing and re-passing like a shark desperate for attention. By 45, that same woman has become more accomplished, with a stare that will shrivel his testicles.
Never again will I have to endure some eejit assuming I've been waiting at a bar for him, Prince Charming, to swoop in and ask if I'd like to wear my ankles behind his ears. I do not forget what it is like to be assessed through a beer glass lens of desirability, yet having become so much more than just sexy, I will not go gently from anyone's sight.
"Your mother will never be invisible to me," said my stepfather.
"Same goes," said the younger man. "And who yells 'Nice tits!' these days?"
"Two guys in a ute yelled it at me just the other day," I said.
"What colour was the ute?" he asked, bristling. It's a small town.
"Sort of a nondescript colour. To be honest, I hardly noticed it."

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