Like most women, I have good days and I have not so good days. Spending as much time on social media as I do can often be disheartening. All those perfect lives, perfect outfits, perfect hair—ugh. No wonder I sometimes feel so down. Who can maintain that level of perfection? Here I am, a 57 year old woman (with a birthday just around the corner) trying to compete in that arena. Launching a new blog at my age and building a presence in social media can be challenging. I often think to myself, “what am I doing here? Is this something I can truly succeed in? At my age?”
Well here’s the great thing! While social media (and fashion and beauty blogs in particular) can often be discouraging, the opposite can also be true. When I feel like I’ve taken on more than I can handle, and more than the world is willing to accept, I turn to social media for inspiration. As long as I look in the right places, I find it. The trick is identifying the right place.
Chasing hugely successful bloggers like Chiara Ferragni is not the right place. Yes, she is successful. But I will never be a 30 year old blogger with a multi-million dollar empire. I probably won’t be invited to fashion week parties for all the top luxury brands in the world; be on magazine covers; and attend the hottest parties on the planet. But that’s OK. I can find inspiration from women who are more reflective of me. Women who are doing the things that I aspire to do and who are finding success in a way that is more achievable.
Here’s how. Start by identifying your goal. Is it to get in shape? Fantastic. Do it to get your best body and best health. Don’t do it so you can look 21 again. Search for middle aged fitness bloggers such as Chris Freytag, @chrisfreytag, or Rhonda Layton, @motivationrhonda. Check out a few different fitness bloggers until you find the one that aligns with your goals. Do you just love food but want to eat healthier? I know I do. Follow the same principles. Look for blogs that take into account nutritional needs of women in mid-life. Be sure you also take your own preferences into account. No point in following vegan blogs if you are not committed to that lifestyle. Two blogs that I really enjoy are Fit Body Fifty and A Palatable Pastime.
I seek out women who inspire me because they are changing perceptions of what it means to be in midlife and beyond. I look for women who are accomplishing great things, defying the odds and the expectations society has placed on us. When you start looking, it’s amazing what you find. One of those women is Tricia Cusden of Look Fabulous Forever. If you are a woman who loves make-up and enjoys looking her best, then I highly recommend you follow Tricia, @lookfabforever. Not only will you be inspired by the beautiful mature faces that look back at you, you will be inspired by Tricia’s own story.
Tricia’s story starts out conventionally. She was a successful woman in business who did as expected and retired in her early sixties. Soon she discovered that retirement was not for her. At the age of sixty-five Tricia launched a new business in an industry she had a deep passion for but knew very little about. At sixty-five Tricia Cusden launched a cosmetics company. Not just any cosmetics company; she tapped into a market that was hugely ignored by the cosmetics industry—older women. She heard all the naysayers who told her there is no market for cosmetics designed specifically for older women. The cosmetics market is already over-saturated and without millions of dollars for marketing, there is no way it can succeed. You can’t show women with wrinkles and lines to sell cosmetics.
But Tricia new she had something and she persisted. She developed her line and began promoting it on Youtube with how to videos—another thing that she was told would never work. Her perseverance paid off as the collection took off almost immediately. Just four years later Look Fabulous Forever is a worldwide success. Oh, and by the way, Tricia was invited to one of the hottest parties on the planet this year as three of her products where included in the nominees goody bags at the Oscars.
You are probably thinking, this is just another person online with a perfect life, a perfect business, who does not reflect my imperfect life. On the surface you might be right. But how about reframing that observation. This is a person who was not satisfied with the status quo. Rather than feeling sorry for herself she came up with a solution and went after it. I’m sure she felt discouraged at times. I’m sure she questioned what she was doing. I’m sure she was afraid of failure. But she persisted. And her persistence lead to this. Remember we only post the highlights on social media. But there are no highlights without some lowlights.
So are you prepared to do that? Share your stories of inspiration and persistence below. Who do you follow that gives you that little bit of a push you need it.