I recently filed a story for a woman’s glossy about the invisible woman.

For those who are still happily high profile, let me explain: the invisible woman is she who suddenly finds herself disappearing through the crack created by the hiatus that develops between the time her once adoring, recently acquired husband/partner needed her as much as her children – babyplump and smiley – did and the time, much later, when husband/partner remembers (not that he can remember much) that he does still need her (to find glasses/shops, remind him to do up flies) despite once dismissing her, and her children need her to mind their own.

The invisible woman is she who is ‘dissed’ by her teens as being old and stupid and ignored by husband who is busy anticipating midlife crisis (apparently the prerogative of males?).

I suggested – in original draft – that in order to remedy situation faced by invisible woman, she ought to reinvent herself. Not with botox and cosmetic enhancements. But with flamboyant dressing, bold beads, hippy chic and by thumbing her nose at convention. My editor has asked me to edit: the promotion of cosmetic reinvention, she reminds me, is the bread and butter of glossies.

Unless I do as I am told, I shall forfeit own bread and butter.

Sadly I am not high profile enough to be able to afford to do that.


7 Responses to “Reinvention”

  1. Gorilla Bananas Says:

    Well I’m no expert on this, but I have observed a few things. I suspect that the more this woman pursues her own independent interests, the more visible and respected she becomes to her immediate family.

  2. Roberta Says:

    I, for one, would not compromise. There is a point in a woman’s life when she can turn to the shallow or she can depend on her inner strength and draw from it.

    More and more glossies are suggesting to women that they turn to the shallow. Let us hope we are strong enough to resist.

  3. Kathleen Says:

    I would love to read that article! Well some cosmetics for protection I think is ok. Even at the age of 50 I like the hippy chic look and still strive for that and have always flaunted convention i.e. I have very long hair for a 50 yoa. I wouldn’t change it for the world, I do get comments from older women tho like I’m not acting my age. What is it with these woman anyways? I do think that trying to look like a 20 yoa is not a good idea but I strive more for a mother earth type style, it makes me feel young but comfortable.

  4. problemchildbride Says:

    I think the invisible woman is probably more noticed than she thinks. Nanas is right though – pursue your own interests and be your own woman; your family will start seeing you again. It’s easy for a person to get lost in the mother and wife roles – we put our families first and subsume a lot of ourselves to do it. There’s a lot of joy to be had in that and nothing wrong with it unless we don’t also hang on to the essential parts of ourselves. There’s room for both.

    For myself, I don’t want to be a door-mat because 1) I just don’t want to, and 2) I don’t want my daughters thinking that’s what women do and what family means.

  5. Minx Says:

    Tickles me no end that you, a journalist, is sitting in Arusha in an internet cafe with a Masai warrior next to her, tapping out a piece on the importance of botox! Take the money and laugh like hell!

  6. Carolyn Says:

    You’re not even NEARLY invisible, so I hope this isn’t about you.

    I agree with Minx, and the taking money and the laughing.

  7. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    you are all absolutley right. when I threated to wobble and fall into the hiatus between immediate urgency motherood and the redundancy that can threaten with empty nests, I began to write. Even if I hadn’t, my family would never have been allowed to ignore me for even though I am now smaller than most of them and risk being trodden on if I don’t get out the way quick enough, I am very good at shouting. Loudly. I agree with problemchildbride: I don’t want to be a doormat because I don’t want my daughters to think that’s what motherhood is about. And I am glad Minx and Carolyn do not think less of me for taking the money, running and giggling as I do so!

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