Excuse me: do you occur to know who decides once we are “too previous” to do one thing?

I used to be studying articles about middle-aged Madonna, being “too previous” to make pop music and it occurred to me that if I had listened to that ageist nonsense, I’d have by no means had a profession as a jewelry designer.


Witty Fiona Sturges within the Guardian expressed my outrage over the unvarnished sexism aimed toward Madonna, and by extension, all Child Boomers and GenXers who refuse to be invisible: “Within the minds of her most vicious detractors… she could be higher off binning the fishnets, placing on a pleasant cardie and ready for dying.”

I considered all of the male pop musicians who had been earlier than my time, and but nonetheless appear to make it to the stage. Nobody feedback on Mick Jagger’s age, 75, except it’s to offer him a fist-bump for having one other youngster. His hard-partying bandmate Keith Richards, additionally 75, has lengthy been celebrated for rocking-on one other 12 months. What’s the previous joke about nuclear battle? The one issues that may survive are cockroaches and Keith Richards.

They’re saluted, as they need to be, for his or her lengthy careers and their large affect on our tradition.


So why is it that Madonna, a mere 60, is being dismissed as “grandma”? And whereas we’re on the topic, when did “grandma” turn out to be an insult?

Briefly: when, precisely, did it turn out to be a sin for a girl to be artistic, whereas ageing?

I used to be by no means a selected Madonna fan (my tastes run to R&B) however I feel the Materials Lady has earned a proper to the highlight. If she nonetheless has one thing to say, why wouldn’t we be inclined to pay attention?

Effectively, everyone knows the rationale.


That’s the rationale I grew to become a jewelry designer, by the way in which: ageism in vogue. There wasn’t a lot on the market for grownup ladies who wished to seem like grown-ups, not frumps. It was both stiff, boring “effective jewelry” that jogged my memory of Fifties matrons. Or fast-fashion glass and plastic, aimed toward youngsters.  I used to be on the hunt for a press release necklace that will do a lot the identical job in my wardrobe {that a} energy tie does for a person’s go well with.

The place was the trendy jewelry for grown-ups who had been trying to elevate a primary capsule wardrobe, that includes a whole lot of T-shirts and denims, I questioned? Annoyed, I began making necklaces for myself. And, effectively, you realize the remainder.

On the intense facet, that sexism-in-fashion has led to a whole lot of designers like me operating small companies producing long-lasting garments and equipment for ladies who wish to keep away from the fast-fashion junk.

However make no mistake, my foray into jewelry design started as a personal answer to a rising public drawback: women-of-a-certain-age are belittled or ignored available in the market sq., whereas their male counterparts are thought-about to be within the prime of life.

It’s significantly annoying when the discriminatory drivel is printed in a spot just like the New York Instances the place Madonna’s new album, Madame X, earned a shade-casting profile, “Madonna at Sixty.” It focuses on her age and her appears and dismisses her in an off-handed manner you’ll be able to’t think about them making use of to any man who had achieved half as a lot.

After which, as they alienate ladies, they marvel why advertisers don’t flock to their doorways?


Toronto advertising and marketing guide Joanne Thomas Yaccato may clarify their little promoting drawback to them. In 2003, she wrote a guide known as The 80% Minority: Reaching the Actual World of Ladies Customers, during which she mentioned how the enterprise world’s bone-headed insistence on ignoring and insulting ladies undermines their very own companies.

You see, ladies make many of the shopping for choices. They purchase about 80 per cent of all of the issues there are to purchase (which explains the guide’s ironic title). And any product, together with a newspaper that sneers at ladies, would possibly simply discover itself having some troubles within the gross sales division.

Not that the Instances was the one paper to slag Madonna for having the nerve to be artistic, whereas ageing. However someway it’s worse in a newspaper that always brags about its personal significance to democracy.

I used to be significantly baffled that the author, a lady, went on and on about how shocking it was that Madonna was lovely. Why? She was at all times lovely. And he or she’s wholesome, rich and match. So why wouldn’t she nonetheless be lovely?

Oh. Wait. Might or not it’s that the author thinks “ageing” and “ugly” are synonyms?


I’m not going to invest on why she thinks such sexist ideas. I don’t should. The Instances instructed us why in a 2017 article concerning the declining fortunes of girls on the paper, which is dominated by males who declare nearly all of essentially the most senior and influential jobs.

However with the age-bashing I ponder in the event that they suppose Millennials (who shun their paper) will instantly race to subscribe in the event that they discover articles dissing artists from the Child Increase and GenX?

Briefly: what are they considering? Effectively, my guess is that they’re not considering in any respect. So why ought to I proceed studying their paper?


However I could write them to move on a little bit tip I picked-up in all these enterprise workshops I’ve performed. Whereas insulting ladies could seem like a swell gross sales technique once they’re sitting of their boys’ membership conferences, they could wish to contemplate the numbers. Collectively, Child Boomers (the biggest technology ever, born 1946-1964) and Gen-Xers (1965-1983) are an enormous market. And we’ve lived lengthy sufficient to have a little bit money.

So right here’s my query for the purveyors of misogyny: Do you actually wish to be alienating hundreds of thousands of girls together with your awful merchandise and ignorant, insulting journalism?

Within the meantime, I have to get again to being #creativewhileaging earlier than somebody informs me that I, too, am performed. I determine that if somebody as achieved as Madonna isn’t secure from that form of ageist assault then no girl over 50 is.

For those who really feel an urge to reply, you could find me at information(at)annecarsondesign.com

Maybe that ageist criticism of Madonna rankled a lot as a result of I’ve been exhausting at work getting ready for the LeslieJane vogue present on Saturday, June 15, which incorporates my jewelry. I used to be simply eager about how fortunate I used to be to have discovered work I like to do, though I discovered it comparatively late in life. (Designing jewelry is my third profession).

You possibly can study extra concerning the West Vancouver store that has turn out to be an establishment, right here. And reserve tickets.

LeslieJane’s Trend on the Pier
Saturday June 15, 3 p.m.
Ambleside Pier, on the foot of 14th St.
West Vancouver

RSVP totally free tickets

They’ve been in enterprise for greater than 40 years and I’ve a concept as to why they’ve lasted so lengthy. They supply excellent customer support in each sense of that phrase. They carry top quality clothes by a spread of designers, lots of whom are women-of-a-certain-age. And their store is a welcoming spot for ladies of any age.

I’m thrilled to be a part of their annual vogue present for the primary time. Not least as a result of nobody there would ever suppose to ask how I’ve the nerve to be #creativewhileaging