Photographer: Wendy Carrig Model: me
I am absolutely delighted to be announcing a collaboration with the Age of No Retirement a new social innovation enterprise meant to create better perceptions of the over fifties and to act as a catalyst for more economic growth opportunities.
It is very much the case that people nowadays live longer and work for longer. If they retire from a job, they might embark on a new career in their fifties or even later. Fellow model Frances Dunscombe tipped to be the new Daphne Selfe and also represented by Grey Model Agency began her new career as a model as she turned eighty and has not looked back since!
In my work for The Age of No Retirement I will be addressing the issue of lack of confidence that many women feel once they turn menopausal - that dreaded word. I realise that lack of confidence affects men as well as women but in the patriarchal society in which we live women are most affected by a sense of dismay and a complete lack of belief in themselves once they go through that second major change in their bodies, the first one being of course adolescence, which marks the transition from child to woman. I have already started a short series of podcasts, independently and you can find them all here.
I have personally been very lucky. After leaving a lecturing job which totally drained me, I began to take modelling a bit more seriously and embraced it. I also created for myself a routine of caring for myself and my body, exercising, making sure I ate the right food and generally changing my attitude to life, getting rid of the sense of anxiety and the push to achieve which had marred my younger years.
I am no supermodel of course and it's not that everything is a bed of roses but I have built up a lot of confidence and definitely have a different perception of what growing old means and what can be expected.
Photographer: Wendy CarrigThe times in which we are living are indeed quite momentous. Among the many unwelcome consequences of the referendum results that shook Britain last week is an attempt to pitch against each other the younger and the older generation, with young people wistfully declaring that baby boomers have robbed them of their future, as Giles Coren has done in The Times.
This is an oversimplification of a very complex issue. As Damon Albarn so eloquently put it at Glastonbury a few days ago "Democracy failed us because it was ill-informed". Among the ill informed there was also a sizeable number of young people, some of whom cast their 'leave' vote almost in jest.
So let's not pitch the generations against each other, that is the last thing we want.
Older people have a lot of experience to draw upon and much they can still contribute to society, projects like The Age of No Retirement are about this.
Photographer: Wendy CarrigMeanwhile I am very proud of my photos for the forthcoming JD Williams Autumn/Winter 2016 Lookbook, taken by the very talented Wendy Carrig.
That's all for today. More rain is forecast for this week. I really long for the summer...