Photo by Billy Brown
Look! There she is! In front of you, behind you, walking next to you. Can’t you see her? There is a new super woman that everyone is talking about, but it seems she’s mighty difficult to find. She’s everywhere, but you have to give a good hard look to catch a glimpse of her. She is a pro at camouflaging herself, at remaining in the background. She is so good at this that you might not remember she was even there. She moves in and out of the shadows so swiftly, making sure everyone has everything they need and then she disappears back into obscurity. This super woman has had years of holding up others, bearing the weight on her own shoulders and letting them bask in the limelight while she stays behind the scenes silently orchestrating the show. You have probably met her before, in fact, but she is so good at blending into her surroundings that she is probably masquerading as a member of your own family. And yet, after all she has been able to accomplish, it seems that after about 50 years of devoted service she suddenly seems to drop off the radar screen and becomes completely invisible to the naked eye. Don’t be fooled. Her transparency is but one of her super human traits.
This wonder woman also has nerves of steel, taking on the task of daily assaults by the popular media about her age, her sexuality, her sensuality, her very value as a woman. It takes all of her courage and unbending strength to stand up for herself in the world and declare that she is happy with herself. She is on the front lines combating the idea that she is no longer relevant to society or desirable. Fortunately, she is also gifted with X-ray vision—the power to see right through people. She is fighting the injustice of the idea that she should just fade away along with her looks. She is combating the loss of identity and recognition. She is standing up for the chance to be seen and heard. And many times she is doing it in a kick-ass pair of stilettos.
Thank goodness she is gifted with the power of stamina. Time and again she finds it within herself to go out and face the world and proudly declare that she is still here, and she still has dreams to share with the world. Day after day, year after year, she has the endurance to stand up to her greatest enemy. Her arch nemesis is not Time. It is youth culture. She stands up to the images of youth that are forced upon her in every product and service that is marketed to her, as if that is the only thing on her mind, the only thing of importance to her as a woman. Among her most valuable assets is the power of laughter, knowing that when you laugh, a line forms to share it with you, and still, she laughs anyway in the face of that danger.
If she has a weakness, it’s that she cares too much. She has been brought up to care too much what other people think of her, what they might be saying about her, and that can become crippling. However, her weakness is also her most powerful weapon against those that want to use it against her. She will fight for what she believes is right precisely because she cares so much. Because to care, to love, is the most powerful defense weapon she possesses in her arsenal.
From where I stand, the Invisible Woman is real. There is one thing that is crystal clear about this wonder woman: her presence can be felt. Behind you, cheering you on; beside you, holding your hand; in front of you, encouraging you to do your best; in your heart, showing you how much she loves you. That’s where you will find the Invisible Woman. She is everywhere. All you have to do is open your eyes and your heart.
As a woman over 50 myself, I am proud to be a part of this group of invisible women. We have more super powers than any figment of someone’s imagination. From years of experience with being overlooked, we have found the strength from remaining true to ourselves and following our dreams, and proving that we still matter long after we turn 50. We have learned to trust ourselves and to believe in our own power, in our own value. No longer are we willing to be made to feel insecure about the value placed on the way we look on the outside. We are empowered by our own sense of self and we stand up for our right to be seen and heard. We are stepping out from behind the cape and revealing our numbers. We are here. If you still can’t see us, that’s your loss.
In fact, for someone who can’t be seen, the Invisible Woman sure is getting a lot of press these days. Maybe there is power in being invisible, too. It gives you great leeway in being true to yourself. After all, if no can see you, you can do, say, and be anything you want. No one will even notice.
I Am the Invisible Woman!