Women Over 50: I Ask You, What Is A Real Woman?

I have to smile when I hear a brand is going to do a campaign for real women.  Aren’t we all real women?  I have also seen campaigns for the “everyday” woman…not sure what they mean with that one either.

I suppose they mean the advertising will include women who are not professional models.

But, if those women have the body types or complexions of most models or have business managers to further their careers…is it not the same?

I think this is why blogs have gained in popularity,  Women over 50 do seem to prefer to see clothing on women who are not professional models and leading lives similar to their own.  Blogs do give that variety.

A reader can find all sizes, age ranges, and tastes with women of a certain age on blogs.

But, I do want to acknowledge there have been brands who have had the courage to walk away from the “perfect” and portray the “authentic” woman and have done it well.  We applaud those of you who have.

So, I ask you today…what does it mean to you when a brand says they are using real women in their campaigns.  What do you expect to see?  What do you hope to see in such campaigns?

About this outfit…..


The jacket and pants are Eileen Fisher and the leopard ballet flats are Sam Edelman.  There are similar choices in these brands below and as always….

Keep Smiling!!

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  1. I am immediately skeptical when I hear the "real women" phrase. THEIR idea of real women is seldom my day to day encounter with real women. Their "real women" are almost always younger and slimmer. I love blogs because these really are real women: women who are aging, have gained a little weight, deal with age spots and adult acne and bunions and varicose veins. Women who are trying to budget and yet still have a little for the occasional treat. And the treats are as wide and varied as there are shades of color in the sky. I like hearing about others struggles and successes because I know somewhere along the way, I'll find one that echos my own struggles and successes. And we're all so accepting of one another. My friends and the female bloggers I follow are MY real women.

  2. While I applaud efforts of brands at inclusion of women of different ages, colors and sizes, so often the end results are images that are either styled or photoshopped to the point of unrealism. I agree about the appeal of blogs!

  3. I agree, Sandy said it so well and I too am so skeptical of that phrase. Too few brands actually target our age group in an authentic manner. Although I applaud L'Oreal for using "older" role models, they have photo-shopped all of Jane's and Helen's wrinkles out, so where is the authenticity in that? I follow 3 blogs including yours, rather than magazines for fashion and style ideas. I also find it inspiring to see all the changes you have made in your life the last few years. And just have to add that I love that necklace.

  4. What I expect to see for "real women" is definitely different than the women they use for their brands. I think we all would like to see a woman who has a similar body shape to ours. Different age groups are also important. I live in a rural area with not much for women's stores. I do a lot of online shopping. The last year I have been reading the fashion blogs and they are very helpful. It is still hard to find decent clothing for baby boomers. They either are too youthful or look like something my grandmother would have worn. I tried a cute dress on the other day but alas it was way too short for my 65 year old legs. Even the clerk agreed that it was too short. It has been very discouraging to find a dress for summer weddings. I think I am going to wear pants instead with a dressy top.

  5. Thanks for your honest comment, Sue. As I wrote yesterday, I recently wore pants to a wedding and I liked it more than I thought I would. I think I will stay in that place, because Like you, it is so hard for me to find dresses which flatter and are affordable. I appreciate you being here.

  6. I follow a lot of over 50 blogs but I get my inspiration from blogs like yours, Pam, that are truly about "real women". Blogs that show our strength, our beauty and our imperfections – characteristics we all share. One of my favorite retailers jumped on the "real women" bandwagon and yet to me their campaign seems so contrived. From what I have seen, the bloggers featured by the retailer never appeared to wear the brand on their blogs before the campaign. It is just not a "real" representation to me and as I consumer it is a major disappointment and has played a part in my purchasing from that retailer. Love your blog Pam – you represent us "real women" very well!

  7. So kind of you to say. I would encourage you to write the retailer and let them know how you feel. Perhaps it will make a difference. I think more retailers need to hear from us and it is one of the reasons why I wanted to get this conversation going…in hopes some of the retailers or their advertising firms would see what consumers really think.

  8. Anonymous, can you please share some of your over 50 blogs you like. I have just started the world of blog and would love to follow women more my age. Thank you!

  9. Hi Sherry, Look up at the top of my page and click on the word MISSION. Underneath my mission statement, I have a list of wonderful blogs for Women 50+. You will find my favorites on the list. Also, I would love to hear from Anonymous as well!

  10. Hi Sherry, Some of my favorite blogs are Over50Feeling40, Northwest Mountain Living, Midlife Fashionista, Unefemme, Southern Hospitality (she only does fashion on Wednesdays), Atypical60, Silver is the New Blond, Not Your Mom's 50, Style Nudge, Susanafter60, Ask Suzanne Bell, Tamera Beardsley, Rich Life in Wine Country. These women will inspire you! Also, my name is Marilu however, I did not fit into any of the other "Reply as" categories so Anonymous I am!

  11. I agree with each of the comments. I follow 4 "over 50" blogs because the women that write them are REAL women. Even though we all live different lifestyles, we share many common experiences as we age. And of course we care about our appearance so here we are… ? Thanks Pam!!
    I could only comment as anonymous … but it is me, Kelly Ann

  12. Pam, thank you for addressing the concept of the real woman. Yes, were all real women. We all try to flourish and bloom wherever we are planted, so to speak. Real women raise and run sled dog teams in Alaska, and real women run daycare centers in Ohio. I enjoy your blog very much, Pam, and 3 others that seem practical and helpful, too. P.s., I love Marla Wynn's clothing and accessories.

  13. It is really heating up in Texas so the idea of driving a dog sled in Alaska is real appealing right now! I love how you put this…thank you! I am such a fan of Marla Wynne clothing. Glad to know you are as well!

  14. I hope that clothes manufacturers begin to use more natural fabrics (cotton, linen) that do not cling to the body so much. For years I have had a difficult time finding clothes that don't look like "sausage casings" on my body!

  15. In my opinion, real women are actually rarely accounted for in the fantasy world of fashion. Real women don't merely have wrinkles; they have scars, amputations, mastectomies, cancer, hair loss, sciatica, bone loss, sagging, 50+ pounds or more that maybe they're trying to lose and don't want to accept and therefore buy clothes the size of a tent to cover… the list goes on. Were REAL women addressed, it would transform the fashion world forever. Anything that does not take the body (an actual body that the majority of women have, not the giraffe/gazelle bodies we are shown our entire lives) into account is laughable. Women deserve more than we have been given, in my opinion, and one of the things we deserve is not to be in shadow-competition with insectoid-stick creatures who I know are human, but are far too rare to be seen on any given day.

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