Following on from my last past, in which I discussed age-related pressure in today's society, SK-II has released a powerful short film in which they explore the unrealistic idea that women, particularly in Asia, are made to feel they have an expiry date. The beautifully shot film aims to inspire and empower women to not let age determine their future or prevent them from fulfilling their goals and dreams.
My previous post (both here and on Instagram) opened up a great discussion on age-related pressure, many of you resonated with my story, and the response felt extremely positive. The consensus is, the pressure is out there and felt by a lot of women, going through mid 20's to 30's, and it can seem like a tough time, but so many of us are proudly sticking our middle fingers up to age-related pressure. Who really cares if you haven't got the 'right' job, haven't found the 'right' man, haven't got settled down and start a family, etc. ?
More and more of you are feeling empowered to be proactive and do something about it, regardless of a number hanging over your head. A common story shared was how many of you are changing careers, leaving monotonous jobs to pursue bigger dreams. It's all too easy to stuck or comfortable in a job, I should know, I've hopped around retail for ten years, 4 of them being in Visual Merchandising, but it's time for me to take the leap of faith!
Over the last year, I've met with some amazing agencies, brands and fellow bloggers who have all, with baffled faces, looked at me and asked 'why are you not blogging full time?'. I guess low self-confidence has always forced me to downplay this corner of the internet I've carved for myself. I didn't believe it could ever become a full-time job and honestly, I didn't think I had it in me or had the audience behind me to turn this hobby into a fully fledged financially stable career. (Short story: I didn't have faith in myself) Instead, I believed conforming and climbing the retail ladder was the only way to build a career and a future for myself, but after many a pep talk from friends, family and others bloggers (Massive thank you to my close friend Alistair, Lizzy, Alex, Ellie at Patter, Oli and the team at Aisle 8 for all of your advice) I'm finally ready to call blogging my full-time job.
Proving that's there is no expiry date, and it's never too late for change - this Autumn (after the completion of our new house) I'm walking away from a comfortable salary job (albeit a fun one) into the freelance world. The mix of intense fear and pure elation over this decision is overwhelming, but doing something that scares you is the key to keeping the momentum of life going right?
I'm going to end this with a fitting quote forwarded to me recently:
In partnership wth SK-II, all words are my own.
Around the world, millions of women feel the need to achieve specific 'goals' by a certain age to avoid being considered obsolete, leftover or expired as marriage material.
Last month I hit 27, according to a survey conducted by skincare brand, SK-II*, both men and women suggested 27 is a female's prime age. Prime age for what exactly though? Settling down? Marriage? Kids? Or an on-track career?
The same survey also revealed 1 out of 3 women in Asia feel that there’s a pre-decided timeline for how to live your life and when to do things, that they are expected to follow.
Society in the UK has also created a discouraging pressure for women to have life sorted by the age of 30, but is this too much? Of course, it is!
Dress: Mr Larkin / Bangles: Ol & Co/ Necklaces: Ol & Co / Earrings: Still With You / Shoes: Converse
Admittedly I used to feel quite anxious about approaching mid 20's and eventually 30 (and still do to a certain extent); as a young impressionable adult in the sixth form, I succumbed to the pressures of tutors telling me University was the only answer, the only plausible option if I wanted a successful career in the creative industry. Ten years later and what do I have to show for it? A 3-year art school portfolio reflecting a lot of time wasting, a CV exhibiting how to hop between mindless retail jobs and some excellent travelling pictures from a year in Oz. (albeit a bloody great year). It's only in the past 18 months I think I've somewhat started to get my (for want of a better word) 'shit' together, and I'm totally ok with that now! Because through the power of Instagram and blogging I've connected with an excess of women who are entirely in the identical situation to myself (More so than women who have 'got life sorted' so to speak). Meeting like-minded women has made me feel less guilty about what I thought was a waste of 9 years and taught those previous years are what formed me as a person. As I approach the final few years of my 20's, I'm starting to find my feet in the world of influencers and understand myself. I'm more excited for this chapter of my life than any other point thus far. Encouragement (not pressure!) from close friends, blogging pals and family has given me the confidence to listen to my heart and finally change my destiny. Later this year I will be making 'that leap of faith.' (Those of you who know, know) So watch this space for more news!
From a young age, it can feel like we are trained to follow life's generic template. But must we achieve certain things by a certain age? Must there really be a prime age? Everyone's definition of success is different, but I feel at no point should you feel pressured by age, the saying 'age is just number' couldn't ring truer. It's important to set your own individual goals in life regardless of society's norms.
Sk-II's survey also revealed there is a huge urge to open up and talk about these topics as 7 out of 10 women in Asia surveyed state that anxiety stemming from ageing is something they want to discuss with others.
So let's talk about it! The more we open up and empower others, the better. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Do you feel pressures of getting older? How do you overcome these pressures?
*This survey was conducted online by Procter & Gamble in May 2017 among 4280 women and 3261 men ages 18 years of age and older in the following countries Japan (n=1006), Korea (n=1010), China (n=1006), Hong Kong (n= 301), Taiwan (n= 303), Thailand (n= 302), Malaysia (n=309), Indonesia (n= 304), United States (n= 1000) , United Kingdom (n= 1000) and Australia (n=1000).