Mira Mira … The wider impact of ageism in the media on women

by Feb 8, 2013Culture5 comments

Ugly men get airtime!  The wider impact of ageism in the media on women!

Ugly men get airtime! The wider impact of ageism in the media on women!

 

Having embraced social media and blogging in order to promote my business, I have watched the medium turn from words to pictures and video. I realized I needed to have more photographs and videos and that many of them would have to include me. I then started to wonder about the wider impact on professional women of ageism in the media.

I am not a beautiful, slender young woman. This comes as no surprise to me, but what did surprise me was that I froze in front of the camera and the video and I winced when I saw my own image on the screen.

Invisible

I rarely see an ordinary or even ugly woman on factual TV. Unconsciously, I had come to view the medium as out of bounds for grown up women. It wasn’t just my imagination. Miriam O’Reilly’s legal action against the BBC for age discrimination drew support and criticism. Nick Ross (of Crimewatch fame) is quoted as saying older women should not be allowed to stay on TV.

I disagree with him profoundly. Yet faced with my own older woman face and body on video I felt completely inadequate and exposed. The BBC are training women experts  and there is some hope that more women will appear on TV. Yet some part of me says they will be the beautiful ones (and the thin ones).

Promoting your brand

For women in corporate life this withdrawal from the visual media is not a short term problem – that is what marketing and PR people take care of for you. But, to withdraw from the big marketing media can have extraordinary long term consequences. If you are the spokesperson of your brand, you are also the embodiment of your brand and the face of it – and here is where the trouble begins. If we are not going to create a world where the next generation of successful businesses are all headed by men, then women are going to have to appear in the media – just as men do – overweight, bad hair, sloppy posture, even badly fitted suits. We see them all and do not demand that men do not appear on television. Ugly men get airtime! Ageism doesn’t seem to impact them to the same degree.

Feel the fear

Rather shakily, I made the decision to explore video and TV as a way of getting messages that are really important to me out into the world. I went out not as a body which was female but as a messenger with curves and wrinkles (or at least that’s how I am determined to see it).

I am making videos for my web site and you tube channel and I recently did my first TV appearance   In the great tradition of all women, I have taken a friend with me – she is Elaine Hopkins (the Redundancy Crusader).

I am not the fairest of them all but neither are most of the men I see on television. I am on the sofa, or having a cup of coffee sharing what I am learning and enjoying it (well most of it).

 

annabel Subscriber
Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon an employment law and HR specialist.
follow me

Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services

Individual services

Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.

Corporate services

The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)

Upcoming events

Book Now

Career Management Basics for Strugglers and Jugglers

June 15th  Learn how to identify your transferable skills

June 22nd  Build a strong network

June 29th Raise your visibility

 

If you would like to join the live recording of these sessions please contact [email protected] for the Zoom Link

 

Dates for the Diary

June 10th - Corporate Workshop: Build your Personal Board of Directors

 

We have Remote Learning Programs available 

Check out our exciting portfolio of offerings to support your business in upskilling and competence building for your teams, to address the unprecedented challenges that women face in this new totally a digital world.

Download and listen free podcasts

Related articles

5 signs of a high EQ

5 signs of a high EQ

Research shows a link between emotional intelligence and career success.  It’s not a natural talent as people quite often believe but it can be improved with practice so here are 5 signs of a high EQ

read more
Building diversity and inclusion in corporate partnerships

Building diversity and inclusion in corporate partnerships

Delphine Lescole launched a short survey to collect corporate businesses’ impressions, and explore more specifically the subject of Diversity and Inclusion corporate partnerships in cultural organisations. She is targeting specifically working members of companies using corporate sponsorship as a promotional tool.

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
3 Plus International Call Back Request