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Keeping Mum

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There’s a new women’s lib movement underway.  

Babyboomer women, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, are coming out and staying out.  

Mummy is not going to keep mum. She’s going to be seen and heard – alot.

o-OLDINVINCIBLE-570Rather than turning into the retiring woman she’s going to be invincible not invisible because she has hit 51 and has lived a life.

This lady’s not for turning and doesn’t need to burn her bra – no – she’ll buy the company instead. She can. She doesn’t need to look like Barbie, though she can.

And she is beautiful at every age.

So advertisers and marketers get with the programme and shape up to take a giant leap for womankind. Throw away the lazy prejudices, stereotypes and vapid messaging and take a really good look at today’s female consumers.

It’ll help too if you can see that the woman shopper is not anmorphous mass aged between 18 and 59 and cares for her family!

Let’s start with a small step for man.

It’d be great if we 50 pluses could be given a brain, bladder and mental faculties.

And can we have more interests than finding a 1001 ways with plastic wrap or power walking around the retirement village?

downloadYou could wipe the screen clean too with those beloved by adman, cheap in every way, chatty, animated characters. I am struck dumb when confronted with that parade of little Misses and Misters like the dancing yoghurt, the singing bad breath veges and sweeties, the shiver me timbers damp house, super hero fly sprayer and those boring old farts who are planning their funeral night after night for what looks like forever.

Pink can go there too. It’s stink and only appropriate when it is Breast Cancer Awareness month and for rugby referees.

Baby boomer women, at least in the developed world, have financial clout and they’re on the way to wielding even more. The new money women already represent trillions of dollars in buying power and they’re going to have more.

They are well educated, have successful careers, bring up families, have money to invest and – take note – they make most of the big household purchase decisions including the house, car, bank, investment fund, insurance, healthcare , phone, internet and pay tv provider.

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They are also habitual online shoppers and nearly always pass along information on a deal or customer experience to others.

They’re also more likely to buy environmentally friendly brands if they have the choice and they like green products.

But, they also feel badly misunderstood by marketers and advertisers.

Take my advice and say goodbye to Mr Blobby and his animated gal and guy friends.

It’ll be good riddance too to that loutish boyfriend sticking panty liners on his torso as he channels his inner ninja and Mrs LBL will no longer have to surreptitiously leave the party to whisper confidentially to us that she’s not the least bit inconvenienced or embarrassed by her light bladder leakage problem now she has her liners! In this brave new world she can say it out loud and proud at the table.

Just as women are shamefully under represented at the executive and board tables, and still can’t achieve pay parity, you won’t be at all surprised to know that less than 5 per cent of the advertising industry’s creative directors are women. That may explain some of the stereotyping but chauvinism, ageism, sexism and banal messaging is not exclusive to men!  We’re all very very good at it.

Feminism or women’s lib was – and still is – about equality of the sexes, and not about women getting even. I cringe when über mutters, now über alles super women, but with perfect hair, teeth and figures, career off in their powerful 4-wheel drive urban assault vehicle for the office, having achieved domination over the male species who is left to bumble around the house, apparently outwitted by the buttons on a dishwasher. It’s pitiful.

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But hold on, is this not the very same man seen on Saturday morning weaving in a peloton through traffic at breakneck speed on his racing bike? Clad in skin tight racing gear with action gusset, this weekend warrior demonstrates the 11th reason why men of any age should never wear lycra!

It also reminds us that babyboomers are not nearly dead – though a growing number of them are newly wed having exchanged partners for a newer model mid life.

They’re also early adopters. The blogosphere is ringing with women’s voices. And now there’s Sarah Palin’s voice to add to the confusion.  She’s launched her own online subscription tv channel to go “beyond the soundbites and the media’s politically correct filter to get to the truth”. This could be vastly edifying, particularly when she goes on longer than a soundbite!

I’m okay and I bet you’re okay too that part of the babyboomers coming out is that we don’t have to be perfect all the time, in every way.

In fact, women of every age are pushing back and embracing their imperfections in all their glory. Dove’s Real Beauty campaign has been a refreshing circuit breaker and so has Beyoncé, who really is perfection personified. She’s on the bandwagon, singing from the rooftops or wherever divas sing from, encouraging women to “find beauty in imperfection and the happiness in their lives”. I’m with her.

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Revenge of the Designer Vagina

I hope she’ll have a word though to the one in five Australian women aged between 18 and 69 who are thinking about having labial surgery.

Apparently their romantic partners told them they didn’t like the way their vaginas looked and no they’re thinking they need to do something about it, according to a survey by Australia’s Flinders University Psychology Department.

My advice is to stop looking, find the happiness within  and enjoy the rest of your life.

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