Geez. I nearly spat tacks when I read Alyson Walsh’s blog post highlighting (and arguing against) this ghastly term. This ‘gran bod’ phrase seems to have originated from a recent Daily Mail article (well, quelle surprise) based on a not exactly new research report (a 2014 YouGov poll) of 2000 women polled on their views on body confidence, style and the fashion industry for retailer JD Williams.
The article, which is full of pics of older women in their bikinis (mainly celebs) says it’s time to celebrate the ‘gran bod’. That’s us women who are fit, fabulous and over fifty. Well, how awfully decent of them, and nothing wrong with that is there? But wait a minute, first of all, you have to be fit and fabulous, and second, you have to be a grandmother? Read that sentence with an up-talk Edith Evans sigh of exasperation in your voice.
The point is the demographic of over 50s is a large one that will only increase in time. And the danger is that we get lumped together by journalists, media and policy types as one homogenous group of older people. And stereotypes abound, as we’re all either frail and fragile and in need of help from the NHS or social services, or we’re fit grandmothers – voice is going up again.
But just as there is no one type of 20, 30 or 40-year-old, neither is there one category of older women. My point is emphatically (and I wrote this as part of a response on Alyson’s blog) that we are all going to be different as we age: some will be grandmothers, some not, some will be large, some small, some will be tall, some short, some will be frail and some will be athletic and active until they die.
So my message to the media/marketers of this world is think before you write and pin labels on us, OK!
With steam coming out of my ears, that’s all for now
Penny, the frugalfashionshopper