This project - more commonly known as the Look at Me! Images of Women and Ageing Project - involved older women in the creation of alternative visual images of ageing. The aim was to equip participants with novel means of challenging media stereotyping and the invisibility that older women often experience. Researchers worked in collaboration with 41 self-defined older women (aged 43-96). The project used a range of qualitative visual methods to produce knowledge about older women’s everyday experiences. The women created a diverse range of visual outputs including photos, fine art and sculpture and this work was displayed at exhibitions in a number of locations across the UK. Audiences at the exhibitions included participants, their family and friends, local politicians and members of the public. The project found that compared with the women in older age groups (75+ years) baby boomers were more conscious being stereotyped, misrepresented, or absent from media images and felt greater pressure on them to look a certain way.
Collectively across the project participants called for more images of “ordinary”, “real” or “natural” older women in the media who had not been surgically or digitally enhanced. They also wanted to see representations which show older women can make a contribution and be independent so that younger people might be less fearful of ageing.
Copyright for all images belongs to the Representing Self - Representing Ageing project, funded by the New Dynamics of Ageing cross-council research programme (grant number: RES-356-25-0040)