Representing Self-Representing Ageing; Look at me! Images of Women & Ageing
Lorna Warren, University of Sheffield
Women in their 50s–60s felt more pressure from media and advertising imagery compared with participants in their 80–90s.
Eighty-eight per cent of visitors to the project exhibitions wanted to see more images of older women, like those created through the project, displayed in public.
Participants captured various experiences from continued public involvement, friendships and fun to fears of increasing limitations and invisibility. Images challenged stereotypes such as the ‘grumpy old woman’ and reflected rarely represented grief and loss.
Participants wanted to see more images of ‘ordinary’ older women who were still ‘making a contribution’.
Images produced by participants showed that women experience ageing at the site of the body, for example in the form of wrinkles and greying hair.
Participatory visual methods gave women a sense of solidarity and ownership of the research process, impacting on well-being and a feeling of public validation.
Lorna Warren (PI), University of Sheffield Merryn Gott, University of Auckland Susan Hogan, University of Derby