LOUISE HUMPHREY

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'#seeme' is a photo-documentary project  inspired by becoming 50 years of age. 
Mixed with celebratory birthday wishes, were age-related emails about life insurance, funeral planning and plastic surgery. Apparently being 50 means you are now old enough to warrant such attention. In today’s visual culture it is clear that in terms of age-profile and bias, a disparity exists between how a 50+ female is perceived culturally and the life reality of being 50+. 
My project focusses on and celebrates women aged 50+ for who they are; demanding a stronger representation of the older female across all streams of media.  In particular a more honest and true portrayal in the alignment of  brands with age-appropriate models.
The project provides an insight into the lives of women aged 50+, giving the viewer a documented visual of women aged 50+ combined with a personal insight into what is important to them in life.
Susan
When you look across TV, Retail, Social Media, and other media outlets,
how represented do you feel in the ‘current visual culture’..?
“Not particularly strongly,
however I feel it's part of who I am to change perspectives visually.”
What worries you about the future?
“Nothing, life is precious, live it.”
Jan
When you look across TV, Retail, Social Media, and other media outlets,
how represented do you feel in the ‘current visual culture’..?
“In general the media and wider culture gives us a poor representation of women full stop,
let alone women over 50. I believe it’s getting better but very slowly.
There are now a few well known women over 50 being positively represented but they
remain the tiny minority and comment on them often comes with ‘despite her age’ or
‘she looks great…for her age.”
What makes you smile?
“Small, everyday things make me smile, mainly funny Glaswegian comments
on everyday things said by random strangers.
Random acts of kindness do too.”
Fiona
Describe how you felt turning 50.
“I felt happy and content turning 50
as I have achieved many of the things I set out to do in life.
Life is good and I'm looking forward to the rest of it.”
When you look across TV, Retail, Social Media, and other media outlets,
how represented do you feel in the ‘current visual culture’..?
“I don’t get hung up about marketing being aimed at younger people.
By this stage in life you know what you like and how to make the most of what you have.”
What worries you about the future?
“The future is a real unknown right now with the Coronavirus all around us.
I am scared for my Dad being taken from me too soon, I’m scared about our economy and the
employment prospects for our young people and so many other things
like climate change and terrorism
but I am a positive person and hope that we will all come through this better people.”
Jennifer
When you look across TV, Retail, Social Media and other media outlets,
how represented do you feel in the ‘Current visual culture’?
“Media is not great. I notice much younger women are being used to promote
skin products for older women.
I don’t feel very well represented fashion wise, as most clothes are aimed at younger people.”
What makes you smile?
“I love having a laugh with family and friends. A sense of humour is vital in life.
My baby grandson makes me smile.”
What worries you about the future?
“Continuing good health.
The rise of right wing politics in many countries.”
Juliet
When you look across TV, Retail, Social Media, and other media outlets,
how represented do you feel in the ‘current visual culture’..?
“I don’t feel that there is necessarily a true, honest and balanced reflection.
We are all different, but feel that sadly there is a societal pressure for
women to look their best at all times.”
What makes you smile?
“Maisy the dog, and her unconditional love...she is always pleased to see me.”
What worries you about the future?
“The impact of Covid 19 on the global economy and the long term
effect / impact this will have on my grandchildren’s lives.”
Donna
Describe how you felt turning 50.
“Turning 50 felt exciting and scary at the same time.”
When you look across TV, Retail, Social Media and other media outlets,
how represented do you feel in the ‘Current visual culture’?
“Working in the fashion industry I’ve been inspired by the new look of diversity
in age being introduced slowly but surely into advertising campaigns.”
What makes you smile?
“The sun, the moon, dancing and happy children make me smile.”
Jill
When you look across TV, Retail, Social Media, and other media outlets,
how represented do you feel in the ‘current visual culture’..?
“Social media relatively well represented - although that may be a consequence of
'echo chambers'? In TV not particularly well represented - women of my age tend to be
mothers or even grannies!? Increasingly the retailers I favour are using a wider range of age,
ethnicity and sized models so that's improving, albeit slowly.”
What makes you smile?
“At the moment, Bea the puppy - extremely cheeky and loving.”
What worries you about the future?
“Our ability to live within our means with regard to natural resources.
The politicians in charge, particularly of the USA
and the UK who seem to have no moral compass.
Other than that not much!”
Marina
Describe how you felt turning 50.
“I think you would have to ask my family that!!! My daughter Caoimhe did remark, again recently,
that I acted very strange around that time! I think I may have tried to forget about it by
doing a cycle around the Dingle Peninsula in Kerry, in the sun, wind and rain!”
When you look across TV, Retail, Social Media, and other media outlets,
how represented do you feel in the ‘current visual culture’..?
“I don't really think about it, if anything I would probably joke about it.
I'll have to take more notice in future!”
What really matters to you in your life?
“Family, health and good manners.”


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