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Kate Rothwell and Jordan Summers have been talking about being invisible and what effect it has had on their lives.

Kate seems to think that it’s something that happens as you grow older, and Jordan seems to think it has to do with what you look like, and your size.

I’m 30 years old, and obviously not an author, but I do admit to not really understanding the whole visibility issue.

I can’t recall ever feeling invisible, or ever wanting to be. My parents brought me up believing that I was as good as any other person on this planet, so I guess that helped (g). I’m quite opinionated, too, on my blog, and in my real life. Having said that, I don’t have a public life, so it’s pretty easy for me to say mostly what I want.

My parents had five children in total, there are just the four of us left now, but growing up, if you wanted something, you had to fight for it, you had to be the one who jumped the highest, shouted the most, and just plain, played the attention seeking game the best.

I recall going to a an Aston Martin DB9 launch party with my sister last summer (I was invited by the marketing manager of the club where it was held, who wanted me to do business with them, so this was an effort to schmooze me) and of course there were quite a lot of English TV stars there etc, and wannabe footballers wives, (who no doubt had blown their month’s wage on their Louis Vuitton and Gucci handbags, and diamond encrusted bling with 0.60 carat baguettes, in an effort to snare themselves a rich guy.)

I recall telling my sister to dress down, because I knew the type of grasping women who would be there, and I didn’t want to be associated with them in any way shape or form. Yes I can be a little snobbish, and?

So in an effort to be less visible, I donned a Marks and Spencers suit with some Kookai shoes that only cost £40 ($72), a Morgan top that cost just £29.99 ($54), and a pair of ear-rings from Warehouse that only cost £10 (approx $18).

Now my sister is absolutely stunning and outgoing, so to be honest, making her seem invisible was always going to be a hard task. She did well though, she wore a white gypsy skirt that she had made herself (so talented) and a white gypsy-type top that she’d bought from some modest girly shop in town. She still looked fantastic though. (g)

When we got to the party, we went into the queue with everybody else. I was so glad I’d worn a suit, I couldn’t possibly be mistaken for someone who was trying to snare a man, I was covered from head to toe for God’s sake, and the only bling I was sporting was my cheap ear-rings.

My sister and I giggled and bitched over the number of girls and women who looked as if their sole purpose for being there was to catch a rich man, and get lots of attention, and perhaps be spotted by a modelling scout.

I still recall this one girl who had a ball dress on. She looked very uncomfortable, she must have realised that she’d over-dressed for the occasion. She was accompanied by a tall beautiful looking girl (I think she was a model) who had the most exquisite top on… oops sorry I digress.

As we were standing in the line, marvelling at the masses of exposed skin, we were plucked out of the queue by one of the photographers who were there, and asked to pose for a photo. I can’t pretend to be camera shy, so me and sis posed like we were professionals (I didn’t say we weren’t vain) (g)

That was pretty much how the rest of the night went. There was a charity raffle, of which I won the top prize; one years gym membership, a day at a health spa, a VIP membership of the club, and a bottle of Moet. As you can imagine, I appreciated the Moet the most, because I was able to give it away to some friends who got married later that year. (g)

To this day, I still think the marketing manager fixed it so I won. (I had a PWC booking that she wanted to land)

We were accosted by that same photographer throughout the evening. It got so bad that even my sister (who’s more vain than I am) got fed up. I think the photographer was hot for her, which brought out all my sisterly protective feelings.

Sis and I spent most of the night giggling over the fact that in our effort to dress down, we were garnering more attention than if we’d made a huge effort.

It certainly proves that old adage of less being more sometimes.

I guess the point here wasn’t to be invisible, but to not portray what I saw as a negative image. If I’d truly wanted to be invisible, I believe I’d have achieved this no problem.

Invisibility isn’t an issue that I’ve had in my life so far, this may change as I get older, but to be honest as far as I’m concerned, it has less to do with your age or how you look, and more to do with how you carry yourself, and your enthusiasm for life, and whether or not you want to be invisible.

I used to have a colleague who was in her mid-fifties, she was so funny and witty, that she could talk about anything, and people would automatically listen. She was always the centre of attention, but that was just the way she was. Some people prefer to stay in the shadows.

I happen to think that people sub-consciously choose their own levels of visibility. People don’t just become invisible, they choose to shy away from the limelight, they choose to act in ways that ensure their low-key profile.

By not contributing to conversations, not offering up opinions, not reacting, you are saying to people, “take no notice of me, I’m happy where I am” so invariably, that’s exactly what happens. People stop taking notice of you.

So what do you think? Is being invisible something that happens to you, or do you think we choose our own levels of visibility?


  • Scott
    June 30
    10:30 am

    Cool story Karen. And I am not surprised that you two garnered more attention. I tend to think the way the photographer (possibly) was thinking. That you weren’t fake looking.

    As for being invisible, I think it is a little of both; wanting to sometimes, and other times just because of the crowd. I used to be more invisible when I was younger, but wanting to be seen. Or at least noticed. Now that I am older, I find myself being able to control whether I am seen or not, and also that I prefer being invisible more. Not that I am shy. Actually I have become more outgoing as I grow older. But I find myself sometimes in situations where people are trying to impress each other with what they know and what they do or what they have. It is hard sometimes not to slip into that line of being as well. But most of the time I just quietly listen, or even slip away.

    Very interesting topic. Looking forward to see what others think.


  • Mel
    June 30
    11:06 am

    Hmmm, interesting, I find that as I’ve gotten older, my confidence has gone up, and as a result my visibility has increased. When I was a teenager, I was painfully shy, and just didn’t get any attention at all especially from boys, which when you’re that age it’s a fate worse than death.
    My confidence improved a whole lot when I met my husband, I’m not sure why that is, but it may have a lot to do with maybe feeling as if I belonged.

    I realise it sounds as if I depended on my husband to validate my existence, and up to a point, I guess it was, but these days, things are a little bit different.
    Like Scott, I can be highly visible in my personal life yet I have the ability to slink into the background if necessary.

    I also think that people with much bigger personalities can eclipse you, and make you feel more inhibited. At this point, I usually just shrug, and let them take center stage. It used to bother me, but not now.


  • Jennifer
    June 30
    1:58 pm

    As an older woman *g* I’ve noticed that I have become invisible the older I’ve got. When I was young and full of cum, I was always the one who would lead the latest revolution or go against the establishment in a fight for freedom of speech, freedom to have sex, and anything else I could think to oppose. These days, I choose be a lot less vocal, and I think it works for me a lot better than when I was the big mouth who screamed the loudest. Being invisible isn’t a bad thing, it means that when I finally do speak, people tend to listen to my words.

    Great blog.


  • Anne
    June 30
    4:27 pm

    Here’s a copy of my response to Jordan on her blog:

    Like you, I turned invisible when I gained weight. Before then I was noticed quite a lot, now I’m rarely noticed which sometimes is good and other times is bad. There are times when you just want to get through the day unnoticed because it’s one hellacious day and you don’t feel like talking to anyone and that’s usually when people want to talk to you. : ) Then there are days when you are a tad lonely and would like to have someone to talk to but inevitably those are the days you are invisible. Being invisible is hard at times but at other times it’s exactly what I need. I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse. 😀


  • Karen Scott
    June 30
    8:31 pm

    Anne I’m gonna put your response to this blog entry here if you don’t mind. The original comment can be found on the “Oh Not Again” post (g)

    Anne Vremont wrote:

    And…re: visibility (yeah, 2 for the price of 1) — I would disagree about picking your level of visibility…there are times you can key it up or down, but it’s a bit of a circle. If I jump up and down (and on and on) for a long time, or am in a line of people (your football wives in training) jumping up and down…that conscious effort to be visible isn’t noticed. Not to mention I abhor most of the visibility tactics.

    And if I am trying to increase my visibility and get silence…wow…slam…bye for 3 or 4 months. Some quiet people will always be noticed (well…”quiet” has to have it’s own definition for internet purposes) and some noisy people quickly become invisible without ever quieting down.Think there are too many dynamics, including other “visibles” and the audience, and segments of the audience, for it to be characterized left or right. (Long week, hope no one was hoping for comprehensibility.)


  • Karen Scott
    July 3
    8:31 am

    Scott, isn’t it funny, but I known people who know absolutely nothing about nothing, but they still manage to bullshit their way into success.

    Anne, when we talk about being invisible, who is it we’re actually invisible to? And how do these people impact our lives? In other words, are they people who matter?

    AnneV, I’m a trier, so usually if I don’t succeed at something, I just keep trying, the same applies to making sure I’m heard. Knock-backs are a part of life, and it’s really important to take that on board.


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