Why are women so afraid of aging? Probably because society has been drumming it into them for some time. Just think of common sayings such as “Men age like wine, women like milk”. With comparisons like this, it is hardly surprising that Jo Blackwell suddenly had panic attacks at the age of 49.
When menopause turns life upside down
So her 50th birthday was just around the corner when the accountant suddenly felt like she had lost the thread of her life. She could no longer sleep at night, during the day she felt depressed and highly sensitive. Even the fabric on her skin seemed to bother her. For months she tormented herself with symptoms that she could not identify – until she realized that Jo was heading towards menopause. And that should turn her life completely upside down.
Out of the depression, Jo Blackwell started Project 50, a blog where she wrote about her feelings. Her inbox exploded with women from all over the world reaching out to her. It was the exchange that healed her.
The photo project: making beauty visible in old age
The photo project grew out of a blog. “The Midlife Movement” was born. Their mission: to show women over 40 and their natural beauty. And not just to the outside world – but above all to themselves. With her project, Jo wants to say to women what she would have liked to hear herself:
It is good like that. you are fine It may feel like doors are closing but, I promise you, so many will open before you. You may be feeling a little lost these days, but you are not alone.
Any woman over the age of 40 can participate. Many of them know the disorientation that suddenly tears them out of life as they get older. One moment you still knew who you were, what you wanted – and suddenly there is a hole. Jo Blackwell learned to turn the many questions into answers. She reinvented herself and encourages women to see new beginnings as an opportunity, not a crisis.
Jo photographs her participants herself. There is only one condition: the women must not have make-up on. Because the photographs should turn today’s ideals upside down and show the true beauty of a woman.
In the Instagram world, we’ve gotten used to seeing ourselves and each other through filters. With “The Midlife Movement” Jo wants to prove the opposite:
We are beautiful just the way we are. Every wrinkle, every gray hair, every dent or dent tells of our experience, strength and character.
Click through our photo gallery to see a few selected pictures of the route. You can get the whole photo project and all information on Jo Blackwell’s website to see.
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