Helen Mirren looks incredible, wearing a tangerine dress with silver hair

Tangerine and silver hair - yes please!

Absolutely blown away with Helen Mirren, her whole look and outfit at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. She looks completely stunning with her smoky eyes and silver hair in a soft and messy bun. I’m a huge fan of tangerine clothing worn with white or silver hair. The emerald jewellery is exquisite, and although very chunky, the necklace really complimented her retro style fitted bodice dress.

I don’t watch TV, so I’m not very familiar with Helen other than when she starred in the film ‘Woman in gold’. The true story of an elderly Jewish woman – Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), who attempts to reclaim family possessions that were seized by the Nazis. Among them is a famous portrait of Maria’s beloved Aunt Adele: Gustave Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.” With the help of young lawyer Randy Schoeberg (Ryan Reynolds), Maria embarks upon a lengthy legal battle to recover this painting and several others, but it will not be easy, for Austria considers them national treasures. Definitely worth watching. I enjoyed it so much I would watch it again, just to understand the whole story behind the painting.

I love everything about this photo. Her smile, confidence, perfectly matching shoes and little gold handbag. I would skip the necklace but for this event she looks a million dollars. More please Helen.

changing the face of fiftysister

Here’s my attempt at replicating Helen’s style with silver hair and a tangerine dress. I should maybe have copied her up-do, maybe next time.

I’m always on the look out for colours and styling as age, but sadly I don’t find any role models that provide me with inspiration. But Helen is going to the top of the list with this incredible choice of outfit.


A return ticket to peace and tranqulity

peace and tranquility

I’m a little bit annoyed with myself that I didn’t take action to restore some peace and tranquility in my life before now. The constant notifications on my phone and laptop, from so many applications and platforms, were gradually making me more and more agitated.

I took some time this morning to remove the ability for anyone and everyone to reply to my posts on my blog, as sadly, I was being inundated with spambots replying to posts. I needed to edit every post I’d ever written, plus delete the 5000 or so spam responses. I should have done this a long time ago. I had been deleting the odd one here and there, but it needed a focused effort to stop the issue once and for all.

Then I set about unsubscribing from email newsletters and marketing offers from anyone I’d ever signed up with. Before undertaking this mammoth task, I’d been averaging 30 emails per hour. In the last hour it’s down to just one – which I can easily cope with. I was drowning under the weight of emails and messages, and now I feel like I’ve won a ticket to some (very much needed) peace and tranquility.

I was a little punch drunk with the notifications. I had stopped listening to them and they had become a constant background noise. Sadly, when I did receive an important or worthwhile message, it sat with the pile of unwanted junk.

Seb made an excellent point last night. I sent him a link to my YouTube video, asking him for some feedback. His first comment was ‘AT LAST!!!’ – he’s been telling me to switch to YouTube for a while as he knows that I’ve been struggling to find the time to manage Instagram. He went on to say, that Instagram is like a pop up art gallery. You can only view the content for the day, and then it becomes obsolete and invisible. I may as well be painting over all my work and starting again. YouTube however, is like a gallery. You can wander around the content creation, because all of it stays active and relevant. He’s a smart guy. I should listen to him more.

I plan to post at least one video on YouTube per week, and then one photo on Instagram with just hashtags and maybe a brief comment. I was using Insta for more than it was designed for – I was making work for myself. My blog and general chatter will continue here.

Thank you for staying with me, I hope you enjoy following my house build which should start next month – I AM EXCITED!!!

I hope you have a beautiful day.

Gail xxx

Why I switched from Instagram to YouTube

I thought I’d share my first YouTube only video with you, which a brief explanation of why I am having a break from FiftySister on Instagram. I hope you like the format and promise there will be more content coming soon.

With over 72k followers it seems like a crazy decision that I switched from Instagram to YouTube, where I have less than 500 followers. To stay on Instagram I need to take promotional posts which would dilute my content and messaging. On YouTube I am free to say what I want without fear of being penalised for posting too often or not enough. The algorithms on Instagram have driven me away!

Also, for my housebuild, the landscape orientation of YouTube is a much better option.

Thank you for stopping by my blog, I really appreciate your support.

Gail xxx

The social media monster

Slaying the social media monster.

Yesterday, I had the sudden urge to delete all social media apps off my phone. The constant notifications – a reminder that I needed to take action and feed the social media monster.

It is a monster. A huge, fire breathing, hungry monster. It always wants and needs more.

Working for free for the social media monster.

I started out on Instagram just over 2 years ago, to document my transition to natural silver hair. Something quite casual, a photo here and there, a short caption and a few hashtags. I woke the monster. Slowly, slowly, as it started to grow, it demanded more and more of my time.

I was working for free. The number of hours spent taking care of the monster is not worth the (lack of) dollars.

You must feed your monster twice per day. You need to interact with other monster carers, delivering likes and comments to feed and nurture your own angry pet. Instagram doesn’t like it if you; don’t post regularly, use the same hashtags, don’t respond to posts and comments. It’s very demanding.

Lots of people talk about algorithms. Like there’s some secret man sitting in a room, deciding who to promote so they can win more followers. But it’s an enormous marketing machine, using free content from millions of creators to draw in the crowds. I knew this, and it suited me to use the platform to share my messages and spread the word about positive ageing.

It’s like a drug

Instagram content creators get hooked. Their followers will eventually drop from time to time, so they start advertising and promoting posts to increase the flow of new followers. This of course is the kiss of death for free promotion in the discovery section of the feed. Insta now knows you want and need followers, so will make you invisible until you feed the machine with coins. I never advertised, but watched as other women who experienced a decrease in number of new followers, started promoting posts. Their sponsored posts would show up on Facebook. I knew then, they were owned by the mother of all monsters, throwing dollars at it for followers.

Sure, there is money in Insta if you are prepared to sell anything and everything that companies throw your way. I wasn’t. I stood true to my beliefs, only accepting occasional gifts and discussing products from companies which were vegan and cruelty free. I never took money for paid posts, that’s not what my channel was for.

Instagram vs reality

Often when looking at other women’s posts, I would see #ethical #sustainable etc on clothing posts. But there she was wearing leather shoes. What is ethical about that? I would see another lady talking about veganism one minute, whilst chomping on a piece of dairy the next. Or, posts like ‘ I’m vegan except I can’t say no to roast lamb’. If I saw a post like this I would just scroll on by, maybe hit ‘unfollow’ and mutter something about how fake everyone is. But I’ve come to realise, that most people prefer fake. They don’t want to see women without filters, without some photoshopping going on. When you see how popular images of fake faces and bodies are, you realise you are in the wrong game, or on the wrong platform.

I met a fellow content creator in person. She is a little older than me and uses filters on every post. I commented how great she looked in a bikini shot on her grid. To which she replied ‘I photoshopped my tummy’. What is the point? All she is doing is contributing to unattainable beauty standards set by large corporations, pushing unrealistic images of ageing women to sell products. How can other women expect to look as good as her and feel good about themselves, when she doesn’t look like that in real life either?

I posted photos without filters. I got abuse and insults. I didn’t care, but I’m not making a difference. I just look older than women the same age who are filtering their faces beyond recognition, and I ponder ‘what is the point?’.

What next?

What next? Well, I’m considering a move to YouTube. Firstly, I am going to be filming my house build in Portugal and the orientation of the filming is better in landscape mode. Secondly, there’s potential to earn money from the posts without promoting other company’s products. YouTube pays creators with revenue from adverts displayed on the video, whereas Instagram is getting all of its content and users for free. That doesn’t really seem fair – does it?

I’m enjoying a break from DM’s, emails and post responses. How can I ignore emails from women, desperate for emotional support on their ageing journey? I am not a doctor, therapist or psychologist. I’m an unpaid agony aunt who is slowly sinking under the weight of other’s needs and expectations.

I’m taking time out. An opportunity to re-think and evaluate my time spent with the social media monster. Insta is getting value, but am I? If I move to YouTube am I just switching monsters?

More thinking to do, so stay tuned for updates.

Gail xxx

social media monster

I need to take a break.

The censorship of accounts and information on Instagram is driving me away. Accounts deleted or shadow banned every day because they are sharing important information, which would allow people to make informed choices. I am unsure whether I can or want to be part of that blinkered media machine anymore.

I enjoy writing and taking photos. I love inspiring women to embrace and enjoy ageing.

I don’t like the spewed hatred that lands in my DMs and inbox. It doesn’t upset me, other than precious time spent deleting and blocking sad and pathetic trolls.

I don’t like the control that Google and Facebook/Instagram have over what we see. Watch ‘The Social Dilemma’ on Netflix and you will understand the blinkered outlook we have on the world through our screens.

There is a whole world of information which contradicts the vaccine initiative. People are dying, and those shouting the warnings are muted and hidden to protect the pharmaceutical industry – which wants to treat your illness, not cure it.

I want to inspire and motivate women. I want us to ask questions and have discussions about important topics which affect us, our children and everyone else on the planet.

I don’t want to be gagged.

I don’t want to be brainwashed by the media. People need to start asking questions instead of going with the flow. So I am taking a break from social media. I will be posting on here on my blog instead. Then I won’t have to limit my words or watch what I type or say.

Will I be back? I don’t know. All I know is that I need a week away.

Thank you for your support and the friendships I’ve made. I am grateful for the many connections with amazing women (and men!) around the globe.

Off to have a long think and some clear headspace.

I’ve reinstated my blog for my new posts. Find me here fiftysister.com/blog for the time being.

Gail xxx