Fashion and fun for the over-50s.

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Wednesday, 20 January 2021

What We Learnt from the First Wave of Covid - And Link Up

 The results of the 2021 annual Is This Mutton? Survey

Old-fashioned typwriter with Corona Update typed on a piece of paper. Picture by Markus Winkler for Pexels
Thanks to all of you who generously completed the annual Is This Mutton? survey. Last year was about how we feel about ageing. This year, the focus had to be about Covid-19 and how we coped with the shock of the first lockdown.

The majority of respondents was in the UK and Ireland followed by the US and Canada (20%).  Women took part from many other countries including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey.

Mid life women have to be very resilient because not only are many of us working (50%) we also have children at home ranging from adults to kids needing home schooling, and we were very worried about our parents and other older relatives who were cut off from us during the lockdown.

For 60% of those surveyed, worrying about distant family members was the worst thing about lockdown, followed by not being able to socialise and missing significant family events such as holidays, weddings or religious festival days.

Unsurprisingly, the top rated activity post lockdown will be meeting up with family and friends  (83%) followed by a holiday abroad (53%).

But it seems most of us are not making any plans yet. 85% have made no firm plans for anything with just six per cent saying they have lots of things lined up for 2021.

Mature women using  PC with a whiteboard behind her. Picture by  Katerina Holmes for Pexels
But lockdown life has not all been doom and gloom. There were some positives. 66% saved money, and 47% fell in love with nature. More than half of you enjoyed the more relaxed pace of life.

Contrary to what the papers have been saying, you didn't all rush for the biscuit tin and stop exercising. 55% said they exercised more during lockdown. 

The question "what did you do in lockdown you were most proud of?" had lots of interesting responses. Many said "survived," many cited taking up new hobbies, and several started volunteering in the community.  Some other achievements:
  • Maintained and improved relationships with my colleagues during a very difficult period when we started working remotely and had my contract renewed during lockdown so I maintained an income (I’m a self-employed IT contractor)
  • Working and home schooling my child simultaneously
  • Published my book; worked on my communication skills
  • Remodeled two homes and made progress on building my business
  • I cleaned my closet and listed over 200 items for resale on a consignment website
  • Planned my meals for the week, making better use of ingredients and 'left overs' I feel that this made me less wasteful and more aware of what I was buying
  • Kept up Joe Wickes workouts til Christmas!
Lockdown didn't cause any friction with family members for over 72%. More than half of you said it didn't affect your relationship with your partner or spouse. 93% said they kept to the guidelines and rules. 83% said they had not had Covid-19, while 11.5% thought they had had it, but hadn't been officially tested. 

With socialising off the menu, so was buying clothes: 75% said they spent less on clothes. Most of us dressed casually during lockdown, but dressed up occasionally. 

Less Business for Hair Salons

Having to manage our own hair with hair salons closed for several months has led to some changes. 55% said they're more relaxed now about having their hair colored, and nearly a quarter have continued to let their hair grow out without it being colored.

Only 53% consider themselves feminists, which is an interesting topic to explore! For those who agreed they were feminists, seven  per cent said they sometimes felt they were letting their hair down by having it colored. But you were all unanimous that wearing high heels or make-up does not make you any less of a feminist.

We're Poorly Represented in Ads and Films

Nearly 70% of you said mid life women are poorly represented in adverts, films and the media in general, with 15% saying they were very poorly represented. There are plenty of campaigners trying to change these perceptions. @behindthewoman1 has this wonderful video on Twitter showing what real midlife women look like. 

It will be interesting to see how the new series of Sex and the City will treat its heroines, all now in their 50s  (Kim Cattrall, who played Samantha, will not be taking part). Will Carrie and co be offended at ads which appear on their Facebook feed for funerals, hearing aids and stairlifts? How will they feel about seeing ads that use photos of old hands clutching a stick to represent people over the age of 50?
Over 60s blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in silver sequinned top

Finally, I asked a couple of questions in the survey about this blog, and specifically on what you'd like to see covered.  The top two answers were general lifestyle posts, and advice for dressing different body shapes. I may have shot myself in the foot with "lifestyle posts" because I'm not sure what I could write about! I have a monthly post "Friday Favourites" where I talk about TV, books and podcasts, plus "Sentence a Day," on the second Tuesday of every month, where I use photos and a sentence to describe the previous month.  

I also asked how you feel about reviews of gifted products.  As I've mentioned before, I'm only planning to do these now when I'm really passionate about the brand and/or product. The good news is, you don't hate those posts:  67% say it's OK if the blogger gives honest views, and just 6% say they don't read it.

I won't be inviting you to give your email address in order to be notified about future blog posts.  Fifty-five per cent said no to that, as I'd suspected, which is why I've never done it.  If you'd like to be notified, the best way is to sign up with Bloglovin or Feedspot and subscribe to Is This Mutton? there.


Sharing this post with: #OnMondaysWeLinkUp at Glass of GlamTop of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #LinkupOnTheEdge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile and Stylish Monday at StylesplashStyle Six at Coast to CoastTFF at Doused in Pink, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style, Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi,  #iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb,  Lizzie in Lace  and Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireBeauty by Miss L, Rena at Fine Whatever 

How are you finding lockdown life now that we're experiencing it for the second, third or fourth time?  Does it get easier, or it worse?  Do tell in the comments.

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday, the link-up where bloggers find new readers, and readers find new blogs to read!

Most Clicked (Readers' Favourites)

Laurie from Vanity and Me's YouTube post "Try On Haul - What's New In My Wardrobe" was very popular. 

Michelle from My Bijou Life struck a chord with her post  "Nothing to Say and So Much to Say" about the turmoil in the US recently. 

My Favourite Non-Fashion Post

Amber from The Hungry Mountaineer shared her recipe for Keto Buffalo Cauliflower with a Blue Cheese Crumble, and after walking 12 miles and then scaling America's highest mountain, Mt Whitney (12,000 feet), on her 40th birthday, I think she deserves this rich nutritious dish.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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1 comment

  1. Thats interesting to read. A lot of people had more time for hobby's and i hear a lot of people saying they walk a lot. We, in the Netherlands, grey to great this afternoon what our new rules will be.

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