The other day, I got a postcard in the mail from the women’s clothing retailer Eileen “Eileen Fisher?” I said, semi-mortified. “Do I look like the type of woman who shops at Eileen Fisher?” And then, after a pause, I thought, “Yup, I guess I AM of the type of woman who shops there.”
I’m turning 40 in a few months, and while I still fancy myself part of the Urban Outfitters generation, the truth is, I’m slowly aging out of the demographic with which I most relate. Case in point: I found myself literally trapped inside a romper in an Urban Outfitters dressing room recently, and realized that everything in that store made me look like I was on the show “GIRLS” (and not necessarily in a flattering way).
It’s a cruel moment of truth when we realize that we’re not as young, or hip, or desirable to brands, as we used to be. My husband (age 42) recently wrote a show that ran on MTV, and I wrote a mass email to our friends asking them to tune in. When Dave saw the email, he said, “You realize MTV doesn’t care about our friends watching – they want 18-34 year olds.” Wait a minute…weren’t we still 34? Or at least, close enough?
No. And the truth is, from a brand perspective, I DO find myself buying things I once considered for “old people.” I stock up on more Advil and Claritin than I used to (not to mention, saline spray and BreatheRight nasal strips for clogged nasal passages). I watch out for my weight and eat FroYo instead of full-fat ice cream. I use eye cream and facial moisturizer by the boatload. And every once in a while, I DO like something I see in the window of Eileen Fisher.
But thank goodness, most brands today tend to appeal to everyone, so I don’t have to necessarily feel my age. Apple has become one of, if not the, most recognizable brands in the world by appealing to two-year-olds and 92-year-olds alike. Babies and Baby Boomers wear Converse sneakers. My son and I both drink Zico Coconut Water at breakfast.
So, as my birthday looms large, the good news is that nobody falls into such cut-and-dry demographic groups anymore. Personally, I’m never gonna stop trying to be hip and young-seeming – and thanks to the universal appeal of most brands these days, it seems like I’ll never have to.