Getting Noticed: Images of Older Women in Australian Popular Culture
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Despite the fact that women over the age of 45 buy more books than any other demographic group they rarely feature as the central character in Australian popular fiction. When they do appear it is usually in minor roles where they are characterised in negatively stereotypical ways. This paper argues that by ignoring older women as subjects and consumers, creators, producers and publishers of the products of popular culture fail to provide realistic and sympathetic representations of older women thus rendering them invisible to themselves and to others. It includes a case study of my own attempts to address this representational black hole through the writing and publishing of five novels in the genre of feminist realism, focused on the lives of women between the ages of 50 and 85. It records the success of these books in the commercial publishing market place where they are now all Australian bestsellers and two have reached the top ten fiction on the NeilsenBookscan.
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