There are some things department stores and fashion designers (and a large part of the population) don’t take into consideration. Menopausal women can be irrational. They can be impulsive. They have a big vocabulary but aren’t afraid to use just four-letter words if you don’t seem to be understanding their point-of-view. (OK, that last one may just be me.)
Women in their late 40s and early 50s may be known as Generation X, but the reality is, we’re the invisible generation. We’re not considered cool like Millennials. We don’t have the mass of the Baby Boomers. Plus, our name isn’t as fun. Gen X. Who came up with that?
Gen X women are invisible. Especially in the fashion world.
I know where you think this is going. You think I was in a department store and tried to squeeze into some horrific lingerie, and there was a Bridget-Jones-esque scene where I had to call 911 to rescue me out of lingerie.
That didn’t happen (at least not on this particular day).
On the day I lost my s@#$ in the lingerie department, I was doing some market research for my new company, CoolRevolution. I had read about a new product touted for keeping people cool. The company used a type of coating on regular cotton T-shirts and tank tops, which is supposed to wick away moisture and keep you cool and dry. I was intrigued. I found online that they were sold at a department store near me for men AND women.
I drove to the store and made my way to the lingerie section and looked for the tank top. Of course, I was not greeted by anyone, I am after all, invisible. (One day I’ll share the story about how long it took for me to get a sales clerk’s attention at a cosmetics counter.) I couldn’t find the tops in the women’s section, so I headed to the men’s section.
This is where things started to get dicey.
There it was. A cooling T-shirt, just like I read about. Easy to find and a lot of signage about this new cooling T-shirt for men in a variety of sizes. Next to this product were a variety of other T-shirts, tank tops and even cooling boxer shorts and briefs. Cooling pajamas, too.
“What the hell. Men don’t even have hot flashes.” Yes, I’m sure I said this aloud to no one in particular. Only a friend of mine happened to be in the store at that very minute. I’m not sure whether she heard me or saw me first.
“Look at this.” I’m pretty sure I just shoved the cooling men’s T-shirts at her without a greeting of any kind. She’s younger than me, so she doesn’t yet understand the irrational behavior of a menopausal woman. She doesn’t have hot flashes.
I then marched back to the women’s section thinking perhaps I just missed the display. I did not. There was no display for cooling products for women. You know what there was plenty of? Products to help women keep things sucked in, pushed up, pushed out, covered up and exposed.
The fashion world cares a whole lot about women concealing fat and pushing up breasts.
The fashion world cares a whole lot about whether men’s balls stay cool.
I’m not saying men shouldn’t have cool balls. I’m saying it would be nice for women to have cooling options. I certainly didn’t see anything in the men’s area that suggested elastic waistbands could cause a muffin top or give them firm control or smooth underarm bulge. I’d like to smooth underarm bulge, I really would, but I’d also like to have a cooling T-shirt. There wasn’t one to be found in the women’s area.
So, yes, I lost my cool that day. I may have been sweating by the time I left the department store. But not a single sales clerk came to my rescue. In the fashion world, women, middle-age women in particular, may have become the invisible generation.
The only way to combat it is to change it. And, that’s one of the reasons we created CoolRevolution™.