Denise Boomkens ist Pro Age Inspirator und begeistert auf ihrem Instagram-Account and.bloom über 360 Tausend Menschen mit Bildern von Frauen in der Lebensmitte. Wir haben die Autorin zum Interview getroffen.
What is a pro-aging inspirator?
A pro-aging inspirator embraces their age and where they are in life without trying to be or looking younger. I love the women on social media who embrace their true selves; there is a desperate need for accurate role models that show us that aging is part of life. Mainstream media is trying to sell us products, a multi-million dollar business to sell youth in a bottle while getting older is a blessing and part of life.
How do you feel about aging in general?
I am very comfortable with where I am in life. If I compare my confidence with, for instance, ten years ago, it’s a much better deal. I embrace the changes that come with age, which isn’t always easy, but I feel much happier in general than ever before in my life.
What do you like about your actual age?
I’ll turn 48 in July, and although life is never without worry, I worry less about things that aren’t that important. I love that I am a mother of a 7-year-old son and have the patience and time (and the energy) to be with and raise him.
I love that I had the confidence to quit my freelance job as a fashion photographer when I was 42 and started AndBloom because I wanted to give my life more depth and meaning. I also love that I feel stronger than ever before and have reached a certain level of emotional adulthood that took me a while to get.
How do you want to be in ten years?
I’d love to see myself as the same vital and healthy woman I am today. Probably post menopause and with grey hair, still wearing sneakers, coral lipstick, and ripped jeans. My son will be 17 in 10 years, and I’ll be nearly 60. Let’s hope I’ll stay healthy to see him reach adulthood.
I’ll still be a photographer and still be an age-positive influencer. Hopefully, I’ll be one of the many women that will influence the world with age-positive content for the next ten years to fight for womanhood. Our youth-obsessed society is hurting many women, especially younger women, to let us think that aging is a bad thing or can be stopped.
Who is a role model to you when it comes to aging?
Oh, I gathered lots of women around me by now. Working on AndBloom, I connect with like-minded women daily. Just tune into my Instagram account and find them in the comments. Style inspiration, menopause inspiration, lifestyle, fashion, and beauty, are all there.
What do we need to change in society to see more older role models? And to value them for their life experience.
We are so lucky to see more and more women standing up and finding their voice. And the more, the better, of course. Finally, women are openly starting to talk about aging and the things that change, mentally and physically. Previous generation women were more secretive about their bodies, and we are opening up. Yes, menopause can be challenging and female bodies change through mid-life. But also, you can seek help when you struggle and still dress fashionably later in life. But an open conversation and inspiration are needed to reach women.
What was the biggest insult someone made regarding your age?
I get those crazy comments on social media but never really care.
Words like: you look like you are 70. Or stop trying to look cool; you are old.
They make me laugh most of the time. It’s mostly kids that think they’ll be young forever.
Why do we get unimpressed about much stuff when we get older?
HaHa. Maybe because we are too impressed when we are younger? Women are often raised like that: to be good women, sweet, well-behaved, to serve others, and to care for others, husbands, kids, and parents. And one day, we wake up and realize it didn’t bring us what we needed. It’s also hormonal, I think.
What was the goal of your book „The Art of Aging Unapologetically“?
When my English publisher approached me to print the book, I was happily surprised. Of course, the whole age-positive movement is a trend. After the gender positive and the body-positive movement, the age-positive movement was next. And my mission with the portraits, of course, is to shine a light on the „normal“ women in our society, the sisters, mothers, and neighbors. Next to sharing their story, how interesting is it to realize we all go through the same or similar struggles?
Many women find comfort in the story of another women, they feel less alone.
Do you feel or think about your age?
Is there any other age I can be? I feel great about my age and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Is there anything you don’t like about aging?
Sure, plenty of things are changing, but as I wrote before, I try to embrace it all. When you read yourself into the subjects you are struggling with, there is an explanation. Within the AndBloom community, there is also always someone to answer questions. When I struggle with peri-menopause symptoms, I share it on IG, and women respond with tips and support.
I do not mind getting older; my only concern is my health. I’d love to stay fit and active, therefor I eat healthily, sleep as much as I can, take my supplements, try to learn new things all the time, and surround myself with like-minded women.
Some days are good, and some are mentally and physically bad, but in general, it’s always been like that.
About Denise Boomkens:
I am Denise; friends call me Dee. I am from 1975, the mother of a seven-year-old son Finn and married to my best friend. I worked as a fashion photographer before I had my son when I was 40. Due to severe Endometriosis, it took forever to get pregnant. After I decided not to continue my work in fashion, I took a sabbatical to reinvent myself and be with my son full-time. In the two years I stayed home with my son, I desperately sought lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and aging inspiration from women my age and older. I couldn’t find it. Or different from what inspired me, most of what I found was dusty and negative or completely botoxed and unrealistic. I decided to create that content myself. In June 2018, I posted my first portrait on Instagram; the rest is history.
Bilder © Denise Boomkens