Ageism Remedy with Anne Miles
Founder Suits & Sneakers
Annie Miles has had a rich experience in marketing, awarded business woman and Founder of Suits and Sneakers, a platform to find your next contractor. Her candid, yet approachable personality, is refreshingly authentic for an accomplished entrepreneur.
MRS V: 00:00:00 We are AGERICH because we create remedies for life made by life. I’m Scarlet Vespa, a.k.a. MRS V, and founder of AGERICH.Co your go-to place for AGERICH remedies to help you find love, get rich, awaken your intuition, and feel free. So now, let’s open the remedy kit and discover why we’re all AGERICH.
MRS V: 00:00:20 So, what’s my remedy for ageism? Firstly, what was interesting for me is that the age discrimination act didn’t come in 2004, whereas general discrimination was in 1977. So it wasn’t until really later that people began to see the serious effects of when you are discriminated, uh, by your age, especially in the workplace. And what I found amazing too is that 63% of Australians have experienced age, and it’s the most accepted form of prejudice. So, there are three different types of age discrimination. And the first one is 18 to 39 from this commission that was done, which is around being, um, people being condescending to you or being ignored.
MRS V: 00:01:06 Because we always think it’s the other end, it also happens on the younger side. 40 to 61 is about finding a job, the right job. And 61 is general discrimination that we suffer. So it’s alive and kicking, you know, ageism. The first one is to acknowledge and recognize that it exists. And so to see what’s happening in the work and the home and acknowledge it. And the second part is then watching a language around it because we are very much part of it. It’s ingrained in us. And I’ll talk a bit about that later. Still, the third thing is don’t be afraid to speak out because I think if someone is being ageist against someone else to acknowledge that and to stand up for them and also for yourself like to, you know, don't lose your voice, continue to engage in the network.
MRS V: 00:02:07 And I sometimes think as we get older, we pull back a bit, we’re perhaps more sensitive. We don’t feel we have the energy, which I think is actual crap because I think we do have the energy. And I think to continue putting that effort and energy into engaging and networking is important. And number five is giving yourself a sense of purpose. So not only for yourself, but if you feel someone lacks inspirational purpose, help them see the purpose in their life. Cause often, it’s others that see your purpose. So helping others on that front is important and connects with younger people. I think that’s important too because it allows you to feel young. After all, we feel like I still feel like I’m 21 on the inside. So being around young people, you get to see what’s happening.
MRS V: 00:02:57 You get to be part of innovation and create more good stock shots. But for those in the media and do the stock shots, I can’t believe how many times I went in to find some stock shot about, you know, a woman doing something or a man doing something. And they’re all so old-fashioned it’s certainly better than it was five years ago. But please continue to bring that in. I know we’re seeing it now in weight, where I can now see these beautiful shots of women of all shapes and sizes. And it’s so good. And so, I want to see that in the media and change anti-ageing. There’s a lot of language around anti-ageing, so it’s like we don’t want to age; how do we turn back the clock? Can we start changing the conversation around that to ageing well?
MRS V: 00:03:43 Because with that comes respect for ageing examine your own beliefs. And I think that is so important because a big part of it is we are the most gist of all. We have these beliefs that we’re getting old and not as valuable. And so please sit down and do a bit of a stock-take on how you feel about ageing. When I was starting age rich, I had a real block. I can’t even explain it. But what happened to me as I realized that I didn’t want to grow old. I had my resistance to growing old, and I was frightened about not being valued or accepted. And I had to go through this whole cathartic realization that I had to find my value and acceptance in getting old and what happened in that place.
MRS V: 00:04:44 I found this deep richness and love for myself. And that’s why my spiritual life is so important. So examine your own beliefs because you’ll be shocked at what comes up and reframe your beliefs around your values. And I think that’s important. I talk about this a lot in branding, and personal branding is that you know, your skill sets as we get older, we get more skill sets. We have more career paths as we get older, and it’s healthy. We have more experience and more connections. And so when you bring the combination of all those different aspects together, that creates an entity in itself, which is unique to you. And what is incredible is that when you have that experience, skill set, and career path, um, you know, diversity, you bring an incredible value to an organization and a business to see issues and solutions differently.
MRS V: 00:05:43 So reframing who you are and what you do can change everything. And finally, I think the most important point and part of the remedy is your family’s learning and understanding of ageing comes from you. So it’s like you teach your children to respect
your elders. How do you talk about your mother or grandmother, or, you know, is respect there, is there a value to their life spent or what they’re doing? Are you adding to the problem by putting your mother down or a parent down someone old? Are you doing that? And I ask you to change your language and your point of view because one day that will be you. And what are your kids going to do with you? And as a society, we need to start valuing our elders for many reasons.
MRS V: 00:06:48 And, so there are some key points that I believe will help stop ageism. And now we’re going to talk to be beautiful Anne miles, who will share what she’s doing in the world and in the media to help ageism. So without further ado, Anne miles, thank you. Well, I mean, you are a great example of how’s so much possibility people don’t recognize as we get older, and it’s embracing the old and I, and the new, it’s a kind of an interesting space. I’m looking forward to seeing what you feel about it all. So if you could just tell me, I mean, you
know, what I love about this is I’ve got to see that to life. We find our life remedies, and that’s the beauty about it. We have the answers within us. What is the main life remedy that you see or have learned?
ANNE: 00:07:41 I think it’s about what we say to ourselves. I honestly think so many people are on autopilot, and stuff comes out of your mouth. That creates seriality. So people like, even in the gym, you know, someone said, oh yeah, when you get older, you get a saggy bum, and I’m like rubbish. You don’t, and it’s not age that makes you have a saggy bum. It’s being lazy and sitting on the couch and doing nothing. And you can have that at any age. So I feel catching yourself around the language is the number one thing. And then that means you can create any reality that you want. So if you go, I can have an amazing body at any age. Then that’s the reality that will be there for you.
MRS V: 00:08:28 I love that. It is. We have these belief systems that kind of run. I think we’ve been so impacted by that language around when you get older, and you can’t do X, Y, and Z, and you, there’s the whole even retirement thing, which I can’t even relate to. And it’s like we have to kind of wind down. So I think it’s fantastic that you’re doing that. And how are you doing it? What are you doing? You are something.
ANNE: 00:08:53 You know, like one of the points I think is important is that you have to live true to yourself. And at the end of the day, you don’t have to live under anyone. Else’s expectations are what that looks like. And I feel like I am doing my best to live how I want to. And I, and as much as, you know, I might not have some things that other people might measure their life by, Ooh, no husband is sitting, you know, hanging off my arm. But at the same time, I feel like I’m more successful and feel more in my honest power now than I’ve ever been in my whole life, and a hundred percent it’s around, yeah. What I want to do and what, you know, resonates. So I think that’s the number one thing that I’m also doing to change some things around the stereotypes.
ANNE: 00:09:54 One, my business suits and sneakers is about talent being recognized for the talent without seeing the gender, age, and background first. So the work stands for itself, and we can get over some of the inherent bias in the marketing and advertising industry. So that’s one, but I’m also really accurate about changing government huge and self-regulation systems and super nerdy stuff like that. And, also within sits and sneakers, I share generously like a lot of content that reeducates the industry on, you know, really powerful ways to market segment, without resorting to those old-fashioned things like, white female, in a corporate job, you know, this age bracket, like it’s not that effective. So do my best to reeducate the industry as well.
MRS V: 00:10:56 You’re amazing. I mean, what is the thing that, you know, how did you get to that place of going, you know, what, I’m enough? Like, what was the remedy for you? What was the learning? I mean, it’s your lifetime we’re talking about? So it’s hard to kind of pin on one thing, but what comes to mind, firstly?
ANNE: 00:11:14 It Would be great to share. I think it came firstly from the idea of possibility. So I’m lucky that I was brought up on a dairy farm, and in our world, it wasn’t gendered. So we just did everything together. Even, you know, kids were doing the jobs with mom and dad together, and there were some things mom and dad split between them for internal jobs and external jobs just for practicality. But they were very clear that dad could cook and do stuff around the house when needed, but he was better off doing other things. So, all of the children were expected equally to do something. So, we had that kind of gender-inclusive way of living. So I’m grateful for that because when I went out into the commercial world, like I at least had, what the hell, like, why is this suddenly a problem?
ANNE: 00:12:16 Why am I suddenly not as important as someone else, even though I might have the skills or the talent here. So I was able to challenge it. And unfortunately, over the years, I did experience quite a lot of challenges around that topic. And so I would just move on, and I realized how much of a role I was playing in sort of pit putting up with all of that. So I suppose one’s the possibility now we’re into the next phase, which is about acknowledging what it looked like. And, um, and all the experience came together. And I have a transgender child as well. So I learned to sort a whole new world; the world isn’t, you know, binary. I’ve been through domestic violence as well as sexual abuse. And I’m saying it flippantly, but it, you know, it’s traumatic stuff. And then there were the media. An article showed the UK had a big study that attributed stereotypes in media, marketing, and advertising as the cause of domestic violence, bullying, and mental health problems. So that’s why I went, although I have been through all of those, and I have this unique understanding of the media landscape. I felt like I’d been put on this earth to stand up.
MRS V: 00:13:49 Oh, that’s so beautiful. I just got a tear when he said that at the end. I could feel, you know, I can see everything that you have that’s happened in your life has led you to this moment, and you can see because you’ve experienced it. So you can say, look, I know what this is. I’m not just talking about it because it isn’t that amazing. So, this leads me to talk about the ages in remedy then. So you are in that space to do that. What would you say to someone who, you know, needs some help around that? What is the remedy that someone can do?
ANNE: 00:14:24 I think you can tell I’m quite an activist and doing stuff every day. Number one, when you’re an activist, if you are too hardcore and negative, and even feminism is proving to feed, failing, and there’s research and data that says it’s not working. So I feel being more inclusive. And, for me, it’s about living the example like here I am nearly 60 now I’m 58, this year shortly. And I’m doing my first ever bodybuilding competition at the end of the year; I’m just going to be a role model for this and challenge myself. And yeah. So I go to the gym six days a week, and I feel like that’s my little piece here.
MRS V: 00:15:15 So it’s about challenging the expectations for
yourself really because we think it is that unconscious bias to go on. I’m too old. I can’t do that. Or I can’t wear that. I can’t do that. And what would you say if someone was like, oh, I feel uncomfortable? Or what, what would you say to…
ANNE: 00:15:36 I agree that breaking out of the norms can be uncomfortable, and you know that expression of the tribe around you, you can challenge them. And I have people in my world that go, Ooh, body building’s so masculine, what are you doing that for? You are going to ruin your metabolism. Like people have got everything to pull you down. Some equally amazing people do support you. This is true to me and I feel empowered on the inside as much as anything by doing this challenge for myself and to set the example. So I feel, yeah, my advice is, you know, you don’t have to reject everybody outright, but you can minimize the impact of the negativity and, you know, really find another little crowd like me, and you who shake things up and be who we want to be and do what we want to do.
MRS V: 00:16:40 I love it. And I just, I think, such a great example of how, everything that you’ve been through, you are using that for the best outcome versus I’m a victim to it. And I think, what I’ve seen so much in the past, I mean, personally is just that, you know, you, you have to own and take responsibility for where you are today. There’s so much blaming others, blaming schools, blaming the teachers, blaming, blaming the government. And we, we are building a society of, you know, entrepreneurs and come what comes with that is I think the need for people owning and their power. Because when you take responsibility, get your power back, you know? So, I love that you are doing that. Are you seeing that in the work you’re doing with people?
I want to talk about age rich and how you know, why we are age rich and are, and just talk a little bit about that. And are you seeing that in the, like in your business?
ANNE: 00:17:37 I guess it’s an ongoing process. So, I do feel people are speaking more about, you know, this as an issue. I worked with the bond university on a study a little while back about, uh, you know, ageism in the advertising industry, my industry. And the challenge that we have, which I think is endemic across the wider society as well as we’ve got good language around gender bias, even racism, but age bias is like so invisible. And the challenge is like, even in my gym, someone said to me, um, you know, if you dye your hair blonde, you will look so much younger as if, and I just went, wow. I said, you know, that’s ageist, don’t you? And I said I love my grey hair. I embrace it. And honestly, if I walk in the street, I get someone telling me they love my hair every day.
ANNE: 00:18:37 And so that same person likes said something ageist like every day for, you know, weeks, it was exhausting. So my challenge is I think people still don’t have the language around, you know, what ageism is. And I do think the remedy for that, though, is to swap out. So, if in my gym, uh, and I could list like, you know, ten things that she said that was like, so incredibly ageist. And even that, she thinks, because she’s coming up towards 50, she’s got a right to be ageist. And self-deprecating. I’m like, no, you can’t say things that are ageist regardless. So, the remedy for me is if I was in the gym and she, and someone, or say a friend of mine, is from Africa. And so, if someone said, if you took your braids out of your hair and straightened, you’d look less black. Like how bad is that? Right. People understand that’s bad. So, when you hear something, you know, is that I just, or what is it if you swap it out to something like that, it’s obvious.
MRS V: 00:19:49 I love that. That’s a great example because it’s true. It is. You’re so right. It’s invisible. And I think because of that unconscious bias all the time; we don’t even see it. And I mean, hopefully, this is what we are doing is just being shining a light. So people start to look at what they’re saying. I had it once because, when I was working well, I still work in advertising myself with my business. But you know, I went to a function at a big agency, and there were about 200 women, and some young girl came up to me and said, how does it feel being the oldest woman in the room? Oh goodness. I couldn’t believe it. And it was so funny because I went, oh really? I looked around, thinking I hadn’t even thought about it. I feel as young and as fresh and innovative as ever. And I think, for me, I can see that as I get older, the skill sets that I build up, the experiences, and everything gives me so much more value. And it’s not saying that young people are in value; they have another value differently. And there are different reasons, but we appreciate the value that we bring and that diversity of skill and experience in the future, you know? And that’s, you know, why we’re doing.
ANNE: 00:21:09 What are we doing. Thank you so much. And I do agree. I feel absolutely at the top of my game like I’ve never been as good at what I do or as capable, experienced, and able to problem-solve beyond the level that I would’ve ever been able to before. But I sometimes find myself in meetings, like in events like you are saying, and it’s like, people look through you. Like you don’t even exist. So that’s a super challenging position. And especially for women in their fifties, right now, you not only grew up with gender bias throughout your career, but you are also now having ages with gender bias on top. And unfortunately, 50 plus is the fastest-growing category of homeless people. I can almost guarantee that in my industry if you compare the financial position of many women in this age group compared to the men in our age group, there’s like a huge C, huge, big gap. So, there’s potentially some ground that will never catch up, but what we can do is make
way for future generations.
MRS V: 00:22:29 Absolutely. I love it. And you are amazing. So, what you’re doing is perfect.
And, and I think it’s so true, and I like it, I was just this morning I was going through something, and I saw some women who were, you know, overweight, showing their skin and looking beautiful. I’m now used to seeing overweight women as models and there. And I felt I’m so good because what makes that even better? Like that bias of it’s better. And I think this is the thing absolute with ageism, which we must do and bring it into the conversation and start seeing the normality certainly better now than it was ten years ago or when I started my six years ago. So, I think just, they had to keep going, and we need more people like you.
ANNE: 00:23:20 If you need models, like you said, having, you know, diverse audiences, like
if we can help anyone who’s in marketing to consider putting people of different ages. There is a model agency just for the grey head; people called the Silver Fox.
MRS V: 00:23:37 I see older people in campaigns, which is great. And I want to feel it’s more than tokenistic. Do you know what I mean? It
used to be with the whole diversity, but now it’s a norm, but I can; it’ll be great when it becomes like the norm that becomes be really. Yes, exactly. Thank you so much for speaking with me today. And how can people find you, work with you, and know more about you?
ANNE: 00:24:07 I appreciate your time to share this story. So probably, yeah, the company is suitsandsneakers.global. My little personal activism is on Instagram, and it’s Live Like Anne Miles and A N N E M I L E S like kilometres. So, follow me and cheer me on with my bodybuilding.
MRS V: 00:24:32 I will. I’ll put all the links below so everyone’s got it. Amazing.
So beautiful to talk with you and so grateful for what you’re doing in the world. And we’ll hopefully talk with you again and see how you’re going on your journey.
ANNE: 00:24:44 All right. Thanks, really.
Founder Suits & Sneakers