Writers Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan set up The Midult website when they were in their early 40s and feeling swathes of media was missing the mark where women over 35 were concerned. Their platform combines news, opinions and hilarious commentary. Here Emilie and Annabel take us through the tenants of Midulthood…
1. What made you want to start The Midult?
The Midult grew out of friendship: we very much wanted to build something together. We also felt that there was nothing out there that spoke to us. All we saw was a kind of endemic cultural underestimation of grown-up women. It was all so worthy and generalised. Where was the laughter? Where was the Lad Bible or BuzzFeed for the most digitally literate, hyper-connected, financially confident and tremendously anxious generation of women in history? The Midult was a new definition for a new generation. We grew up with hip hop and grunge and the internet. We are not our mothers.
2. Do you think we’ll start to see more advertising geared towards more mature women soon?
Certainly brands are becoming aware of two things: firstly that Generation X is the key to unlocking the multi-generational spend and secondly that we are not feeling recognised by advertising as is. Those old Mad Men cliches of ‘busy working mum’ or ‘tragic spinster’ or ‘deranged cougar’ are insulting and alienating to huge slices of Midult women. The evolution is beginning…
3. What kind of subjects are you delving into that perhaps aren’t covered by other mainstream titles?
We deal with the granular nature of feelings and laughter. If what we do is not funny then we hope that it is uniquely wholehearted. We look at all those tiny crossroads in the day when the feelings concertina up on you. All the patterns and surprises and anxiety and potential of being a grown-up. Simone de Beauvoir talked about a time of life when we coincide with ourselves. That’s where The Midult sits. And we talk about the things that some people find shameful because shame is crippling – but cannot survive being spoken. That all sounds very heavy but most of it is extremely funny. Things like ‘Will I ever have sex again?’ and ’10 things not to say to a women with no children’ and ’16 tiny stress inducers.’
4. What do you want a woman to think and feel when she comes to your site?
Seen and heard. Relieved. Recognised. Excited. Rebellious.
5. How do you know if you’re a ‘Midult’?
Age is a decreasingly accurate indicator of attitude. Midulthood is about mindset – so are you riven with anxiety and yet unexpectedly ambitious? Do you talk about sleep more than sex? Always hungry? Always slightly needing to pee? Addicted to property porn? Trying to put credit in the karma bank yet also prone to rage? Endlessly searching for a moisturiser that hides the fact that you’ve been tired since 2012? Have an increasingly co-dependent relationship with the telly and the grocery delivery man? Thinking about buying yourself a proper piece of jewellery? Stashing money in a running away fund? If the answer to a couple of these is yes, then you are probably a Midult.
6. What’s better in your Midult years than in your 20s?
Pretty much everything except your skin elasticity. And your hangovers. And the chin hairs are a bore.