I’ve reached an age (almost 52) at which nobody but the AARP cares what I do, watch, read, or buy anymore. As far as the marketers of the world are concerned, I’m a non-entity for the most part.
Which is fine by me.
The freedom from certain labels is heady. Then I realized I haven’t much cared about what I’m supposed to be doing, reading, watching or buying in a very long time. Oh, there was a decade in my late teens to twenties when I cared deeply about being “cool,” which is really about conforming to someone else’s ideals. Once I figured that out, I said screw it and went with my gut.
My gut can be wrong (I’ve got the unflattering photos of hideous clothes and hairstyles to prove it, not to mention the pending divorce from a man my gut approved, for the most part), but I’m generally happy with the experiences.
So back in the day, as a 30-something mom, I watched “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” like it was my job. At that time, I was a cub scout den leader and the adult meetings were held on Tuesday evenings. I was certain to get the hell outta those before 8 PM when Buffy started. Sure, the dads involved made fun of me, so what?
I’m currently a little hooked on the Netflix series “Hemlock Grove” which is a cross between “Twilight” (any iteration) and “Twin Peaks.” The main characters are mostly high schoolers (who smoke, drink, and have more sex than just about every adult I’ve ever known). It is most assuredly not meant for a woman of a certain age.
I’ve recently discovered Tumblr. (And it hurts me a little to type it without the “e.” Urgh.) I’m not entirely sure what the point of Tumblr is, and kid #3 was horrified to find out that I not only know of its existence, but also check it daily.
I’m just as likely to read a “Young Adult” novel as “Women’s Fiction.” Actually, I’m more likely to read a YA book; a lot of Women’s Fiction is depressing and a tad boring.
I haven’t done any research, but I think the strict adherence to marketing strategies that target people by age and gender may be part of why broadcast television is declining so much in the U.S. The Netflix/Amazon models of making everything available and letting people pick and choose is not only more convenient, but also more egalitarian. Not all chicks love rom-coms, not all guys just want to see explosions. And I have no idea who watches those “Baby Story” shows, except maybe first time pregnant women who don’t know any better and haven’t sat through a Lamaze class yet.
Am I a weirdo? Do you keep to your own lane demographically? Do you notice this or are you too busy bopping along in your own parade to pay it any mind?