Bridging The Gap: Blurring Boundaries & Ending Stereotypes
Several months ago I became a member of the Fierce Forever: The Midlife Revolution group on facebook, founded by Catherine Grace O'Connell. Catherine and the members of the group were well aware that I’m in my 20s, but still welcomed me with open arms. Like me and the-Bias-Cut.com team, they believe the end to ageism is through inclusivity and not defining each other by our ages. Just as I explained here, we need to be integrating across generations, rather than dividing, so that we can engage in reciprocal mentorship to better understand and celebrate our similarities and differences.
So when Catherine invited me to become part of their Bridging The Gap campaign on 17th October 2017 I jumped at the opportunity! Its values and heart completely reflected my own, and I was so excited that there was going to be the first ever global wide campaign that brought this to wider attention.
The campaign features 200 people – 100 millennials, and 100 midlifers, each paired to connect and learn about each other. There was the option to select your partner, but I was keen to meet someone new and share her story.
"If we focus on the miracle of each person on the inside, start there, and their inherent beauty whether they are 22 or 92... the scales would fall off all of our eyes and we could enjoy true sisterhood and brotherhood as human beings alive on this big blue marble at the same time."
Now whilst the ‘rules’ of the campaign ask for me to write about my partner, truth be told even If I wasn’t a part of it, I would want to introduce you to her anyway. Because she connects so beautifully with us and you. Like many of you, she has been through many different stages in her life, and now she wants to celebrate her best self, and to encourage others in midlife to do so too.
So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you Amy Lynne Kennedy of Your Favorite Chapter (note the American spelling there – Amy is from Michigan!) In her 50s, she believes that no matter what point of your life you’re at, you can make it ‘your favorite chapter’ , and I couldn’t agree more. We’re constantly told that, as we age, our quality of life goes down the drain, but we know that couldn’t be further from the truth. And what I love is Amy’s open and sincere way of proving that.
Your Favourite Chapter focuses on the two best F’s in life: Fashion & Food! Every Tuesday Amy shares a recipe for a scrumptious dish, whilst on Fashion Friday she shows off some of her latest outfits, as well a some mindful thoughts for the weekend. More on that in a little bit…
As well as introducing me to Amy’s blog, this campaign has given us a chance to get to know each other on a more personal level. Amy and I have already skyped a few times, and I know our relationship will continue. We get on like a house on fire, regardless of the age gap, because our connection is much deeper than that. We have shared and different experiences, and have loved getting to know each other on a personal level without any stereotypes attached.
Plus there is so much more about Amy than her blog reveals. Which is why I’ve written this second post more about her story and other interests to give it the full focus it deserves – because particularly when it comes to the internet, we can often forget the person behind what we see.
However, in short, Amy is a Midwest girl, born and raised in a family with 6 children, Amy married her high school sweetheart and has two young adult sons called Shane and Jake. Plus a gorgeous rescue dog called Kasey who often has appearances!
Amy was inspired to start the blog in January this year, but you wouldn’t tell she’s a ‘blogger baby’ from the website. It has a beautifully clean aesthetic, as well as gorgeous photography. Amy told me she is a bit of a novice when it comes to tech things, and found starting the blog a little scary because it was unknown territory. So two younger friends of hers, Kaleigh and Alex, helped her set up the blog, and continue to support her with maintaining it (another great example of different generations supporting each other).
Amy's first time at kayaking - trying something new, with exhilarating results!
"My favorite thing about blogging is connecting with people and encouraging them to just get out there and live their life to the full! I know how it feels to simply feel buried by the burdens and heartache that sometimes come in life, but no matter what has happened inner past, people are created to live and move and breath each day with adventure and sooner. And I don't want anyone missing out of the joy of living fully alive"
There are so many things I love about the blog, but what makes so authentic to me is its roots. Amy started to gain a new perspective on life after a family tragedy, prompting her to try to find a positive direction. She decided it time to bring new things into her life, starting with the health, and progressing onto fashion and style, and her general lifestyle. And this is where the blog has emanated from.
I think we all have moments in our lives that make us look at things differently - often sad ones. Tragedies can occur at any stage of life, and we inevitably all experience them. At 17, I lost a close friend to cancer and, having been focused heavily on academia most of my life, it made me put things into perspective. Unfortunately it took me several years to process it in a healthy way, but you always get there. And Amy’s blog encapsulates that.
All her posts are positive, but they come from a very real place that many of us can empathise with. Even if it isn’t so sad, it might be that you too have decided you want to embrace new skills and activities. Or maybe at some point you realised you’re in a style rut. As Amy put it, she realised “for most of my adult life I had shopped in the safe set of clothing racks at the same two stores” and it was time to “break out of my fashion formula and try new things.” Everything in the blog is about broadening your horizons.
Yum! How tasty does this chocolate, coconut and nuts Bar Cookie look?!
"[Fashion and Food] is something so many of us have in common, so it makes a great way to open a door and get to know someone" Fashion is exciting and beautiful and lovely and available to every single one of us! And we all eat, and we all appreciate something that tastes really good!"
As to the blog’s content itself, when it comes to food, Amy told me she doesn’t consider herself a great chef, but just a good cook who knows how to cook yummy, easy dishes. And to say they’re yummy is an understatement. Funnily enough, before I was even paired with Amy, I saw some of her recipes being shared all over facebook, and I thought “Who makes these delicious dishes?!” I’m not much of a cook (more due to a lack of patience with it than anything else) and even I’m seriously planning to make some of meals. So that’s saying something.
As to Amy’s fashion, I love how she showcases her favourite pieces, whilst also asking for feedback in a really communal way. Plus she offers great tips, such as when to look out for sales, and how to style pieces.
I would call Amy’s style modern classic as she wears timeless pieces, whilst injecting a dose of contemporary cuts and colours into her looks. What’s also great is she clearly has FUN with style! She isn’t afraid of colour, nor trying new trends and, as a Stella & Dot Ambassador, she always is wearing fab accessories.
I love this look! From the pink to the beautifully dramatic bell sleeves and sparkly handbag