Do You Ever Feel Invisible? - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog

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Do You Ever Feel Invisible?

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Whenever I flip through a mainstream magazine like Cosmo, Elle or Vogue, I feel invisible.

The models don’t look like me, the advice about sex and relationships seem to focus on convincing women to contort themselves into what men want, the fashion is outrageous and ridiculously expensive, and there’s absolutely no talk about intellectual pursuits, women’s rights, or what it’s like being a gay or African-American woman. It all makes me feel like a complete outsider!

Until recently (thank you, Shonda Rhimes!), these magazines were a part of a bigger problem for me. The media, television, movies, and advertising completely ignored women like me. Even magazines that were supposed to be for and about women weren’t seeing me at all.

Do You Ever Feel Invisible?

I’m certainly not the first woman to feel marginalized…

Like me, many women feel they are invisible. When we want to say “hello, my body is my body and you can’t make legislation around it,” we’re sometimes not heard. When we stand next to a billboard of a skinny, white, bikini-clad model (with cartoon-like thigh gap, of course), we feel like unseen outsiders. It’s like women are only seen as a collective of highlights, blow-outs, mini-skirts, and high heels instead of individuals with ambitions, intellect, and talent. There’s a high IQ under this mass of curls, and I wish society would recognize that.

Ladies, if you’ve ever felt invisible or unheard (and I know you have!), you may relate to one of my favorite books: Invisible Man. In this audiobook from Audible, the narrator, known only as Invisible Man, starts out at a “model young black man”. After numerous disappointments and setbacks under the authority of white leaders, he joins an African-American brotherhood. There, he finds solace and understanding — finally! Later, he encounters more disenchantments when he discovers that The Brotherhood has used him, so he goes underground, literally… (he falls into a manhole and decides that maybe this is a better place for him while he decides on his next move.) I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely felt like burying my head in the sand a number of times over the years.

Although African American and women’s issues are not always the same issues, I think we can all agree that woman — especially minority women — have seen some of the harshest treatment, and have fought some of the biggest civil rights battles. Oftentimes, there is an overlap between these two groups when it comes to invisibility.

I can relate intimately to the struggle of the Invisible Man, as I have often felt like an Invisible Woman.

When I was younger, I was taught (like many other young girls) that I should be a “model young woman.” In my life, this translated into trying way too hard to not only look like a model, but to put almost all of my self-worth in my appearance and demure disposition.

However, after plenty of disappointments and frustrations under a male-dominated society, I found solace in feminism. That’s when I grew comfortable in my own skin and gained a much-needed perspective. But I was luckier than the Invisible Man. Instead of feeling manipulated by the feminist movement, I found empowerment. After regrouping (fortunately not in a manhole), I started writing for Urbanette, where I could share ideas about women’s empowerment, and where I could help other women find their voices and become visible.

Do You Ever Feel Invisible?

Author, founder, and CEO of Audible, Don Katz, had much the same experience when he took classes at NYU taught by Ellison, and received support from Ellison when he began his career as a writer.
“Ralph Ellison conveyed that in a nation creating itself without kings, a new order was created based on the color of people’s skin,” explains Katz. Then, in an optimistic tone, he continues by stating that, “the American experience is derived from the process of a nation constantly making and remaking itself. A place that needed to create its own myths and art, even its own sounds, because we had to.”

So as America continues to remake itself, our hope at Urbanette is to create a space where women can remake themselves as strong, empowered individuals. Let us invent our own myths, art, and sounds specific to the visible woman.

Katz had the same instinctive urge as I did when I started writing for Urbanette. We were both empowered by the strong, resilient voice of Ellison. Katz wanted to provide a platform where everyone could glean inspiration from the unbridled power of the well-spoken word. Most of all, he wanted to create a service that could help people find themselves through the spread of ideas and, in so doing, become a visible individual.

I hope that you fall in love with this audiobook as much as I did and let it inspire and empower you to become a Visible Woman. Download it now for free on Audible!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.

Originally from Denver and now living in NYC, Angie has been writing since she was small. She lives in the Flatiron district with her partner Tanya and their mutt Sparky (always adopt!) In her spare time she loves to paint (mostly abstract) and talk to random people on the street to find out what's interesting to them.

32 Comments

  1. Do I feel invisible? Yes, time to time I do. And not only because of beauty standards, but because of my skin colour, because of my accent, because of my fashion sense, because of my personality. As soon as people notice you are different from them they start treating you like the “odd one out”. Difficult not to let it phase you sometimes.

    • Gerry Carlton

      I agree! People are so afraid of different. They fear what they don’t understand. Psychologically people get more warry and beware of what they fear because instinctly they take it as a threat. In result of that sexism, racism, and lots of -isms come out. Big shame.

  2. Nicky Bryan

    Well said!!! I love this article. 🙂

    I have a question, I reside in Europe. Will it be possible for me to join Audible? I hope it’s not a US only site.

  3. Everybody is unique and beautiful in their own way. I can’t imagine the humanity willing to live in a world where everybody looked the same. Be your true self. There’s no other you in this world. Unique is beautiful! ?

  4. Berna Goodwin

    Spot on dear! ?? It’s time we stop buying into their ridiculous games. If there’s one thing media should be teaching women, it is the importance of education and independence. But instead high school girls are learning how to look after babies. What a ridiculous lesson to be taught at school! In USA in year 2016 !!!! Frustrating!

  5. So many double standards. It’s getting out of hand. I feel bad for the younger generations growing up with media’s unrealistic expectations! Anyway, great article as usual Angela. Keep up the great work. 🙂

  6. It’s a shame in year 2016, well 2017, women are still getting oppressed in many ways. Shouldn’t women’s magazines be on women’s side? I feel as though they’re working AGAINST us!

  7. Great offer!! ?????? Will check it out ASAP! It’s so cool that Audible is available for pretty much every platform too.

  8. I didn’t know Audible offered free books! How awesome is that?! I’ll have to check it out. Thanks sharing.

  9. Ariana Rhyder

    Whenever I’m on Instagram or Facebook I get so depressed and start loathing myself. Questions such as “Why can’t I be like them?” “Why am I not fit enough?” “How can I lose weight faster?” “Should I get my lips done?” etc. Even though I know most of that beauty is plastic surgery and not even all that attractive I feel like I HAVE to be like them for acceptance. How sad is that?!!

    • Brenda Nelson

      It’s not my business to tell you what to do, but if I were you, I would unfollow everybody who makes me feel the way you explained in your comment. Even deactivate my accounts if I had to. You deserve better than the treatment you give yourself. Please accept and love yourself the way you are. 🙂

  10. Carolyn Robertson

    I’m confused. Audible already offers a free book for new comers, so if I sign up now, and download the book you’ve shared the linked to, am I going to be getting two free books? lol Or am I not going to be able to get the welcome gift?

  11. I think inner beauty and intelligence are more important than physical beautiful. What’s the point of being beautiful on the outside but empty inside? This is exactly what the media is trying to make out of women. I refuse to let them brainwash me into this!!

  12. Teresa Tanner

    I’m already an Audible user. Am I still going to be able to get this book for free or is it for new users only? Hope to get a reply. Thanks!

    • It worked for me. Just click the link and it takes you to the download page. 🙂

  13. Hello, and thanks for the Audible gift. Just wondering, is a kindle required to download this audiobook or can we download it on iPhone too?

  14. Yup. I exactly know what you mean Angela. Constantly feeling like I’m not good enough cause I don’t have a model body or a Kardashian face! Add ethnicity to that, add sexual identity as well… It’s not easy.

  15. Believe me we have this problem in the gay community too! We should all stick together and put an end to this nonsense! ✊?

  16. As a man, even I can relate to this to some point! They do the same to men. As if we all have to be buffed up, muscular, tall, you name it! Why can’t they just leave people be and let everybody be their own kind of beauty?

  17. Funny how I used to follow those magazines thinking they were helping me only to realize they were the reason for my insecurities and my social anxiety….

    • Sydney Nowak

      Same here. I feel more liberated and confident ever since I stopped trying to be this so called ideal woman.

  18. Celine Carter

    Thank you for this wonderfully written article. An eye opener and I appreciate you shared the “Invisible Man.”

  19. Roberta Bennett

    I’ve listened to the sample audio you shared through the link and my interest was caught. I’m downloading this Audible audiobook.

  20. Julia MacLean

    Once again, a wonderful article!

  21. Jae Medina

    I have read and listened to “Invisible Man” and I think this novel is perfectly written for Joe Morton to perform and read. He brought life and character. My favorite quote from the book: “Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.”

    • Melissa Princeton

      Nice! Your favorite quote made me more interested in listening to the book (not much of a reader) LOL

  22. Lana Urie

    I think being invisible is not seeing oneself as important. So visibility is a choice! Don’t put yourself down!

  23. Klara Tytus

    Being invisible sucks and correct me if I’m wrong but I think “aging” makes women invisible — in the boardroom, on the streets, restaurants…

    • Yeah, in a way, you’re correct. I felt somehow invisible when I aged gracefully. But I enjoyed my invisibility because the gaze has gone and I got on with things under the radar. Nice article, Angela.

  24. Pamela Sanabria

    Wonderful article and I’m in agreement with all of your points. Going to download the audiobook.

  25. Shelley Donalds

    What a great read! To your TITLE question, do you ever feel invisible? My answer is NO! It’s an option and I always choose to be visible!

  26. Carla Marie

    Kudos, Audible! I think Morton is the perfect choice to narrate this awesome novel! Passionately read!

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