northsider chats to Milsons Point’s Jo Harvey, co-publisher of 50 So What, a thriving online community that celebrates and champions all things midlife
Midlife and loving it. 50 So What’s Jo Harvey has a spring in her step.
What inspired you to start 50 So What?
I remember looking up 50 on the internet and the first thing that came up was incontinence pads and then retirement homes. Bloody hell, that was a turning point for me. My husband James and I were far from any of that, and just wanted to shout, ‘We’re midlife not 150!’ We felt there wasn’t anything specific to us in this unique time of life. We were getting lumped in with everybody 50 and over and we didn’t think this was an accurate reflection of our lifestyle and mindset. Nothing really spoke to us. So, 50sowhat.com.au was born to celebrate midlife, talk, discuss, support and foster a sense of community. We do matter and have a lot more to contribute. We also want to have a bloody great laugh too!
“Now more than ever we need a community to help midlifers feel connected”
How did you go about launching?
We started our website first, then our other digital platforms (@50sowhatofficial has over 11k followers on Instagram). We knew our name had to say it all with a bit of attitude - we didn’t want to conform to what society was saying midlife was. Honesty has always played a big part in what we do and our intention has been to grow organically and authentically while addressing what’s relevant to our stage of life - the good, the bad, the funny and everything in-between.
What have been the most popular subjects?
Hormones by far! Our honest discussion around this has been liberating. We talk about things most people don’t talk about or find too embarrassing. It helps to stop the stigma, meaning women feel less isolated, and we have a laugh too. Travel, beauty, lifestyle and community are also popular but no topic is off limits.
You’ve had support from Aussie supermodel Elle MacPherson...
Elle posted a picture on Instagram and was attacked for the way she looked. It was horrible. Some of the comments were vile. I answered her critics and I think she appreciated that. While Elle’s life is completely different to mine, she’s still a midlifer living her life the best way she can. I’m all about supporting and encouraging others. It doesn’t matter if you are Elle, Jo, or whoever. My goal is to help other midlifers feel less invisible, less isolated and more relevant, no matter what you look like, who you are or what you do.
“We’ve just released a popular range of 50 So What t-shirts at 50sowhat.com.au”
What is it about your messaging that you think people are identifying with?
For so long, midlifers have been ignored, set aside and cast away, especially by brands. It’s time we put a stop to this. Midlifers are the biggest spending consumers in the world. We’re at our peak! We’re more confident and have a lot to offer and while our life experience is a massive plus, we still have so much more living to do.
Why’s 50 So What is important right now?
Now more than ever we need a community to help midlifers feel connected and relevant. It’s important to be able to talk openly about this time of our life without feeling uncomfortable. We get lots of messages from women and men who say they’re grateful for the open and frank discussions we have. So many people are afraid of ageing. Our aim is to debunk the myths. Midlife can be bloody fabulous! Let’s stop ageism and enjoy the moment we’re in.
Jo’s top northside picks
I’m always at Coco Chocolate in Kirribilli buying chocolate – it’s my biggest weakness! For coffee, I’ll head to Oski, which is next door. I love their karma bowl. Kirribilli Seafoods do the best fish and chips. For hair and beauty, Wildlife Hair are great and the flowers at Flowers at Kirribilli are beautiful. The Kirribilli Centre is at the heart of the community and I love the Kirribilli Markets too. I also like the Street Market Asian Tapas on Fitzroy Street and San Antonio bakery on Burton Street.
Find out more at 50sowhat.com.au or follow Jo on Instagram @50sowhatofficial
Credit: PHOTOS: @50SOWHATOFFICAL