Archana Jain: “Ageism Affects All Genders, But It is Slightly More Biased Towards Women”

The public relations mogul on ageism, grey hair, and life lessons for The Word. Magazine's special photo-essay, The Ageless Series

Archana Jain, Founder and Managing Director of PR Pundit, age 58, for The Word. Magazine’s ‘The Ageless Series’

The Word.: How do the media and society perceive women over 50?
Archana Jain: “I think women over 50 tend to be typecast. And that has to do with social conditioning. In the old days, women over 50 would be grandmothers, so, I guess, that’s the way they expect you to conform to certain attitudes and behavioural patterns, which is not true of the modern-day woman.”

TW: How old are you and how old do you feel?
AJ: “I’m 58 and I think I feel 40.”

TW: What is the best thing about growing older?
AJ: “The best thing about getting older is confidence. I wish I had that when I was younger… Age just adds an insane level of confidence.”

Archana Jain is wearing all jewellery by Shri Ram Hari Ram Jewellers

TW: Do you think ageism tends to affect women more than men?
AJ: “I think ageism, today, affects all genders. Though, it is slightly more biased towards women.”

TW: Would you say that you love yourself a lot more now than you did a few decades ago?
AJ: “Yes, I do love myself more now because I am older and, hence, more confident today.”

TW: What brings you joy?
AJ: “I find joy in very, very small things. It could be a popsicle. It could be the joy of reading about my client in The Word. magazine, or it could be winning a new, bragworthy client.”

Archana Jain is wearing a sari by Raw Mango

TW: How has your personal style evolved over the years?
AJ: “I Have always had timelessness on my side first. Earlier, it was all about budgets—I didn’t have budgets to buy really fancy couture or anything that was trendy. And so, I chose safe styles. And over time, I think that became my style. I just got more confident with wearing what I was wearing because people admired it on me.”

TW: What are some of the things people have said about your hair?
AJ: “A lot of people, including some members of my family, would tell me to straighten or colour my hair. I have even been frequently called a grandmother, and this was about 10 years ago or even earlier, because people saw grey in my hair.

But, I have resisted.”

TW: What do you love most about your life?
AJ: “I have to be grateful. I think life has given me a lot…great friends, a great family, a great team that I work with at PR Pundit. I think success has come my way and my hard work has been rewarded.”

TW: What does the word timeless mean to you?
AJ: “Timeless, for me, means perennial. And perennial means being current with what is happening. So, to say that you don’t understand Instagram would be rather foolish. I am not only speaking in terms of the profession we are in, but even otherwise, I think we all need to be forever.”

TW: If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
AJ: “If I were to go back in time, and I was 30, I would tell myself, ‘Darling, own your style. Go ahead and speak your mind. And don’t be socially conditioned.’”

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