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