Portrait & Headshot Photographer • Plymouth, New Hampshire

Extraordinary: the Over 50 Revolution – Kim

Kim wanted to participate in Extraordinary the Over 50 Revolution because “At this age, my inner voice and outside forces have been working for a long time to convince me that I am no longer relevant. This is not supported by the facts: I have multiple doctorates, I have raised a healthy son alone, and I run my own business, for starters. Why was I feeling this way? In one case I attended an industry-based networking event and was having a wonderful time when one of the younger attendees turned to her mother, who she’d invited as a guest, and said ‘look mom, you have friends here too.’ It was devastating. I never felt so invisible. It never occurred to me that all of my years of experience, my intellect, my creativity, my humor, or my unique perspective were no longer what some people were interested in. After some reflection I realized that my relevance is alive and well, and I now actively chose to spend my time and energy in places where I am celebrated and not merely tolerated.” 

A photo of Kim before her photo session for Extraordinary: the Over 50 Revolution, and a portrait of her with a black background
Hair and makeup by Donna Cotnoir
Headshot of Kim with blue hair and a black background for Extraordinary: the over 50 Revolution

Time to Raise Our Voices and Take up Space

Kim thinks of women over 50 as warriors. “We have battled against our own internal negative talk. We have battled against gender norms and gender roles. We are always told to simultaneously stay quiet [and speak up. But if] we speak up we will be seen as bossy or shrill. I think America Ferrera said it beautifully in the recent Barbie movie: There is a billion-dollar industry predicated on telling women all the ways we are deficient, and we need to be ‘fixed.’ There are many people in power today who are grasping tightly to remain there, regardless of the benefit to our society of having different voices and different perspectives at the table. I wanted to be involved in this [campaign] to promote visibility of women over 50 and I wanted to learn about my fellow over 50 sisters. We have a wealth of valuable perspective and it is high time we raise our voices and take up space.” 

Portrait of Kim smiling, wearing a cream/black patterned dress, in front of black background

I am Enough, You are Enough

Since turning 50, Kim has embraced the idea of letting go of what no longer serves her. “I have worked incredibly hard to get to where I am. But I also know I deserve rest. I am a fixer. I am a caregiver. I am a mom. I am a business owner. I am a chemist. I am an artist. I am a lawyer. But I’m also a queer woman and it saddens me that it took me nearly 50 years to show up as my whole self. I’m done hiding, and I am done serving others at the expense of myself. I wish I had this wisdom earlier in life and I hope that women reading this can take what they need from it. I am worth it. You are worth it. I am enough. You are enough.”

Portrait of Kim sitting backward in a chair during her photo session for the Over 50 Revolution
A behind the scenes photo of Leo enjoying hair and makeup by Donna Cotnoir with his dog looking on, and a finished black and white portrait of Leo
Kim’s son Leo joined the portrait session and also opted to enjoy hair and makeup by Donna Cotnoir
A behind the scenes photo of Kim & Leo's dog, lying in front of the fan, and a portrait of Kim with her son and dog

Role Models

Growing up, Kim looked to Sally Ride as a role model. “But,” she said, “it was rare to see people like me in places where I wanted to be. I was always a queer kid, a nerd, an artist, a thinker, but I didn’t feel safe being all of me.”

Black and white portrait of Kim for Extraordinary: the Over 50 Revolution

She gave an example of when she first entered the PhD program. “I walked up behind two male professors who were discussing the new student, Kim (me). As one looked to the other, he said in a shocked tone, ‘Can you believe Kim is a woman?’ I was stunned. At that moment I realized, as I had realized many many times before, that I was going to have to work harder than my male peers just to be taken seriously and I was going to have an uphill battle just for being me – not to mention the rigor it takes to become a PhD chemist. I did have a rough experience in the program and even ended up having to defend two different dissertations. Interestingly, I also graduated from law school one month before I graduated from the PhD program. Yes, I attended law school at the same time I was writing my dissertation. I have in many cases had to be my own role model. I hope the younger generation can see themselves in more positions now, but our work is far from done.”

Portrait of Kim wearing a yellow vest

Kim’s Advice to Younger Women

When asked what advice she would give to women who are younger than her, Kim said, “I think my primary piece of advice would be to know your worth. Don’t stay where you’re merely tolerated. Move to spaces where you are celebrated – because they do exist even if you must make those spaces for yourself. Do not spend your energy on people who drain you. It sounds overly simplistic, and maybe it is. But if you don’t advocate for yourself, who will? One of the most powerful negative influences we have in our life is hearing our own voice as we degrade ourselves. So, try not to say, ‘I’m sorry’ in situations when you have no reason to be sorry (ladies, you know what I mean). Speak your truth. Speak it clearly. You always have a choice to be kind. Do so. You get one shot at this. Take your shot.”

Portrait of Kim wearing a black dress, reclining on an antique velvet sofa

Welcoming People to Feel Safe

Kim hopes to inspire people and to welcome them to feel safe to be their whole selves. As someone who never stops trying to improve herself and the world around, Kim strives to be kind, funny, creative, and intelligent. “I’d also love to be the mentor I never had. One who models that in life and in business there is such a thing as a win-win. We all have the right to thrive and feel love. I hope I do my part in making the world that place.”

Portrait of Kim with her dog for Extraordinary: the Over 50 Revolution

“Working with Maundy was hands down the best thing I have ever done for myself. She captured me – the whole me. I have never before liked pictures of myself. The portraits are a treasure for me and those who love me. Thank you!”

Kim P.

Join Extraordinary: the Over 50 Revolution

There are only a few more sessions available for Extraordinary: the Over 50 Revolution. You can find out more about his luxurious and empowering experience, HERE

A few sessions are still available this fall for individuals, couples, small families, mothers & daughters, and best friends. Learn more about the Portrait Experience HERE