Beautiful Thinking.

X Marks the Spot

The lost Generation X is, for the most part, ignored by brands and advertisers.

But studies have shown that far from being the “forgotten middle child” bookended by the perhaps more controversial baby boomers and millennials, this generation is redefining the concept of middle age. Notably, they possess the highest disposable income and with roughly half of Gen Xers financially supporting both a parent and child, their influence extends not only to their own generation but to those either side.

Referred to as the so-called “work hard, play hard” generation,

Gen Xers are rapidly emerging as a significant economic force.

They outspend baby boomers by an average of 11% and millennials by 33%. And whilst Gen X are approaching later life it’s becoming abundantly clear they have absolutely no intention of declining into obscurity. Whereas it seems the marketing industry is still stuck in a world where the over 60s are feeble senior citizens. Gen X are showing us this is certainly not the case. They are quickly becoming the healthiest, wealthiest, and most active generation in history. In effect, Gen X is redefining middle age on their own terms, effectively allowing elements of their own youth culture to permeate into adulthood and with the funds to support it this should be attracting investment.

Additionally, Gen Xers are facing the reality of living decades longer than their grandparents and so there is a heightened focus on health and longevity. As they contemplate the next stage of life and given that women often shoulder the responsibility of family health planning, brands are awakening to current possibilities within the female health sector. This exploration aligns with the current boom in the FemTech industry whose market is set to value $22.29bn by 2028.

With FemTech gaining momentum, women’s health is now moving from niche to mainstream.

But one specific aspect which has been overlooked is how women experience life post-menopause, what are the unique challenges they face and how can the conversation be shifted to provide them with support?

This niche lies between two distinct avenues: support in entering older age and female health care. And whilst these are sectors which have seen activity in recent years, the focus in female health care has always been dominated by reproductive health and issues surrounding longevity and old age are broadly generic between men and women. How can the industry pivot to merge these two sectors and create an industry which supports women specifically as they enter and experience later life?

It’s clear our approach to ageing is going through somewhat of a revolution. From the opening of Britain’s first LGBTQ+ retirement village in Vauxhall in 2021 to the imminent (and terrifying) rise of the UK state pension age to 67 by 2028, the way we’re approaching old age is breaking a number of cultural barriers and forging a new path.

The gender health gap, a longstanding barrier, continues to hinder all women’s access to healthcare. Alarmingly, the UK boasts the largest gender health gap in the G20 and ranks 12th globally, a disconcerting reality particularly for post-menopausal women. With the UK’s demographic landscape tilting towards an aging population, it is imperative to focus on how women experience and access healthcare during the post-menopausal phase. More women die of heart disease than any other condition, but one University of Leeds study has found that women with coronary blockages were a staggering 59% more likely to be misdiagnosed than men. And according to one UCL study 90% of post-menopausal women interviewed had received no education at all about the menopause.

Getting older is inevitable but there are changes which can be made to help women age better and support them in this next stage of life.

It is well known that physical activity is the cornerstone of ageing well. People who exercise regularly not only live longer but live better, and with women having a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and osteoporosis in later years, getting your steps in has never been more important. The Train with Joan app and book combo is the first of its kind and offers the advice and mentorship of the inspirational Joan McDonald who at 76 is the fittest she’s ever been. Her stereotype defying journey into fitness and weightlifting has changed the conversation surrounding how post-menopausal women work out allowing them to embrace a way of exercising which isn’t swim aerobics or competitive knitting…

One of the biggest ways to combat the onset of chronic or life changing illnesses is regular check-ups. With medical tech going mainstream it might be time for brands to begin marketing their more mainstream products to Gen X. And why not? Whilst not as digitally reliant, Gen X is just as tech-savvy as millennials, having emerged into adulthood just as the internet was becoming mainstream. Products like Oura, a monitoring device worn like a ring on the finger is one tool which could revolutionise how women experience post-menopausal life. The ring is designed to track sleep, activity levels, heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature, all using one discrete tool. Health trends can be tracked over time, mapping out potentially worrying tendencies. With issues like insomnia, heart disease and diabetes affecting women most prevalently in their 50s and 60s, using a monitoring tool like Oura could change the way women combat these issues.

Modern Age, based in the US, is another organisation with a holistic approach to ageing. Their wellness clinic is specially designed by experts in the field to aid in slowing down the process of ageing. Whilst this might sound slightly dystopian its actually just a more focused approach to health management where certified clinicians help clients to develop a personalised health plan aimed at reaching their age-related health goals. They look at client’s health using blood and bone scans along with cognitive tests to evaluate overall health and find the best options for individuals.

Whilst these brands are making headways into the world of women’s health, they represent just a fraction of the potential in the rapidly expanding market of post-menopausal women’s health. The path forward is clear—raising awareness, designing tailored products, and establishing trust through dedicated brands and services is key. Ultimately, we need proper funding, education, research, and knowledge sharing if we are to properly support women and who better to champion that than the emerging, (and pretty radical) Gen X. They clearly have no intention of simply shuffling into old age.

If you would like to learn more about the waves female healthcare and Fem Tech are making in branding and design, please head to our Women’s Heath Trends Webinar here,

where Free The Birds Co-Founder Sara Jones presents all thats new in the world of female healthcare and how these trends can help your brand develop in this rapidly evolving world.

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