Awake the Power of Your Own Inner Old Lady

Awake the Power of Your Own Inner Old Lady

Photo of and by Maria Seruya

Have you ever stopped to imagine who you want to be when you grow old? And if yes, do you feel some kind of fear, complex or negativity associated with it? My name is Maria, I am a motivational artist, and I help women to overcome the fear of ageing through the artistic project “Velhas Bonitonas – the Power of Old Ladies”. By Maria Seruya

The project began in 2016, with the creation of a fictional world with portraits paintings of anonymous and imaginary older age women. From the very beginning they had an extreme impact in anonymous and real life women.

What captivated older women was the way these imaginary women really feel good about themselves in their older age. In consequence, fictional older women became role models to numerous real life women. These portraits motivated us because we realize that there is so much that we can be in older age. And that made us embrace the power of our wrinkles.


Soul Portraits to debunk internalised stereotypes

The Soul Portraits is a unique experience/project dedicated to all women to challenge the internalized stereotypes and the inner negativity we all struggle about while ageing. My goal is to motivate older women to visualize what we want to become when we grow older, with no limitations. The process consists in 2 steps:

  1. Empowerment session – the first step is a discussion session where I orient women to create a vision of who we want to become when we grow older. In this section, together we get rid of all the negativity associated with ageing.
  2. Soul Portrait painting – the second step of this experience is a creation of a painting of my authorship. The painting will be an interpretation of the vision created by each woman in the empowerment session. The main goal of this personalised powerful old lady (not realistic) is to serve as a reminder to each woman to stay motivated about their own future-self. By visualizing the painting of our Soul Portraits, we get aware that we can become what we dream.


Why being negative about our future?

I believe the future will not be perfect, it will not be easy, and we don’t control everything.
But that happens in all ages, not specifically in older age.
What we can control and what is our decision is who we can grow into.
And when we have the vision of who we want to be, in fact, we can be everything!

The Soul Portrait is an initiative part of the wider multidisciplinary project “Velhas Bonitonas – the Power of Old Ladies”.



Read also:

Take action against ageism

“How are you ageing today?” Art, Activism and Ageing

Celebrating ageing with anti ageist birthday cards!


Maria´s work and life are in Cascais, Portugal. She has a degree in Visual Design from IADE, Portugal and an Art Foundation Course from the Arts University Bournemouth, UK. Maria concluded her studies of Post Graduation in Psycho-gerontology in the University ISPA, Portugal on February 2020.


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