20 Mar THE POWER OF PURSE
Lina Plioplyte is a true delight. She is full of effusive bright energy and was enthusiastic about the power of the consumer as she spoke last month after the Edinburgh screening of Advanced Style, a film that she made with Ari Seth Cohen about his blog of the same name. The blog captures the energy as well as the style of women over 60, mostly living in New York city. Ari comments about his blog,
“I feature people who live full creative lives. They live life to the fullest, age gracefully and continue to grow and challenge themselves.”
Lina heard about Ari’s blog and began making short film versions of his posts before crowd-funding allowed a feature-length documentary of the same subjects to be made. Originally from Lithuania, Lina displays a natural exuberance which makes her a positive force of energy. She spoke with genuine love for the women who take starring roles in the documentary including the wonderful Ilona Royce Smithkin who celebrated her 97th birthday in 2017. Lina is aware of her role in influencing society’s view of ageing, particularly women. She believes that the media has a strategic role in creating a shift which changes stereotypical beliefs regarding the value of both age and gender.
The reaction to her first film has provided evidence that she’s right with both consumers and advertisers. One 50 year old woman wrote to Lina thanking her for debunking the ageing myth and Levi’s agreed with Lina’s request to use a 21 year old native American female in an advertising project with the aim of making this a call to action. She feels that it’s the responsibility of people within the media to tell true stories and inspire activism.
“We’re so minted, we have so much money – what if we have the opportunity to put a button beside a 3 min film to enable people to donate to the issue? We have so much more power than we know.”
Lina believes that the alignment of values with a mission is vital. The same can be said of each of us, irrespective of our role in society. Whether we are selling to consumers or consuming, Lina believes it’s important that we truly know what we value and allow those values to lead our actions. She urged the audience to be innovative, to think outside the box in how we support causes that we believe in. Lina emphasised the “power of the purse” and suggested that it be used to support women-owned businesses and ethically sourced products.
Lina’s enjoyment of outer appearance is apparent in every shot of the Advanced Style film and as the post-film discussion led exceptionally well by Caryn Franklin drew to a close Lina looked out to the audience and reminded each of us of the power of dress, asking us to remember the influence our appearance can have every morning as we put clothes on and to use that power.
Few of us have the same level of energy and drive that Lina enjoys but each of us have the power to choose how we spend our time and money. Listening to Lina was a fresh challenge but also a real shot of energy and the reminder to laugh often and enjoy opportunities that we find in life.