Until recently there has been much negativity towards middle aged and older women. When I formed Fighting Fifty the BBC were having a cull of women who in their opinion didn’t fit the bill to be on our screens. The national press haven’t always been flattering about women over fifty, and research has shown that women over this age rarely feature in advertising.
So this week the fashion industry, notorious for promoting an ideal (their opinion of one) body shape – and who normally use increasingly younger models – turn the tables. Older women have been gracing the catwalks at London Fashion Week and the same thing happened in New York.
The beautiful Carmen Dell-Orefice and Daphne Selfe both in their 80s have been in much demand recently. They are both examples of how ageless beauty can be; they are well groomed, fit and healthy. Something most women aspire to be.
The Daily Mail has picked up on this new trend of the fashion industry using older models. In yesterday’s article the Mail Online showed a great photograph of models, Sue Scadding, Annabel Davies and Usha Hands, whose ages range from 58 to 71. These women look wonderful with barely a wrinkle between them. Yet again the Mail have given a negative slant to the article which is titled ‘Rise of wrinkly models’, the subtitle: Long, lean limbs, razor-sharp cheekbones…and grey hair, laughter lines and a bus pass.
Here was a ‘golden’ opportunity for the Mail to celebrate older women and to promote the fact that these women look so well, healthy, beautifully groomed and happy. Instead it’s condescending and disappointing, why the emphasis has to be on grey hair and wrinkles I don’t know.