Friday, 9 January 2015

COMING OF AGE


I can’t help but praise the fashion industry for recently embracing elderly models in high fashion campaigns. For the first time in history, it feels like the fashion industry are telling women not to be scared of ageing. 

Although the fashion industry has a long way to go, (seeing as many of the campaigns featuring these models in magazines are mirrored with anti-ageing cream advertisements..)

-small steps-

there is nothing more refreshing than seeing real women fronting campaigns.

When I say real women, I’m not referring to the way many magazines are embracing their idea of real women by including plus sized models. This has always been an estranged concept for me as women come in all shapes and sizes; one of them being a skinny size. Does being skinny not make a woman ‘real’? But this is another issue in itself.

This should remain a concept unique to these elderly models such as Jacky O’Shaugnessy, (62, modelling for American Apparel), Daphne Selfe (85, modelled for Vogue, Vanity Fair and Harpers Bazaar) and now the new face of Celine, Joan Didion, aged 80. These women have experienced life to the full and this shows from the pictures that are taken of them. They epitomise the idea of ‘real women’. Their sizes remain irrelevant; it's their wisdom and experience which makes any fashion campaign they feature in a success.

Women in fashion can be compared to the life of a flower. Admired in it's prime, but pushed aside as soon as it starts to wilt.

Growing old is an honour in itself, yet so many people are resisting it. I feel you’re a lucky person if you get to the age of the ‘wrinkle’ as (not to put a depressing spin on this blog post but) some people don’t get the chance or choice to experience this stage of life.

Although this may be easy for me to say as I am still (in my mums words) a 'spring chicken', but even at this youthful age it's still apparent to see that society has imposed the idea onto women that with beauty, comes a sell-by date and the time will come in every woman's life when they should dress in a way any respectable elderly woman should. 

This is indeed, bullshit. 

Have you ever watched the Fabulous Fashionistas documentary on Channel 4? No? DO!

I watched this on a long haul flight and it made me both laugh and cry. It was one of the most inspiring things I have ever watched, but most importantly, it opened my eyes to the amount of ageism there is in society.

I had never really thought about the idea of ageism up until then. These women stood proud with the idea that you’re only as old as you feel and dressed in a way that put them in the foreground rather than in the background of society where perhaps many people would expect them to be. I think society has the view that if you're a woman entering the 'wrinkle years', that it's time to hang up your favourite push up bra which make your tits look like they're defying gravity and dissolve into the background. 

Although I can’t promise that I won’t succumb to the pressure of trying to hold onto my youth with potions and creams when I turn 40+, I know for a fact that I will NOT fade into the background of society gracefully. When I get to that age, I will enter the age of colour and lots of it. I might even (dare I say it) CLASH.

I hope that the fashion industry don't view using elderly women in the market as merely a trend that will eventually have its day. I think sustaining these types of models give even young girls today the hope that although fashion comes and goes, style is timeless. These women prove that as they are kicking the idea that beauty lies within youth right in the toot.