Many of us strive to continually look younger and for some, it becomes an obsession. At an eightieth birthday party last month, I questioned my ageing self. As the young women stood there in their denim hot pants, crop tops and platform shoes accompanied with glowing, youthful skin, I wondered how time had past me by so quickly.
I thought I looked fairly youthful, but then I realised I wasn’t. I was someone else’s mother. As I looked at them, I looked at myself. Did they think I was ancient? My skirt was far too long, my stomach was definitely not on show and I threw my platform shoes away two decades ago.
I accept I’m getting older but in truth, part of me still feels the same as I did when I was 21. But before this blog post seems negative, there is hope. Could we all just be getting better with age? Not that we often feel like it, but according to recent news, ageing is trending. The older we get, the cooler we get. This is great news and perhaps my modelling days aren’t over yet (not that they ever started).
French fashion brand Celine anointed writer Joan Didion, aged 81, to be the face of their spring/summer collection. Donning her oversized sunglasses, Joan exudes cool, causing fashion magazines and bloggers to rejoice. How wonderful is that? Furthermore, why not follow some ubercool, silver stars of Instagram, including Helen Van Winkle (88) who has 2.1m followers and the elegant Linda Rodin (68) who has 107,000 followers.
Whilst looking through some magazines recently, I noticed how some of our most famous supermodels from the early nineties, still look in incredible shape. Some of them, proud to show off their wrinkles and grey hairs to show the real side of being 40 or 50.
So what is one of the reasons for the fashion industry turning to more models over 40? Well, it’s a clever strategy, as half of the current UK beauty market is for over fifties, as they spend an average of £2,200 a year on cosmetics, according to retailer www.escentual.com. If we think for a moment on the amount of products now available for anti-ageing, anti-wrinkle, smoothing serums, perhaps it’s only fair that they use models that are the right age group for the products. Seeing more women across a broad age range in beauty campaigns is really important. And why not? Men have often been seen as getting more handsome as they get older, so why can’t we.
With so many social pressures both online and offline, there are concerns that many young women of today are losing confidence. As pressure builds to sustain the perfect lives portrayed online, we open ourselves up to criticism when posting pictures. But we have to take these things with a pinch of salt and we mustn’t let others view cloud how we feel about ourselves. This is why it becomes so crucial to remember that imperfection is perfection. In fact, the more natural photos I post, the more praise I seem to receive.
Furthermore, there are some real benefits of getting older. Not only do we get wiser, equipped with all the knowledge we have learnt along the way, our bodies are less likely to get colds. According to an article from The BBC Future website, while 20-year olds can expect to catch two or three in a year, over 50s average only one or two. Aged immune systems produce less antibodies – proteins which stick to pathogens to help identify and eliminate them.
The truth is that I’m bordering on 40 and I’m planning on embracing it. I’ve got a few greys here and there, some wrinkles along with plenty of laughter lines. And you know what, that’s ok…because that’s what life looks like.