If you’ve read my post about being “age appropriate, you’ll know I have strong feelings about ageism as it relates to women. How To Be Age Appropriate and Other Lies Women Believe
But what good is griping about it? Does a handful of articles change anything? Do you feel represented in the media?
As long as it’s still a rare big deal when a mature woman walks the runway or graces a magazine cover there’s still work to be done. Diversity needs to be about more than just skin color. Age diversity is glaringly absent in media.
What needs to happen is women voting with their dollars, the only way the powers that be will listen.
Let’s look at three areas where we as women can make a difference. If you aren’t yet “midlife” and think this doesn’t affect you, think again.
1. Lets start with film since it’s been used as a medium to indoctrinate the masses for decades.
I recently wrote about the gross age discrepancy between leading men and their lady love interest. I had to think back to some of my favorite Old Hollywood black and white classics and see this has been going on for far too long, and as long as we continue to watch, support, and praise these movies they’ll continue to be made.
This means we perpetuate the notion that a woman in midlife is not sexy, attractive, relevant, etc.
2. How are the fashion world and magazine covers doing?
I can’t help but notice that Cindy Crawford at 52, and still stunningly gorgeous, no longer gets the same kind of work she did in her 20s. While Omega still throws Cindy some work, at 16 her daughter became an ambassador and modeled watches that no teenager I know can afford.
Hello Omega, do you know who your target audience is?
How many 16 year olds do you know that can afford a $6000 watch? The same goes for TAG Heuer, who according to this article wants to “increase its visibility with a younger audience, a group that many watch brands struggle to connect with.” Um, hello, maybe its because you’re trying to sell watches that cost as much as my first car to someone who can’t afford it.
If 20 somethings with a trust fund are your target audience fine, but this 40 something won’t be buying the ageism you are selling! Am I the only one disturbed by luxury brands using teens and early 20 year olds to sell super expensive products?
3. Now lets look at the beauty industry.
Do you remember when Dior announced 25 year old Cara Delevigne as the new face for their skincare line? Caroline Hirons started a #thatsnotme hashtag that gained a little traction yet I wish it had gone viral. I think we are all too willing to roll over and take whatever scraps we are handed.
For some other ridiculous pairings, please take a look at what Caroline Hirons posted.
Walk through the cosmetics area of any department store and look at the models for each brand. Do you feel represented?
Listen, if Lancome can realize they made a mistake with Isabella Rossellini, so can many others if they hear from us. Thank you, Lancome, for pulling your head out of your arse.
Here is what I plan to do:
-I will no longer watch or praise any movie that pairs a leading lady with a man old enough to be her father or grandfather.
-I will not endorse or support any brand that thinks maximum viewing age is in your 20s.
-I will speak out when I see ageist hypocrisy.
-I will speak out and praise brands that are promoting cross generational models. Thank you Cole Haan!
-I plan to do better research when it comes to buying or speaking about a product.
-I will no longer say about myself or another that we are too old to do anything, or wear anything.
-I will no longer give backhanded compliments like, “You look good for your age.“
-I will speak out against insulting headlines like “40 is the new 30.” Why 40 Is Not The New 30
-By voting with my dollars and speaking my mind, I will remind the powers that be that I am relevant and I do have a choice.
What will you do to stand against ageism?
If you agree with me, and are tired of being treated like you should be bilked but not seen, please share this and get this much needed conversation going. We owe it to ourselves and the next generations to speak up!
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