Ok, stand back. This is a rant.
Periodically, there is much ado about seeing “older” models in print and other media. Last year, the New York Times had a short article — “Power in the Years” — about young designers being “obsessed with older models.” But even the author had the good sense to “gasp” at the thought that these “older” models were in their 40’s.
Then the Times Style Magazine Fall 2013 had an even longer article by Andrew O’Hagen, about older women in general, praising their virtues. The only thing wrong with the article is that it was illustrated with photos of three women; none of whom were even 40! One, for sure, was in her 20’s. Huh!
I was not the only one to notice. One of my favorite blogs, The Simply Luxurious Life, also noticed the article, but didn’t comment on the photos. It seems to me that periodically there is a spate of articles about older models (assume older is in quotes), and the virtues of older women (ditto), but somehow the idea that this is nothing “special” doesn’t seem to stick.
I don’t see any full spreads in US magazines with older models. Every once in a while, there is a single advertisement using “older” models. In fact, the same Times Style Magazine had an ad from NYDJ (Not Your Daughter’s Jeans) featuring Helen Christensen who is 44 and Missoni had Stella Tenant (age 43) modeling a coat (from 1972, but who’s counting).
This Sunday, the New York Times Style Magazine arrived. Three advertising spreads had older women in them. But they were somewhat “fetish-like”. One was Iris Apfel, whom I admire immensely. But her look is more of a costume and decorative. The other was Joan Didion, who is, at best, somewhat strange looking. The third was of two peasant women holding high fashion handbags. None were “real” in the sense that they were just normal models, who happen to be 60+.
And they exist. Here are a few.
I’m looking forward to a time when there are no articles about “older” models or how attractive “older” woman are. Because it will be taken for granted and will neither be special nor newsworthy, nor outrageous.