Beauty That Comes With Age
WHY TRUE BEAUTY IS AGELESS?
AGEISM IS OLD NEWS!
"GROWING IS A PRIVILEGE, AND YOU'RE ONLY AS OLD AS YOUR MINDSET."
We live in an ageist society. That can’t be news to any of you. But over the past few months, what’s become increasingly noticeable is that more and more women have been prepared to speak up and challenge the harmful notions holding us back – particularly when it comes to ageing. That’s got to be a good-news story.
Those who me know that the battle against ageism is at the core of Studio10 and my passion. It’s paramount – which is why I return to it time and time again. But in order to be able to fight this issue, and to shift attitudes (including our own), we need to understand the underlying causes of this very particular prejudice.
We are steeped in a culture that values youth over maturity. Negative stereotypes about ageing are everywhere – and we absorb them from our earliest years. It’s insidious – we’re well aware, particularly as women in midlife, how ridiculous these ageist attitudes are, but the constant negative messaging around us allows subtly pernicious ideas to seep in and affect us.
Take that seemingly innocuous phrase “You look great for your age”. What is it really saying? In fact, it’s ageist in the most fundamental way, because it’s reinforcing the idea that younger is better. We need to drill down into the meaning of the language we use, think about what we’re really saying. In our corner of the beauty industry, we no longer favour terms such as “anti-ageing” and “age-defying” – PRO AGE language is privileged throughout our narrative.
"YOUR AGE DOES NOT DEFINE YOU."
At Studio10, we’re doing our best to try and change society’s perceptions, not just of what ageing should mean, but also what it looks like. Diversity in all areas is intrinsic to a successful society. Harnessing the experience of all women – both young and old – is key. We need to engage women across the generations to disrupt the story of ageing – but the voices of younger people are particularly important. They’re the ones paving the way in embracing inclusion and diversity.
There are inspiring women all around us. More and more of them of late are speaking out to break the taboos around ageism, challenging the accepted norms and celebrating their years as a huge positive: these include CEOs, activists, actors and writers intelligently questioning the status quo and finally provoking a debate.
In the beauty industry, long fixated on youth, things are beginning to change, too. We are recognising our mature audience and catering to its needs. We are finally seeing older models in ad campaigns. Advertising has woken up to the fact that midlife women, in fact, are often the ones with the aspirational lifestyles. We have our own sense of values, our own well-developed tastes, we live the way we want to and, if we are lucky, we have more money and more freedom than ever before. We’re beginning to see ourselves represented in a way that doesn’t devalue our years but celebrates what we have to offer.
Change comes from within. In order to challenge negative stereotypes, we must look first at our own thought processes. Ageist attitudes in others can be easier to spot than the negative ideas we perpetuate in our own heads. Our age should not dictate our lifestyle, the way we look or the things we do. After a lifetime of negative messaging, it’s easy to feel we’re “supposed” to wear certain clothes or act in particular ways in our midlife years.
But why should we let our calendar years dictate the way we live our lives? Our continued success depends on our attitude. And anything is possible at this stage in our journey. Midlife is an excellent time to start a new business endeavour, to travel, to focus more on the self: to exercise, eat well and engage in activities that not only give us pleasure but benefit our wellbeing. We’ve accrued so much wisdom: now is the time to use it to our advantage.
We need to bust those myths around “dressing our age” and “looking young”, too. If you’ve ever rejected an outfit or a haircut or an activity for being “age inappropriate”, this is the moment to think about what that means. Society can’t dictate what we wear or how we look. We must choose clothes that make us feel confident and happy. And reject messages from the beauty industry that tell us we need to turn back the clock. At Studio10, “anti-ageing” is not our goal. We want to celebrate your age and experience, not undermine it. And we can help with that by introducing you to other like-minded women in the PRO AGE movement who will inspire you further.
I will continue to challenge the outmoded ideas on women and age that are prevalent in our society until there’s nothing left to say. Join with us. Help unpick those perceptions that leave us feeling invisible and undervalued. And let’s make ageism old news for all.
"It's time to be seen and time to be heard."