It started off quite innocently and without drama. Bonaparte and I made a stop at Wegmans to do a bit of food shopping for our dinner.
And then it happened. At the checkout. I spotted it. “Vogue” magazine. And once again, my temper was triggered!
So Anna Wintour walks into a bar….and the bartender says “What’s your idea of diversity” And Wintour answered. “A cover with a skinny Asian, a plus-sized model who is thinner than the average American woman, the one Kardashian who doesn’t have a huge ass, a child of a Dutch Beverly Hills Housewive and her Arabic ex-husband, an Indian (not American Indian), an African-American and some other generic White model. All young. I am ageist you know”. The sad thing is that this is no joke! This is the fashion and beauty industries idea of diversity. All thin and young. Very young!
On the cover was a group of models. The group was, in the world of Anna Wintour, who happens to be an old lady herself but is apparently in denial, diverse. It was diverse because this group included an Asian, A plus-sized model (who weighs less than the average American woman, a model from a Z-list celebrity family, an All-American looking model, an African-American woman, and a model who is the offspring of a Beverly Hills Housewife.
And these young women, folks, are the ideal of ALL women. Empowered women. Sage women. YEAH. THESE are women who’ve lived decades and decades of ups and downs, successes, and failures, mistakes and overcoming them. Older women are basically ignored.
Let us get real here. Let us celebrate truly empowering women. Ripples, Wrinkles, and Brains! Hillary Clinton–so she may not be everyone’s political cup of tea–but she is a strong, intelligent woman who KNOWS how Washington works. Then we have Joni Mitchell, one of the most poetic and prolific songwriters of all time. She’s another strong woman. And what about Katherine Johnson, an African-American Physicist, and Mathematician who worked for NASA? At 98 she went unnoticed until the movie “Hidden Figures” came out. She should be celebrated in more than a film. And last of all, Jane Goodall, anthropologist, primatologist and humanitarian who has been empowering for years. We cannot forget these women and many like them. And they are all great beauties!
Where the Hell is the real diversity? Why isn’t the older woman represented in this group? Where is the truly average woman? Where is the woman with thinning hair or alopecia? Where is the cellulite? Where is the woman with the gut? I want to see skin that resembles crepe paper!
Diversity—and real diversity is all but ignored in the worlds of fashion and beauty.
Even if the industries focused on famous beauties who are older–why not have a cosmetics ad campaign with Francoise Hardy as a spokeswoman? She’s just as beautiful now as she was back then.
Or my personal fave older lady. Jane Birkin! As she’s aged, her beauty has become more unique and she’s got a dynamic personality. I freakin’ LOVE this woman! Why hasn’t a skincare company used her as a spokeswoman? She’s got great skin!
And then my mind started spinning and, once again, I was brought to the land of fashion “experts” telling us what we should and should not wear when we enter that phase of life known as “older women”.
I find it rather interesting that “Vintage” style clothing is back. So where are the vintage aged models to showcase these vintage clothes?
Everyone loves a great vintage dress–especially one with a crinoline. So why not use a vintage model?
Did you know that Elle Online is telling us that skinny jeans are now official “Out”? Elle.com’s 2017 Fashion Trends (click on the link to read) Not on my watch buddy. Skinny jeans are, in fact, one of the most flattering style jeans that I’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing. I can’t stand the jeans with no stretch. They are stiff and crispy and cumbersome. Don’t get me started on that one!
Skinny jeans are out of style? Good. Maybe I can buy AG Skinny Jeans in bulk since they are no longer “in”. Maybe AG will slash prices and I can be a happy consumer!
Who makes this shit up anyway?
Classic white sneakers are out too? What mushrooms have these editors been eating? If classic white sneakers are out then how come I had to go to multiple stores to purchase a pair of white Converse Shoreliners if they are out–unless you mean out of stock because they are so popular!
Oh dear God. I am a Glamour “Don’t” in every fashionable way today. White classic sneakers–out! Skinny jeans–out! I’m sure my striped shirt has the wrong kind of stripes to be considered “in”! And my fake hair. I’ll tell ya, I am a hot mess! And I like it that way!
I recall a few years back reading an article about why women over a certain age shouldn’t wear a bikini. Are. You. Kidding. Me? Honest. It was in the Daily Mail. Click This. Although published in 2011, I don’t think mindsets have changed.
What’s the alternative then? A one piece that displays all the bumpy bits of the body? A one piece that rides up in between your cheeks giving you a perpetual wedgie?
Sorry, but I’m not wearing a one-piece that needs ass adjusting all day. I have a cheeky personality, but I don’t want my other cheeks on display!
No. When I go to the beach, I want to be comfortable. I want to be able to frolic in the sea without constantly adjusting my bathing suit. The beach is hot. A one-piece bathing suit absorbs the heat. And when you swim in a one-piece, it feels heavy when you exit the water.”
The bikini fits my needs. And it fits the needs of many other older women.
Ba-da-Bing. Ba-da-bum! THIS is what I’m wearing to the beach. Sunscreen galore. The flabby bits sticking out. I don’t care because I’m comfortable! As long as the “thighed burns” are shaved, then I’m good to go! Over 60’s CAN wear this!
This is where the Europeans got it right. Go to any European beach and you will see women of all ages in the tiniest bikinis. You will see older women sunbathing topless. You will see overweight women in total comfort while wearing those bikinis.
When I talk about how much I love the beaches in France, my daughter gets a bit “OMG. Mom. You need to stop. You sound pretentious!”.
The fact is, I’m not being pretentious when I extol my love for French beaches. I’m admiring and am quite touched by the fact that women of all ages are celebrated and nobody minds if an 80-year old woman is walking gingerly in a teeny bikini!
I’m also done with the ridiculous phrase “On Trend”. This is just a lazy way of saying “You Need to Wear This Overpriced Piece of Clothing/Accessory/ Shoe That Will Go Out of Style By Next Season”
Trends from last year. Where are they now? I’ll tell you where. In the trash and in consignment shops.
Trendy isn’t my particular style. Frumpy isn’t my particular style. Street isn’t my particular style. And since it has been ages since I have read—I mean really read a fashion magazine, I would say that for someone who has stopped reading those magazines, I’m doing a pretty decent job when it comes to fashion.
Fuzzy photos aside, my style is my own, and it’s pretty much classic-inspired.
Among my influences were the uniform I wore to school. The uniform taught me that wearing a blazer will add a professional look to anything. My love for plaid comes from wearing a uniform.
I can safely say that my obsession with blazers stems from the green blazer I wore to St. Patrick’s grammar school in Bay Shore, Long Island!
My mother also influenced the way I dress. As a young child, she made sure we were always dressed properly. Not trendy but more in a classic sense. She also passed onto me the greatest advice that I’ve never forgotten. She said that you can buy an inexpensive and cheap dress and if you have a very well-made and good pair of shoes, you can look like a million bucks. But a cheap and shoddy pair of shoes can ruin the look of the most expensive dress you have. Those are words that I live by. And my mother was not a fashion expert. She was a real woman who raised five children on a police officer husband’s salary. She knew a great value!
My parents back in the day. Look at my mother’s dress. Is it not adorable? And that little necklace? She gave me great fashion advice that I’ve passed on to my own daughter, and I’m sure Oona will pass it on when she has a daughter!
I know I sound like a broken record on this topic but it really bothers me. The older woman literally has no voice when it comes to fashion and beauty.
I have a big mouth. And in the past I’ve written about stuff we should be able to wear with no worries. In case you are a new friend to my blog, here’s the links:
I’m no expert but I know what I like!
We are all influenced for sure, but ladies, please. Be your own fashion icon. You are wearing the clothes. You know your body better than any fashion expert knows your body!
And why do fashion magazines continue to write about clothes that are financially out of reach for the average woman? Really? I do love beautiful clothing but within my budget.
I will gladly admit. I am in love with this Escada Matelasse Jacket and matching Sheath Dress. The prices are $1,450 for the jacket and $1,175 for the dress. Of which I cannot afford. But I CAN look for something similar at a much lower price point. So why aren’t alternatives shown in magazines–and WHY isn’t an older woman modeling this ensemble. Let’s get real–this ensemble is more on the mature side of fashion than on the youthful side!
Show me clothing that is affordable and fashionable at the same time.
Fashion and beauty magazines aren’t supposed to be deep. And that’s ok. I have The Atlantic and other publications for my deep reading.
But come on. Write about real issues such as how to tell a good wig from a piece of garbage. Lots of average women who are in the 50+ range suffer from hair loss. Whether from hormonal changes or aging or illness. It happens. Write about solutions and write about good and affordable ones!
This is a “Tony of Beverly” topper. I cut bangs into it. It was $55.00. It was a great price for helper hair. Why aren’t magazines writing articles about great fake hair?
Write about which foundations really are mature-skin friendly. Let me and my peers read about the best way to fake tan—lots of us have had skin cancer and sun damage. Help us look good during the summer.
Three of the foundations in my regular rotation. To be truthful, the Marc Jacobs is the most mature-friendly of the three. It is chock-full of moisture. I need to repurchase.
Inform us of the real movers and shakers of the older generation. Let us read and celebrate older women who have really made a difference. With age comes wisdom.
Isn’t it about time to notice the older woman once and for all. Include us. We ask not for exclusivity, but for inclusion. Simple. We buy. We wear. We want to look our best—no matter how old.
“Isn’t It About Time” Stephen Stills and Manassas. From the Down The Road album. I loved this album when I was in high school and I wish I still had it!! I’ll have to look for it on CD. But the song rings true. Isn’t it about time?