I’m so emotionally distraught right now that I can’t even think straight. Okay. I can think straight enough to write this post—but I’m angry and disappointed and just fed up.
…and I can’t take it anymore! I’m tired of being ingored!!
This morning, while drinking coffee and lolling around in bed Bonaparte handed me a section of The Sunday Times; he said I would enjoy it.
The section was a special one. The New York Times Style Magazine and was devoted to “The Greats”. Solange Knowles, younger sister of the great Beyoncé graces the cover. I have to admit, she’s a beautiful woman—but Bey is the great one. She’s not on the cover.
Solange Knowles gracing the cover of The New York Times Style Magazine–The Greats. I’ll admit. Solange is a great beauty. She’s has a great body because she’s normal-sized. The has long legs and regardless of whether that’s her bio-hair or a wig–it’s great hair. But–IS Solange one of the greats? At least the publication put a woman on the cover!
With interested piqued, I opened the magazine and started to peruse.
I was a bit perplexed with the choices of The New York Times as to their six “remarkable” talents who define the culture. Solange–beautiful but I dunno how great her mark on our culture is–especially since she’s on the younger side. Bruce Nauman–American Artist. Age? 76. A contemporary artist, whose works are at MOMA, he has not had an affect on me. Vigo Mortensen–Danish/American Actor and Artist. At 60 years old, he’s eye-candy for the older set (Womens can be sexist too–it works both ways) and he’s a very talented actor–but he hasn’t had a cultural impact on me. Alessandro Michele–Creative Director of Gucci. At 46 he hasn’t yet reached that “old” age because he’s a man. A woman would be considered “old”. More on him later on–but I would say as far as fashion is concerned, he has had a cultural impact. Mr. Michele needs to put his hair up in a man bun because his hair is man bun friendly (that’s a cultural impact that is one of The Greats). George R. Martin–He writes horror/fantasy/Sci-fi works. This has absolutely NO cultural effect on me as I can’t stand those genres. At 70, he’s a jolly man who can dupe as an in-store Santa should he get tired of writing. And lastly, Carrie Mae Weems–American Artist who works in multi-media but her most popular works are in photography. At 65 years she is the ONLY OLDER woman included in this group.
Why are there four men, all over 45 (which is good) and only one woman. I’m not even including Solange because at 32 years, she’s too young to be considered a “remarkable talent” –she needs to grow as an artist before she’s one of the greats. OK?
According to The New York Times, these six individuals are shaping our culture and are considered remarkable talents. Where is Joan Didion? Why is there only one older woman. Carrie Mae Weems–at 65 years old is the only older woman that’s considered great?
And I noticed something else. Something absolutely disgraceful and disgusting. In all the ads and editorials Ms. Weems is the only older woman within the confines of this publication.
The other pages, editorial and advertisements were loaded with young models and older men.
Yes. Older MEN. Further proof to me that older women, are, in fact, the ignored demographic in all media and in life in general.
Here’s an ad for Dacor, a company that specializes in high-end appliances for rich peeps. The ad is focusing on 51 year-old Entertainment Business Manager John McIlwee. He’s really successful too. And rich! And he collects art. And he’s a man. I guess there are no women over 50 who are successful to warrant being included in Dacor’s ads.
Let’s take a bigger look at some of the pages from this magazine (which I am now deeming “ragazine”) shall we?
UGH! More “Celebrity” obsession in advertising!
Emma Stone is yet, another celebrity “model” and spokesperson for Louis Vuitton. Funny how most women I know who go ham for LV are all over 50. And the “over 50” demographic is the one that can actually afford LV without going into debt. Honestly, if LV needs to go with a celebrity, why not go with a real French one like Audrey Tautou or Fanny Ardant?
Gucci. More on Alessandro Michele. He may be Gucci’s creative director but this??? I seriously have no issue with the Russ Meyer Faster Pussycat Kill Kill sweater. It’s pretty funny considering it was a cheesy movie. But at $1,600 USD, that sweater is a sin. And let’s hope Mr. Man-Bun Michele had nothing to do with this atrocious ad. My guess is that the model is 22 years at best–or perhaps if she’s older they decided to put the ski mask on her head to hide the wrinkles and natural signs of aging.
This ad could cause PTSD for a child–it’s that horrific. Whatever happened to fashion?
Prada. Oh how I adore the pretentiousness of advertising!! Check out the makeup on this photoshopped model. Who walks around with contour lines on their face like that. Gurl would be laughed off of Instagram and would be getting shade thrown at her on YouTube! And why the greasy hair falling on the face. And why the miserable look?
I’ve seen girls strutting the walk of shame looking cleaner than this one. She’s the walk of shameless in this ad. And anyone who purchases this bag, even though it is rather nice, is giving Prada free advertising. I can’t even anymore with this logo garbage…
Here’s a jewelry ad for David Webb. Look at the model. I’ve never quite seen a forehead that smooth other than a newborn’s and Nicole Kidman’s Botoxed one! She’s eating cavier–I’ll bet IRL she eats nothing more than air.
Funny thing is–that huge cocktail ring that you can see in the far right corner is worn mostly by the over 60 society matrons. So why is there a photo of a younger woman who wouldn’t be caught dead wearing this in the ad?
Here’s another successful man. Don Chadwick. He was born in 1936. Hell will freeze over before an add with a successful woman of the same age would grace the pages in a magazine! Think about it. It’s true. Why is it that magazines insist on only men as success stories?
Where are the older women who are designers of furniture? Don’t tell me that only men are successful! What about furniture designer Ilse Crawford. She’s 56 years old and a successful furniture designer?
Below is an ad for Bulgari jewelry. Another brand that is popular with the tony older set but why then, use a young woman with greasy hair severly pulled back and wearing unblended contour and unblended eyeshadow? Who do these people hire for makeup? I could do a better job on her!
Perish the thought that Bulgari use a woman of the demographic that buys their stuff in an ad!! Instead the brand uses a younger woman with dirty looking hair and bad makeup!
Calling Mr. Karl! Calling Mr. Karl! I love Karl Lagerfeld so much–not only is he a great asset to Chanel, but he’s a true dieting icon! I want his self-discipline! But alas, he doesn’t like fat ladies and he doesn’t like old ladies. If he truly loved the older ladies who purchase the chanel lady suits, he would have opted to make sure his ad people used an older woman instead of making a younger woman appear older like in this ad!
Hot diggity dawg. I could picture me in this photo–except I’m too poor, too heavy, and too old to be used as a staple for Chanel–even though most of the women purchasing the brand are older. Mr. Karl needs to be more mature-woman friendly and more meaty woman friendly. Perhaps he could stop dieting for a season or two!
Oh Jesus. Another older man. I’m beginning to think the New York Times is very sexist against the older woman–and the NYT’s acts like they are so diverse. No they ain’t!
This is a nice watch. I’m a woman who loves wearing a guy watch. They look great on a woman’s wrist. Alas, only men are successful according to this ad and women are most likely in the kitchen stuffing escargot mixture into shells!
Ah–come on now! How many ads of successful men do we need to see here? Does the women’s movement know how sexist these ads are? I’m about to foam at the mouth right now!
This photo is from an ad by UBS. This very successful chef/restauranteur is asking Have I gone as far as I can? Can I still grow my business? Or should I invest in other areas? Apparently only a man can ask these questions. Why isn’t UBS using a successful woman with gray hair in their ads? Women are chefs too–and damned successful ones at that!
Hey this young ‘un is the epitome of style and fashion as she looks seriously into the camera to draw one to South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA. Home of designer shops. I’m sorry but she looks like she’s wearing my grandmother’s kitchen table cloths. I don’t think an over-50 woman would wear that get-up to bed.
Well, at least her hair is clean and her makeup is blended.
This one kills me. Tomorrowsleep.com Apparently only good looking young people go to bed–is this the Arian Nation bedtime? Does Tomorrowsleep not realize that couples over 50 go to bed to. And participate in fun activities?
Tomorrowsleep only wants wrinkle-free sheets and wrinkle-free people on their mattresses…
…and wrinkle-free couples as well..
But what really woke me up to the fact that the New York Times and advertisers want nothing to do with the older woman was that these guys got more photo exposure than the older woman…FROGS!
Yeah. Frogs got more photo exposure in The New York Times Style Magazine than the older woman. There were two pages that included these croakers! I guess the publications just want old ladies croaked!
And that’s it. Successful older men abound but where are the successful older women? Where are they in editorials and in ads? Why are we ignored. We buy. We are brand-loyal and we are ignored.
Guess what New York Times? My demographic has incredible and remarkable women who have contributed greatly to our culture. We have Oprah who changed the face of daytime TV.
Now THIS is a woman who is a cultural icon…and she has favorite things too!
We have the fabulous Jane Birkin, casual style icon.
Jane Birkin has been one of my most-admired women of all time, here with daughter Charlotte she is still a great example of wonderful personal style! I love her so much!
We have Annie Leibovitz, the greatest American photographer of our time.
Annie Leibovitz. An iconic American photographer supreme!
And the list of older, successful women goes on and on–and yet, men still receive more recognition. This is wrong on so many levels.
But most of all, it’s the average older woman who has a remarkable impact on our culture. She’s the one who goes to museums and taught her children about art and the history of art. She’s the one who actually goes to the movie theatres, purchases the tickets and raises the box-office numbers while the younger counterparts stay home to watch Netflix and Hulu. She’s the one who spends the money on the cosmetics, clothing and other items that advertisers now market to a younger, flighty audience who isn’t brand loyal.
Shes you and she’s me. And never, ever forget just how special we all are. We are the average older woman. The ignored but we need to empower each other and become more vocal. Are you with me?
We are the ones who count and don’t forget it!!
I realize this is a rant of a post but I’ve had it. I’m tired of our demographic being ignored. There’s more to it than the obligatory advertisement and the token older woman editorial of Helen Mirren (and I love her–it’s not a dis–it’s a statement.)
Looks to me as though they wanted to find “new” icons, which is a bit of an oxymoron, isn’t it? You make a valid point.
The ridiculous thing is that none of the “greats” seemingly well-known outside of their circles. The only one I’m really familiar with is Vigo Mortensen because I’ve seen him in movies. It’s crazy the way the media tries to dictate everything. XOXOXO
Wonderful! LOVED this post.
Thank you Robin! Glad you enjoyed it!! XOXOXOXO
I got to the part about the frogs and nearly croaked myself! Pretty sad when the major purchaseers of all that advertised s#%t are not represented. As if the advertisers are saying ” you may buy our crap BUT we won’t honour you by featuring you in our ads” I went to my Dad with this conundrum. Now Daddy-o might be hitting his early 90’s but he’s pretty knowledgable about the advertising biz, a topic he studied for years. His comment was “Baby girl, the people buy the sizzle not the steak” in other words that bling wouldn’t sell if Betty White was shilling it. Because we are our own enemies…we see this stuff held aloft by these young babes and we think we’ll look like them too…if we buy the necklace or purse they are selling. Maybe….but I think that the ads themselves are a form of mind control ‘You, you elderly, fat, old, rich broad can look like this young, skinny chick too if you just fork over the clams for this ring, purse, shoe etc”. Of course the thinking mind doesn’t buy into that shit, literally or figuratively. Let’s face it though enough women must buy into it or Chanel et al would be out of business years ago. Gotta say that makeup and greasy hair does not entice me to part with my money any time soon…and just say NO to sporting any logo….unless they pay you to.( my kids taught me that years ago, absolutely refused to wear any logo’d hoodies etc.) Great post my friend.
Hey Momcat–your dad’s a smart man! And he’s right–but it is so pathetic that women buy into the fact they’ll look like the decades-younger women modeling the clothes or smell so youthful that young men will follow them. I don’t buy into that crap. And when Oona was at the pre-teen to teen-aged years, I forbade any fashion magazine in the house. I was so adament about it because A. I didn’t want my daughter to feel as though she needed to weigh as little as and look like a human Q-tip.. And B I didn’t want her to get all caught up in that brand-name garbage! For the most part, I stopped reading fashion magazines a while ago and divorced myself from Vogue when Kardashian and West were on the cover. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.
The media and advertising create such a distorted image and the sad thing is that so many buy into it. I’m angry as all get out that the New York Times would not question as to why there were no ads with older successful women rather than men. Pisses me off big-time!
I am with you on this rant. You are absolutely right Cathérine! Where are all the fabulous older women?! On another note, I have not heard about one single person cited in the article The Greats! Am I living under a rock, or something?! But then I have to say I don’ t read women’s magazines.
Momcat, you have truly spoken from my heart. I agree with everything you said. Your Dad is a wise man! 🙂
My son refused to wear anything with a logo as well. My daughter, victim of peer pressure while younger, embraces No Name clothing and accessories at her ripe old age of 23. I had a hard time educating her on the, not so mysterious ways, of branding and marketing, but, in the end, I think I did good with her education!
B–don’t worry, other than Vigo Mortensen, the actor, and Solange (and I only know about her because she’s Beyonce’s sister), I had to Google every single one of those people to write this blog post. Where do the journalists find these people and it’s a bit pretentious too. I stopped reading women’s magazines because I’m tired of reading about diseases and recipes that I’ll never cook but I’m tired of the ads. I no longer feel the need to look at young women shilling goods that older women buy!!! XOXOXOXO
Sheer brilliance, Catherine. And agree with Momcat, Miss Bougie and lifelessons. You tell it like it is.
Thanks Judy!!! I’m still seething!! LOL!!! XOXOXOXOX
I enjoyed reading this post! Very interresting. Never looked at adds like you do!
Thanks Nancy. Oh, I rip ads apart all the time. I think the advertising world is delusional!! XOXOXOXO
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I’m with you on this. Momcat, your dad is right about the subliminal message but we should know better. Cath, you would make a great model.
Hi Cindylou! Many of us do know better but it’s a disgrace that a great number don’t!!! XOXOXOXO
YES!! This post is spot-on, Catherine. Thank you for venting as it makes it easier for us to as well. I don’t think the people they’ve featured were even note worthy — regardless of age. But that’s just a side note that says something about this publication. YIKES, you are so right about ZERO older women to speak of and it’s a travesty because there so very many accomplished older women of interest!! TONS!!
I don’t get the Vuitton model being the actress. I mean, she couldn’t be further from the actual demographic who buys the brand. I agree that a French woman of a certain age would make more sense. I think this age discrimination has been going since the dawn of time…not sure how we can change it except to say that bloggers like yourself are showing us a whole new world of sexy, stylish, sophisticated beautiful women in their 60’s and beyond. Keep up the good fight!
Hi Lisa!! Thank you!! And it’s so true–what (age withstanding) have those six people done that has such an outstanding impact? Perhaps within the confines of the art world those folks may but our everyday life isn’t filled with pretense! Don’t get me wrong–I’m a huge proponent of the arts but The NYT’s missed it.
The actress cum model is, in my opinion the fault of Anna Wintour and her hard on for celebrities. She and Grace Coddington were at odds over that subject because Coddington couldn’t stand having celebrities on the cover of Vogue. I’m still with Grace because I’m sick of celebrities anyway.
And I thank you for your kind compliment. I shall march on….XOXOXOXO
Catherine you are speaking the truth. Not a commodity that is seen so much these days. I have trouble finding clothes that speak to me and I have the means to be sold. I think there is a young generation that also have the money to spend on brands you mention. It is a cultural ideal for many of these kids. They are brand obsessed. I will be traveling to Japan soon and I’m sure to see how these young adults dress and shop.
Hi Pam! Thank you! Yes I do believe honesty is the best policy! Ohhhhhhhhhhh. report back from Japan, I’m very interested to read your observations! XOXOXOXOXO
Totally with you on the invisible woman thing… however we CAN turn that to our advantage. Invisible? well, just imagine putting that invisibility to good use and who knows what we can get up to. Invisible? Or maybe just to busy getting on with a rich rewarding life and not posing and posturing endlessly in a fruitless search for others admiration (pfft we don’t want or need that – we’re busy remember, and the idea of seeking approval or anything else – get stuffed and stuffed again) . Invisible? No, I don’t think older women are invisible to people who matter – other older women… I strongly feel that whilst all the young ones (in the magazines – not our kids btw), and these special, special men are parading about being just a wee bit er, special… we can get on with our lives and supporting each other and doing our stuff without these precious ones getting in the way. We have done our duty – we have supported and brought people up – now its our turn and I dont care if people notice or not, I am NOT giving them the power to judge me.
Onwards Cathe! we have work do to and whilst attention is elsewhere we can plan the older womens revolution!!!! 🙂 we SHALL overcome
Oh Juliet. We SHALL overcome is right. We also need to start in our own backyard and get women of our age to stop with the filters and fillers and stop trying to “Act out” young and foolish. We need to mature it up so that the younger women will want to be like mature women. I think that’s the way to start as well!!! XOXOXOXOXO
You are so right, think of this as like a new version of the suffragettes – we are smart women and we will start the revolution 🙂
Loved what you said. But I really want you to do is DUPLICATE that Chanel ad…featuring YOU in that pose and similar duds!! That would be too cool!
Hey Karen!!!!! Thanks–I would love that!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXO
The Bulgari model is Bella Hadid, daughter of RHOBC alumnus Yolanda Hadid and sister of Gigi Hadid. *sizzle*
RHOBH is what I meant to type. Sheesh