Firstly, thank you for the huge support of the ageism post. We’ve been talking about it in industry circles for a long time, and although it’s ridiculous that we have to hold a mirror up to this (repeatedly), I love that you are all overwhelmingly in support. As I started writing this update, Jane Cunningham from British Beauty Blogger published this post, which I would encourage you all to read if you haven’t already done so: Older, better. Whatever.
After last week’s post I was tagged relentlessly (thank you!) on social media with the news that Dior had announced 25 year old Cara Delevigne as the new ‘face’ of their Capture Youth line. A range of products openly aimed at women aged 30+. Someone at Dior either cannot do basic mathematics or we’re in the ‘same shit, different day’ category. Were there really no women 30+ that met their requirements? Or is the ‘requirement’ that you don’t actually ‘look’ 30+? No cream will make someone look like Cara Delevigne, no matter their age. But we all know that. So what exactly are Dior trying to say? That we’re fools?
I didn’t want to seem unfair to Dior, so I wondered who they use to model the line aimed at ‘older’ skins. Step forward Eva Herzigova:
Eva is a beautiful woman, but that is so photoshopped that it looks like a painting. If Eva (aged 44) isn’t good enough ‘as is’, what hope is there for the rest of us? Not a line or even a pore visible on her face.
So after this, I thought I would delve deeper into current campaigns out there.
Chanel – Anna Ewers, aged 24:
Also Chanel, Lily-Rose Depp aged 18:
Lily-Rose is the daughter of Vanessa Paradis, who is a whopping 44.
Apparently, the daughter (albeit beautiful) is, as a teenager, more conducive to Chanel’s ‘message’. That message must be ‘ask your Mum to buy it for you’.
Marc Jacobs – Kaia Gerber, aged 16:
The gorgeous Kaia was always going to be a target for brands, but come on, she literally ‘looks’ her age. Did I mention she was 16? What 16 year old do you know that can afford Marc Jacobs? No. It will be that 16 year old’s parent at the till. You know, someone closer in age to Kaia’s lovely mum: Cindy Crawford.
Kaia is adorable. But she’s not a woman. She’s a CHILD. I don’t know about you, but when I look at the pictures above I gravitate to Cindy and Vanessa. Mainly because, you know, they’re no longer in school.
Meet Burberry’s ‘Global Brand Ambassador for Beauty’ – Iris Law, turned 17 this month, was 16 when she got the job. SIXTEEN. Burberry. SIXTEEN.
Iris’ Mum? Sadie Frost, aged 52.
And finally, Laura Mercier announced that Suki Waterhouse, aged 25, would be their new face for this autumn’s campaign.
Quelle SURPRISE. A 20-something. Imagine if Laura Mercier had taken the opportunity of using, say, oh I don’t know, LAURA MERCIER, their founder, as their face.
Laura Mercier is 57 years old. Personally I think that’s a missed opportunity.
The beauty industry talks to older women like that moron at a party that attempts to humour you by talking ‘at’ you, all the while looking over your shoulder to see if someone more interesting (younger) has walked into the room.
We’re in the room. And personally, as long as you insist on ignoring me (us), I’ll be taking my money elsewhere. And highlighting your poor marketing decisions on my social media platforms.
Every time I saw these images over the last few weeks, I muttered ‘well that’s not me’, at first in my head, and then under my breath and then by the time I got to Iris Law (no offence Iris) I was literally f’ing and blinding.
Well, ‘That’s NOT ME’. So I’m not going to dwell on negativity, I will start championing the people, brands and retailers that don’t try and sell me a product by showing me a picture of a child.
And when I see a visual on social media, or a billboard, or a magazine campaign with a twenty-something/teenager/child as the face, or photoshopped beyond recognition, I will take a picture, hashtag it #thatsnotme and put it up on my channels. Please join me.