Jessica Lange Marc Jacobs

From the Front Lines: Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number

This isn’t the post I was going to run today, but I was so pleased when I saw not one but TWO amazing actresses who are older than 25 get major cosmetics contracts last week, I thought a post was in order.

I am all about inclusive beauty. Beauty should be age-less, gender-less, race-less and open to everyone, regardless of your body shape, height, or sexual preference. For a long time there has been a major focus on beauty being the province of the young and finally it feels like the pendulum is swinging the other way, to recognize the beauty in wisdom and older women. It’s wonderful to see major brands recognizing that we as consumers can relate to older models, and how powerful for women in general (and particularly young women and girls) to see that as you age you don’t need to be consigned to the beauty scrapheap.

Charlotte Rampling (I’ll say that again CHARLOTTE RAMPLING!!! Who has to be one of the coolest actresses ever. Hello Night Porter, Georgy Girl, Stardust Memories, plus those incredible photos she took with Helmut Newton, where do I start?) has been signed to NARS as their new face and will be photographed by Francois Nars later this year for the 20th anniversary campaign. She was voted by Vogue as the World’s Sexiest Woman in 1974, and in 2014 she’s still going strong.

(At this point I have to interject and tell you that one of my main claims to fame is that I sold Charlotte Rampling a pair of clapsticks. My first job as a teenager was working in Sydney at an Aboriginal Art Gallery and she bought some clapsticks, an Aboriginal musical instrument, from me one day. There. It’s not every day you sell Charlotte Rampling a pair of clapsticks – I’m pretty sure I’m the only person on the planet who can lay claim to that).

 And now Jessica Lange, also one of my favourite actresses, has been signed by Marc Jacobs Beauty as their new face for their upcoming campaign. You can’t really argue with her icon status either – discovered by famed illustrator Antonio Lopez, roommates with Jerry Hall and Grace Jones in the 70’s before going on as an actress to garner not one but TWO Oscars, two Emmy’s and five Golden Globes. All That Jazz, the Postman Always Rings Twice, Tootsie and Raging Bull are just some of the films she’s starred in.

In other inclusive beauty news, just last month Sheryl Sandberg (yes, the Facebook Sheryl Sandberg), has struck a deal with Getty Images to provide alternative and more realistic images of women. No more of those stupid women smiling whilst eating salad pictures! Or at least a whole lot less. I don’t know about you but I’d rather see women doing interesting things like actually exercising, or creating things or, you know, WORKING, rather than looking thrilled to be on a diet. Surely the suffragettes fought for us so we could do more than diet and aspire to look like Kim Kardashian.

If you like the idea of inclusive beauty in fashion, also check out the wonderful English initiative, All Walks Beyond the Catwalk. Started by Caryn Franklin, Debra Bourne and English model Erin O’ Connor, it is an initiative working with the global fashion industry to expand upon the imagery it is creating to mirror a more realistic range of women in age, size, race and appearance than currently on offer. http://www.allwalks.org

It’s time the beauty and photography industries started to realize that beauty (and women) comes in all sorts of shapes, colours, sizes and ages. At last it feels like they’re listening!

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