As it turns out… just about everyone! I was asked a ridiculous question yesterday during the course of an interview, “what were my plans for the future…” and behind that (in context with the interview theme) there was a sort of silence that all sorts of unsaid words popped into… grandchildren, retirement… that kind of thing. I answered that I thought I was too young for the question. It just honestly seemed so irrelevant to me that I couldn’t even make my brain find an answer.
And here is the problem with the beauty industry and older women. 50+ is one category. If you are 50+ in beauty then their logic follows that you must be old, and therefore in need of looking younger. There’s an upward scale of course, the further past 50 you are the more you must need help! 50 is not 60 is not 70 is not 80. Attitudes are different, style is different, abilities are different – it is as pointless to assume that anyone of 50 has more in common with someone of 70 than it would to be to assume that someone who is 50 has nothing in common with someone of 30. Women can connect on all levels with some being far more relevant than others, but 50 is seen as a bridge of descent into – what? I don’t really know; all I do know is that if the same question had been asked of a 30 year old, the unspoken assumptions about their future would have been entirely different.
I’m away on a shoot all day tomorrow for a campaign that’s talking to older women – there is a good age selection, I’m happy to see, but it was a difficult call on whether to do it or not. Beauty doesn’t have an exact age – it just ‘is’ – so being popped in the older category at this age seems all kinds of odd to me.. making age less relevant to how we regard our beauty is a key point of this blog, but on the other hand, it’s a good opportunity to experience brand perceptions and also get my point over.
Everything in the beauty industry has to be ‘tidy’ – the thought that any woman of any age could use any products would send beauty brains into a whirlwind of upset; what would they do with all the ‘anti-wrinkle’ labels – I hope one day for a massive bonfire. But, let’s just remember that we did not categorise ourselves in the anti-ageing market – the beauty industry did. Anyone have a match?
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The card in the main picture is illustrated by long-time Twitter friend, Miss Magpie Spy and is available HERE.
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