It’s a strange thing, but the L’Oreal ads for L’Oreal Age Perfect Extraordinary Facial Oil in the US seem to be rather different to those in the UK. The only press ads I’ve seen here feature German model, Tatjana Patitz and Doutzen Kroes. Tatjana is 48, looking amazing, and from the picture I’ve used that was in this week’s Stylist, she doesn’t seem airbrushed – or so minimally that her age is allowed to show through. And still she looks fabulous.

Fast forward to the USA, where they’re also using Jane Fonda, the trio has been airbrushed into oblivion. It’s a very marked contrast that doesn’t do anyone any favours. Actually, it’s verging on embarrassing.

However, on the positive, the Stylist ad gave me a glimmer of hope that brands are starting to realise that it’s only them that disapproves of ageing, not us! It’s just a natural part of maintaining your beauty routine to want to look great – there’s nothing wrong with that at all (from someone who has a bit of the tox every now and again and isn’t a stranger to a filler!) but we’re pretty much in charge of changing how we’re perceived. It’s years and years of indoctrination with brands – not only telling women how they should look and instilling a fear of looking your age, but that runs right through the brands, too. It is so in their DNA, they don’t know how to speak to women like us who actually love our ages, don’t really find a wrinkle devastating and who find the positive in being older. It’s really ok!

I’m doing a lot of work with brands at the moment, talking about how being older is just another phase of beauty (they all get their pencils out at that one) and that we’re really not afraid of what they think we should be afraid of!

There is so much change in the air in the industry; I can’t state it enough. Older women are key to the continuing success of brands so the power lies in our hands to make changes. I’ve worked in beauty for a long time and I’ve never felt that change could really happen – that older women can be seen as beautiful women no matter what their age, but I feel it now. I think it’s coming and I have so much hope for a new respect for the older woman from the beauty industry that doesn’t use the old style thinking that we can’t possibly be happy with our faces.

Every comment you leave on this site that expresses an opinion on how you want to be spoken to by the beauty industry will help – we have to be directive to a certain degree. If we don’t say what we want, how can they know? The beauty industry is populated by youth, which is ironic, but there you have it. It’s not for them to tell us, it’s for us to tell them, so let’s do it!

By Jane, aged 49.

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