Sometimes I don’t half feel old. Like, really haggard. You know that feeling when everything seems to conspire against you and you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and you get a right shock at the age of the person staring back at as you realise it’s actually yourself your looking at? Yeah. That.
I say this because the other day I was reading a copy of Grazia, the fashion mag, and there was a picture of a girl in the beauty section. I use the word girl because I swear she was about 12 or 13. She was being a model for ‘blusher’, how you can look, ‘rosy cheeked.’ Well, if I was 13 again, I’d look rosy cheeked, too, and probably a bit more awake while I was at it. Ok, so sure, everyone these days looks younger than they are – people off to University seems to look 15 not 18, junior doctors look like should still be at
school. And it doesn’t help when my daughters sit at the dinner table and count how many lines they can see on my forehead – I kid you not. You can only imagine how fabulous that makes me feel.
But, devastation aside, what’s the score with the girls in women’s mags? I googled for this column, the average age of a Grazia reader, and, according to Bauer Media, ‘Grazia has a highly targeted demographic of 25-45 years.’ So that’s not 13 then. I’m (cough) 42, so even by my shabby maths standards, that sits me still in the Grazia demographic arena, so why the young pics? Can we not just be women? Do we have to have youth pressed upon us at all times, as if that is the bee all and end all? And so what is in store for us magazine wise as we age? Stenna stair lift shoots? Saga holiday spreads? All because we are in our 40s?
You hear it all the time – banish wrinkles, cream that take 10 years off. Sure, the pressure is on the chaps, too, but they can rock a haggard look and it gets called sexy. Just take a ganders at Hugh Laurie, wrinkles and all fronting the L’Oreal men’s campaign. Bloody hell. If I fronted a beauty campaign, the media would think it was for an old people’s home.
To be fair to Grazia, it isn’t just them guilty of using very young models in their pages. So, to all mags of Britain and indeed the western world, please, youth is not everything. Using young models all the time only makes us feel pants. We age – deal with it magazines, we have to. Let us age with beauty and a slice of dignity. And for god’s sake, whatever you do, don’t count the wrinkles on my forehead. We’ll leave that joy to my daughters….
What do you think? Post your thoughts below…