(Video link here) The fashion industry is not kind to those who it doesn’t consider its target audience. Having spent the last couple of years on the plus-size end of the spectrum I know a lot about walking into stores or flipping through magazines and feeling defeated. But I’ve also found a lot of joy in recognizing the subtle (and not so subtle) acts of resistance around me. Take for example the subjects of Ari Seth Cohen’s blog, Advanced Style: older women who prove, without a doubt, that style is not just a young person’s game.
These ladies come from a demographic that is not only dismissed by the industry, but that is often the butt of jokes about sexuality and eccentricity. We tend to relegate older folks, especially women, to this other realm in which attractiveness is a non-issue, as though their time for looking good (and subsequently feeling good) has passed. Yet these women look far better and more inventive than many of their younger counterparts. Advanced Style proves just that, as does this terrific video by Lina Plioplyte. Says Cohen in a Nowness interview:
“I not only want to show that older women are vital and creative, but also to show people [they need not be] afraid of aging.”
By leaving risk-taking and innovation in fashion (and other areas) to the young, we shut ourselves off to a world of inspiration and imagination offered by “our elders.” We also resign ourselves to less colorful futures as we, too, age.
It all comes down to a simple truth: there shouldn’t be an age limit on valuing yourself. To quote three fab Advanced Stylers:
“I think it’s fun to dress up; it’s an exercise in creativity, and it makes you feel better. Sometimes you’re in a funk, you put something on, twirl yourself around, and BAM.”
“It’s creating a picture, creating a piece of art within yourself…“
“I give them permission to go ahead…start playing!”
— Sarah M.
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