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Ben Pechey

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Agism in Fashion

August 9, 2019

 

Oh hello darling, and welcome back to age month on benpechey.com. Today we are discussing fashion and its blatant lack of acceptance.

 

Have you ever noticed that every season of fashion the clothes change and trends move us further forwards. The faces change, every year or so there is a new ‘it’ girl. 

 

However, the one thing that never changes is that the faces that promote the clothes we are all supposed to moon over stay consistently young. 

 

Last year the highest earning model in the world was Kendall Jenner. She is 23, she started modelling in 2014, aged 18. The fact that she is the highest paid means she is probably one of the most visible. Yet most of the spending power in fashion is much older than 23. 

 

 

 

 

I know of very few realistic examples of 23 year olds that can actually afford the clothes Jenner promotes. It seems very ridiculous that fashion which is supposed to be this democratic environment promoting art, is actually agist and elitist. 

 

I hear so many people say I can’t wear that, I’m too old. No, you really are not to old. We just see no one older wearing things that have only been promoted on younger people. 

 

Humans crave acceptance, but the way fashion is marketed means that when we age we have very few references for style and fashion. How is anyone supposed to know how to dress over the age of 40? There are no references to look too.

 

Yes we have a few older faces in fashion, Kate Moss, Namoi Campbell, and the original supers. However, they are wheeled out as legends, not as real women we could all look up too.  

 

 

 

 

Even when we do see an older woman owning her body, some take aim to try and take them down. When goddess Helena Christensen wore a bustier to Gigi Hadid’s birthday party, former Vogue EIC went in hard. 

 

“Helena Christensen is usually the most stylishly understated of the supermodels. At the peak of her career, she always looked utterly scrumptious in a simple dress and flat shoes, wore no make-up and liked to hang out with girlfriends. So why last week, at the age of 50, did she decide to pitch up at Gigi Hadid’s 24th birthday party in a tacky, black lace bustier?”

 

What Shulman did is more damaging than we think. She planted doubt in countless people’s minds. Even if an older woman feels confident enough to wear clothes deemed ‘younger’ she knows she will be open to countless comments critiquing her choices. 

 

 

 

 

When we talk diversity in the industry we often talk about diversity, size, but we often miss off age. Last week I wrote about fearing getting older, that feeling came from the actual lack of true representation. 

 

We are making ourselves miserable because the world only celebrates a very narrow section of our society. We need to push representation to include ALL of us. That’s why I do what I do, and love others for doing it too. 

 

Keep shouting it from the rooftops- we want true representation, and we won’t stop until we get it.

 

Thank you for joining me today, I will be back next week continuing age month.

 

 

 

Shot by Rachel Pechey 

 

Shop My Lewk:

 

Top: Marks and Spencer, Sold Out

Jeans: Marks and Spencer, Sold Out

Shoes: Marks and Spencer, Sold Out

Earrings: Sandra Alexandra via July Child

 

 

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