Spring Advertisements Bloom with Older Beauties

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - 11 Block of 5 Street NW


When Spring rolls around, snow, or sun shine, I get reinvigorated with optimism. It’s the mix of a new season, warmer weather, and the fashion from last fall’s shows waiting to hit the market. As the spring editions of magazines roll in I flip through the pages ravenously looking at how the brands will show their latest in print. It’s great to see it on the runway but I, too, want to see it in print. Admittedly I am a sucker for this form of advertisement and no print ads are more delicious to me than fashion print ads. 

As I flipped through I was struck by and stuck on Marc Jacobs. Bette Midler in all her glory was beaming back at shit-grinning-me in an art pop, black and white face montage coat. The look was styled with silken silver gloves, intense eye makeup and that famous huge open mouth. It’s wonderful to see her looking so happy while promoting a coat that may, to many, seem young. It’s a juicy juxtaposition and I like it.

The pop art trend is nothing new but it feels fresh on someone who’s not in their 20s. Too often fashion is depicted as something only for the young. Which is misleading according to what age groups spend the most money. A quick look at spending habits in one study shows that Americans aged 50 to 65 spend 74% more money than Americans aged 18-25. It’s not shocking but it is a good reminder on who’s actually opening their wallets.

Another older women representing a huge brand this season is Caitlin Jenner for H&M Sport. How fantastic is this? Not only is she an Olympic Champion she’s an active spokesperson and advocate for the transgender community. It makes sense to me to show an athlete in a sporting campaign, why not an experienced one? Too often we show female fitness wear with willowy, younger models. Are they trying to tell the reader than a strong, fit, and healthy person looks like that? No thank you. To me it’s more inspiring to see an actual athlete wearing the gear. Borrowing ideas from the male athletes such as Jordon, James and Crosby, I think, is a solid move.

If economics and qualifications are not reason enough to include older persons in advertisements, how about the argument that it’s not inclusive if we don’t? We must represent more of society. Young, old, fit and curvier. And that’s just a start of a more diverse reflection. We can and should do better. Diversity includes age, yes, but that's not it. What about size? What about race and ethnicity?

Back to giving positive shout outs, brands like, Marc Jacobs, H&M and others before these are doing their part by choosing carefully who will represent them. Are you doing your part is supporting brands that represent you?