Weekend columnist Nikki Owen in praise of older models
Right. Confession time: I can't stand clothes shopping. I know, I know, I'm a woman, it's in my DNA to shop. But lately I just can't bring myself to do it.
The other day I walked into a well-known high street store, took one look at the nail-filing assistants and walked right back out.
The reason is I feel old. There, said it. I feel like an old woman and I'm 38. Wait! Almost 39. Damn.
The problem is the fashion industry. Pick up one of the weekly or monthly women's mags and you're bombarded with youth.
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The other day I was looking at a fashion spread and I swear the girl modelling the clothes was about 14. I say girl because that's what she is. A girl.
We, on the other hand, are women. Women with curves, stretch marks, wrinkles. We've led a life already and it shows on us.
But the thing is these magazines are all about being young. When did that happen? Why is it that as a woman, the older you get the less your value is?
Men don't have to put up with this rubbish. Look at George Clooney (if you will). He's 51 now and, like a fine wine, is considered to be aging well. He's bagging good movie roles, whereas his female counter parts are popped into the grandma slot once they reach 40.
Thankfully, there is a glimmer of hope. This autumn sees the first in what will hopefully be many fashion advertisements featuring the more mature lady.
Do you remember Murder She Wrote? It had Angela Lansbury in it. Well, she is the new face of a cult style magazine – and she's looking smoking at 86.
Then take Isabella Rossellini, who, after being booted off Lancôme for being too old, is now modelling for a major label at the age of 60.
And to boot, there's the new season M&S ads.
It's a relief to see this happening. Fashion brands have to reflect the fact that most of us are not 14. We don't want to wear our daughter's clothes (she would be mortified), we want to be us.
So come on fashion industry, get some more real women on your books.
And ladies, let's go in those stores with our heads held high. I promise not to walk straight back out if you don't.
Follow Nikki Owen on her blog http://www.nikkiowen.wordpress.com