The enduring fixation with how we age (and even that we age) detracts from what half the population can bring to the table, and undermines women’s achievements, contributions and expertise. Nobody would judge a middle-aged man with grey hair (search for a photograph of Lloyd Robertson, who LaFlamme, 58, replaced when he retired at 77).
Those recoiling from a female who allows herself to look her age are feeding the expectation that as women get older, they must strive to keep looking younger. It once again places the onus on women to change to fit society’s ideal of what is acceptable. And it is exhausting. We already had to prove ourselves in our 20s, but come our 40s and 50s it feels like, once again, women need to show why they are worthy.
Lookism is more pointedly directed at females, and especially women in the latter part of their careers. While it spans professions, it does seem more pervasive and overt in television. Broadcaster Libby Purves succinctly spoke about the pressure on women at the BBC to appear attractive and youthful while men were allowed to age gracefully.
Television news is increasingly looking like an outlier. From central banking (Christine Lagarde, Janet Yellen) to fashion, even, women with silver tresses are holding positions of influence (Sarah Harris, the deputy editor and fashion features director at British Vogue found her first grey strand around 16 and never dyed her hair).
The mature model movement is thriving. Carolyn Doelling, a former American telecommunications and banking executive, became a model in her 70s and is an Instagram sensation. Not to be outdone by her famous son, Maye Musk, yes, the mother of Elon, became a brand ambassador for CoverGirl at 69. This list grows longer.
The latest awards season has also seen a celebration of female actors in their 50s and 60s: Michelle Yeoh, Cate Blanchett, Jamie Lee Curtis.
Original Story by www.timeslive.co.za
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