Kids take ads seriously
When I was a kid, there was an ad on TV saying
XYZ (you add the brand’s name here when you remember the ad), for the skin after 30.
Back then I thought that when I turn 30 I am done, old, needing to hide if I would not be able to buy that brand’s product.
Ageism is taught already in early childhood
Besides ads, roll models influence kid’s perceptions of fashion and beauty in society. Since the pre-war generations in Europe had suffered a lot of hunger after the Great War and WWII, their lifestyle was centered around food. Thus, as a kid, I thought once a woman is over 60 she has to go on an all you can eat mode! 😉 My granny looked awesome in her Princess tailored blue-green-purple and black brocade dress with nude pumps platinum blonde water wave short hair in size 22 (German size 52) in her late 60s. Later Miss Twiggy became my style icon. My biggest concern as a teenager consequently was my future cup size!
Banners for age identification differ
When I browse for fashion blogs in Europe there are 30+ blogger banners except for Great Britain who have 40+ banners. The 30+ banners fit in the above scheme that ads “trained” us young girls and women in continental Europe in the 70s and 80s. If I do the same for the US, Great Britain and Canada, I find banners for 40+.
Banners serve to find blogs of interest for us
No, it is not the fashion bloggers’ fault. The critical mass for fashion blogger groups and their identification with a banner is just too small for any age group over 30 and 40 because the cultural background of society associates the “end of fashion interests” with 30 and 40 in continental Europe and the Anglo-American World, respectively. Great Britain probably differs from the rest of Europe due to the Royals. Princesses Margaret and Diana as well as the Queen Mom, for instance, had been Style Icons all their life long.
Society accepts less and less having fun with fashion as one ages
I don’t want to dwell about categorizing, which is a whole other point to get passionate about. What irritates me is the fact that there are no banners for 50+, 60+, 70+, 80+, 90+ … Iris Apfel this is for you 😉 . It means that society less and less accepts to be passionate about fashion with age! What a great loss on quality of life!
Ageing is a blessing
First of all, there is nothing wrong with getting old. On the contrary, it is a privilege that is denied to so many! It should be celebrated every day! Therefore, shouldn’t fashion for (40+ continental Europe that is for you!), 50+, 60+ …. 90+ be celebrated? Or is it just me living in one of the two US states that have a strong traditional Elder system that I believe getting old is a gift, not a burden, not a disease and not something to hide? And that getting older does not mean that one has to give up on fashion?
Looking at the fashion blogs worldwide there are some who celebrate this privilege. They have the age in their name, for instance, Jodie’s Touch of Style or Bling Bling Over 50, just to mention one in America and Europe each. The fashion blogs for 60+, 70+ … exist (e.g. No Fear of Fashion, Style Crone, Not Dead Yet Style, but are rare.
Style changes with lifestyle
I see a reason to categorize in (broad) age groups with respect to blog tags. It is about the readers (and blogger’s) interests. For instance, many professional women have their kids in their thirties and are interested in maternity clothes or how to dress for the extended hip bones after giving birth. Another example, when the kids leave for college, many stay-at-home moms may join the work field again and look for work-style inspirations. They would search for over 40 fashion. The 60 year old retired granny, for instance, has other fashion and style needs than the 45 year old women who goes back into the work force or who has been in the work force ever since leaving college. You get the idea of changing interests and clothes needs as a function of life events and lifestyle changes.
What do you think? Is getting old a good or a bad thing? I am curious. Send me an email.
If you liked this post, please share it with your friends to end the age discrimination in fashion. Fashion’s problem with age is culturally motivated. Read this.
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Photos: G. Kramm
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