Beauty in older women

January 24, 2014

This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.

Beauty in older womenThis week we’ve been talking about relationships that have (or haven’t) lasted a long time. So I thought I’d tell you about something else on the subject of longevity. Older women. Hazel, pictured above, is 79. She is one of a group of  women aged 65 and over, who are taking part in an unusual photography project called Beauty In Older Women.

The man who came up with this concept is Italian photographer Edo Zollo, who uses his photography to examine and challenge people’s perceptions of life. He has previously tackled subjects such as people with full body tattoos, dangerous dogs and their owners, and people living with HIV – which gained a lot of media attention and was supported by Stephen Fry, a passionate HIV activist.

The Beauty In Older Women project centres on women getting older and losing their “sexy” status in their eyes and the eyes of others. As the number of older people increases, will they become more visible? Are our views of age, attractiveness and body image changing with the times?

Edo says “Through my work I aim to ‘widen the lens’ and show the diverse ways in which people are beautiful and interesting. In my project celebrating beauty in older women, I try to show as much as possible the life behind the picture. This is why I am also interviewing the women participants and encouraging them to write or talk a little about themselves, why they took part, and how they see themselves as they get older. The longer we live the more experience and insights we gain, and I am excited to hear their stories.”

Beauty in older womenI like the sound of this project because it is another example of the media celebrating older people. We’ve previously blogged about the Fabulous Fashionistas, and fashion retailers such as Marks & Spencer now regularly feature older women in their publicity as well as smaller fashion houses such as the one run by Swedish Designer Gudrun Sjoden. 

Margaret, who Edo recently photographed on London’s South Bank, said of the project: ‘This is not about being attractive…this is about showing that it is okay for older women to be noticed and admired.’

Beauty In Older Women will be exhibited in a London gallery this summer – we’ll let you know exactly when and where nearer the time!fab fash


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