For decades, fashion and beauty magazines have enforced and promoted societal beauty ideals that boil down to this: you can never be too young, or too thin. And no matter which women’s magazine you pick up, you are almost guaranteed to find an article surrounding the latest and greatest in “anti-aging.”
This idea has built a stigma around aging, teaching women that growing older is something to fear—or be ashamed of. But, one magazine has just put its foot down.
On Monday, Allure announced that it will no longer use the term “anti-aging.” Coming from a pioneer magazine in the beauty industry, this is huge. “Whether we know it or not, we’re subtly reinforcing the message that aging is a condition we need to battle — think antianxiety meds, antivirus software, or antifungal spray,” wrote editor-in-chief, Michelle Lee, in the magazine's official announcement.
In honor of this movement, Allure enlisted the 72-year-old Helen Mirren to appear on the cover of its September 2017 issue. Mirren also feels just as strongly about this issue. “This word 'anti-aging'— we know we’re getting older,” the L'Oréal ambassador said in the issue. “You just want to look and feel as great as you can on a daily basis.”
While the fashion and beauty industries have been slowly progressing when it comes to gender inclusiveness, body positivity, and racial diversity, age variety in these industries has only begun to gain traction. But with this message, Allure aims to ignite the conversation, and spread the idea that beauty should not be measured by a woman’s age.
“When talking about a woman over, say, 40, people tend to add qualifiers: 'She looks great...for her age” or “She’s beautiful...for an older woman.' Catch yourself next time and consider what would happen if you just said, 'She looks great.' Yes, Americans put youth on a pedestal. But let’s agree that appreciating the dewy rosiness of youth doesn’t mean we become suddenly hideous as years go by,” Lee said.
Bravo, Allure, bravo!
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