Absence Of 50 Year Old Or Older Real Life Hair Models
Have you ever noticed the absence of real life hair hair models who are 50 years or older in hair magazines, on hair websites or in hair or beauty related blogs? If you’ve noticed the phenomenon, have you ever wondered why?
You may have also noticed that if hairstyles for women 50 or older are actually featured, the models are more often than not celebrities.
There’s lots of reasons for the general absence of real life examples which may include the following:
1. Following The Leader – Many hair, beauty and fashion magazines follow the leader, which happens in many cases to be Vogue.
As LifeScience.com pointed out, despite having a readership that’s one-fifth women over the age of 50, the magazine has only featured on woman over 40 on the cover in the past year. Halle Berry who was 43 at the time appeared on the September 2010 issue.
But don’t expect to see Cloris Leachman (April 30, 1926) or Betty White (January 17, 1922) on the cover of Vogue anytime soon.
If Vogue doesn’t promote older women – celebrities or not – then don’t expect other hair, beauty or fashion magazines to buck the trend.
2. Advertisers Want Youthful Images – Ultimately all magazines, websites and blogs are in business to make money. That money more often than not comes from advertisers. If you look at images presented by the leading advertisers you will find women who are more often than not thin and rarely over 40.
While celebrity women like Betty White and Cloris Leachman are making inroads into commercials, they are the exception rather than the rule. Editors follow advertiser desires in order to win their advertising dollars.
3. Photographers Follow The Money Trail – Professional photographers who make their living by selling their photos to fashion, hair or beauty magazines take photos of images they know are in demand. While professional photographers are not necessarily against shooting women over 50 to highlight their hairstyles, they are scrambling to sell their work for the highest prices which older aged women may not bring.
4. Aging Baby Boomer Publications Generally Follow Younger Trends – Even media directed toward older readers tend to collectively present thinner, more youthful, minimally wrinkled women rather than everyday women or celebrities who are not the norm for the over 50 generation.
5. Non-Celebrity Women Over 50 Are Reluctant To Be In The Spotlight – When non-celebrity women over 50 are recruited to appear in photo-shoots they often refuse to participate in the opportunity.
Some years back a popular hair magazine I was working for decided to photograph real women over 50 and feature them and their hairstyles in a special edition. Not only did they struggle with finding regular women over 50 to model, they had difficulties finding hairstylists willing to work on the shoot. Many hairstylists prefer to work with younger models, especially for a photo shoot.
Finally, after the shoot was completed and the issue was published, it proved to be one of the worst selling issues ever published. The magazine with older women models did not sell well at all, which did not encourage the publishers to continue down this path.
What You Can Do To See Older Celebrity And Regular Models
1. Express Your Opinion – Although magazines and related media will continue to cater to their advertisers, express your opinions about wanting to see either older celebrity women or real everyday women.
If you subscribe to a magazine focused at aging baby boomers that features younger, thinner or unrealistic models, be sure to share your opinions with the editor and publisher.
2. Vote With Your Money – If magazines or other media listen to your requests for older celebrities or older female models, support them by buying their magazines or visiting their websites.
Ultimately everyone has the power to vote with their wallets or their computers. If you don’t believe me then check out what happened to NetFlix when they defied their customers by arbitrarily raising all their prices. The company lost over 800,000 subscribes as a result.
3. Support Shows Aimed At Over 50
WeTV’s reality show “Sunset Daze” (“Golden Girls” meets “Jersey Shore”) was a hit with older viewers, but efforts to sex up the greatest generation for folks under 50 didn’t pay off.
Only about 311,000 people tuned in to the 10 p.m. premiere of the show, which got a ton of publicity including a front-page story in the New York Times, as well as some solid reviews. Sadly the audience dropped in the second half of the show losing over 40,000 viewers.
Not surprisingly the show performed poorly with the 18-49 demographic. Women made up about 80% of the audience. The median age of the show was a little over 60, which was about 15 years older than the channel’s average.
4. Be Willing To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone – In the past I have repeatedly asked HairBoutique.com visitors to send in their images showcasing their hairstyles.
Regardless of your age, we are always looking for hairstyle images to show for all men and women regardless of their age, race, occupation, hair type, texture or color.
If you want to have a voice about showcasing images of real men and women over 40 or 50 then email your images to AskKaren@hairboutique.com.
After all, it’s easy to be discouraged or upset when you don’t find real women over 40 or 50 with hairstyles you can study, copy or adopt, only you can bring about a change.