The Beauty Project - Who are You Calling Invisible? Beauty and the Older Woman

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Last week I was invited to Selfridges in Exchange square to listen to one of the
#beautyproject talks, held in the San Carlos restaurant. The setting is really calm and relaxed and we were treated to a glass of ice cold white wine and a tasting plate of food.

Fashion industry expert and diversity campaigner Caryn Franklin hosted a conversation with Helen Walmsey-Johnson who has a column in The Guardian called Invisible Woman and Jody Furlong who is a top London casting director looking at the relationship between and how brands see women who are growing older in the media - Who are you calling invisible? Beauty and the Older Woman.

As much as I hate to admit it, I am getting older. No I'm not old but it comes to us all and it was interesting listening to what they had to say. A lot of it is what we already know but in the media it goes unsaid.

Brands what to target and advertise to a woman in her mid to late thirty's but they will cast people from around 24 up.

This resonated a lot with me in my plus size world a lot of plus size models are from a UK size 12 and up but generally are at the lower end of plus size.

Other things mentioned included brands being too scared to take a risk on pitching campaigned using and aiming at the same target market.

We could sit and finger point all night, we could blame someone. The men and women on the boards, the casting, advertising people but where does it stop.

I think in some ways we need to make our own minds up. Do I like that? Do I feel good wearing it? Does it matter if no one else likes it? Everyone else is wearing it?

In most cases we me included are too reliant on other people opinions and yes it's nice to get complements and not nice if people we are with don't like what we are wearing but a the end of the day we're not asking them to wear it.

I'm not sure where we can get our confidence from, I think we need to get it from within ourselves and this is something I feel I am doing and I'm quite looking forward to growing older. whether it's gracefully of disgracefully that's yet to be seen!

I really enjoyed the talk and it was nice to hear what it's like to be on the inside of the industry.

The next talk is on 4th June and is titled The Good, The Bad and the Beautiful. I don't know if there are still tickets are available but more info can be found on Selfridges website or from the customer services desk on the LG Floor.

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