SKIN DEEPER – ‘AGEISM’ IN THE MODELLING INDUSTRY

SKIN DEEPER – ‘AGEISM’ IN THE MODELLING INDUSTRY

Ageism
ˈeɪdʒɪz(ə)m/
noun
  1. prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age.
    “ageism in recruitment is an increasing problem”

Ageless is an adjective describing a person or thing whose age cannot be defined, is non-existent, or appears not to change. ❤

Agelessness can be used as a synonym for immortality; more specifically it refers to eternal youth.

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Hi, for those of you who are new to my site, my name is Abigail, I’m a mother/fashion model and Author from Australia. With regards to modelling you’d probably call me rather a ‘late bloomer’ as I’ve been 100% focused on motherhood and homemaking until the ripe young age of 32 when I was scouted, where I then began commuting for work from our country home near Byron Bay! Juggling mothering, sourdough bread baking, gardening and health writing as I went. I used to say ripe ‘old’ age, only recently I’ve changed my little spool to ‘young’ as that’s what I truly am. Young, and still even too young at times. Or too old, ok take your pick, I’m it. Too young. Too old. Too…Whatevz. Seriously. One of the first photographers I scored a paid job with said to me “Don’t tell them your age. Tell them your ‘professional’ age”… Advice albeit I didn’t follow. ❤

Actually I would recommend beginning a modelling career to anyone over the age of 25. You’re young but still mature enough to know what you will or won’t do, you can say ‘no’. In my experience you’re also pretty switched on with regards to what you want from your life by then. You’ve found happiness inside of yourself, and in the choices you’ve already made. Modelling then isn’t such a big deal in your mind, but rather a building on to what you’ve already accomplished.

Because I’ve lived such an actively healthy lifestyle I’ve managed to stay looking a fair bit younger…for a lot longer. Agelessness, as they say, seems to be in my favour. But if I were to total up my working days within the fashion industry, to be fair I’d conclude that I’ve really only been working for one full year. That boils down to an extremely part time role mostly due to my location and commitments to my family, but  probably also due to my age. ❤

1R2A0105In 2008, at 33 I went on to sign with the most prestigious modelling agency in Sydney at the time, and was encouraged to move our whole family to the city life for a big change! This was just a temporary experience, but we went along, just for the fun of it. I was lucky enough to experience many fashion/advertising/beauty/commercial adventures! Working with some of Australia’s top brands and professionals within the industry has been just incredible. If the shoe fits wear it right? Well it seems my ‘look’ fits a lot of shoes! Although extremely grateful, in other instances I felt often wasn’t given the same opportunities as younger women, who didn’t actually look any younger than myself. For instance, I didn’t know how to ‘walk’ for runways, they picked up on this, but no-one taught me, because at over 30 you’re expected to know that stuff. I’m not criticising just pointing out the way it is. You only get sent to castings for your particular ‘age demographic’…etc, etc.

My mother agency is reputable, highly professional, and they have always been so supportive and kind to me. But ground-breaking changes are slow, and generally speaking top modelling agencies have a mind-frame towards age groups that sticks. Purely bracketing people by their age.

1R2A0072Fast-forward 10 years. I’ve just signed with a new Sydney agency which is the first within Australia of it’s kind. Enter major role reversal, I’m now one of the ‘babies’ of the ‘family’ and I love that! Also, the fresh #agepositive approach is so inspiring. Bravo! You know, once upon a time, communities upheld and valued the grey haired people amongst them as precious, inspiring, and wanted to know their wisdom. Maybe our society is making moves towards this kind of honorary mindset yet again! ❤

Only what if now, my lack of skin pigmentation, rolls, cellulite or grey hair limits my horizons within this new, empowering dimension of age embracing, explorative change? If age-positivity is what it claims I don’t think the slogan should be relevant only to people who look ‘old’. Yes of course it should include people who look old, and that is inspiring, but what about the old people who don’t necessarily ‘look’ you know, elderly? I’ve got a gorgeous 70 year old Portuguese Aunty that has the most flawless youthful baby doll face! She looks 50 at best!

The point is that just because I don’t have enough wrinkles, yet…Ok I’m sure you’re getting the idea. Of course I can still contribute relevant inspiration as an age-positive model, because I have my own story to tell through my 40+ years and voice.

1R2A8890Realistically though – doesn’t the same apply to me looking ‘freakishly (and I quote) young’? People are always saying that I look like sister to my grown up sons. So does that place my now ‘professional age’ somewhere between 25- early-mid 30’s? See if we’re biased due to ageism, it all gets quite confusing doesn’t it?! Maybe that’s just in my case.

Last week on set someone asked me if I was ‘actually a vampire’? Shhh. It’s all in the chocolate ladies. 

Fact is that middle aged and older women are the ones with lots and lots of good money to spend.  There are more women (and men) living healthier for longer who aren’t inspired to part with their hard earned dollars by youth-culture-heavy advertising campaigns. Demand is rising for ‘mature models’ and I think this is for the better.

1R2A0322Specifically clients, photographers, agencies ra-ra-ra will want their models to be, younger or older. Yes, that’s great and we have to be respectful of those preferences – absolutely. But for Prada’s sake don’t put limitations on a unique models own personal capabilities! Let each one of them be their true best, because wherever that is, I do believe they deserve the opportunity to be seen. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” – remember? Younger, middle aged, older, with or perhaps even, remarkably, without wrinkles. That’s as far as looks go. A great agent will know what a great model is capable of at any number. After all isn’t ‘good looks’ what this job is all about? Not a persons age. Now that’s is what I’d call a truly age positive REVOLUTION. Yewww!!!

Now, whose ready for a little re-vamp on my health and beauty secrets…? I’m talking some #hardcore stuff, not just my delicious beauty enhancing chocolate.

Make sure you’re following my Instagram! Exciting skin and body enhancing posts coming soon. ❤ ❤ ❤

 

Photo’s by longtime friend Bryce Wegener. No editing, tweaking, photoshop or colour correcting. Hope you enjoyed my post.

2018-01-13T14:58:35+00:00January 13th, 2018|

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