Ageism in the beauty industry
The beauty industry has come leaps and bounds in the past few years in terms of inclusivity.
Foundations are no longer launched without a complete shade spectrum, women of all nationalities, religions and sizes are being used in campaigns and textured hair is finally getting the full attention it deserves.
So why do women 40+ still feel invisible?
Try this: Think of a cosmetic brand, type it into Google and head to the corresponding homepage. What campaign images are you met with? If it's not a smooth-skinned, 20-30 something woman smiling back at you, we'll eat our hats.
Even the brands who we applaud for being diverse use youthful, wrinkle-free models to showcase the 50 shades of foundation they worked so hard on. Do people over 40 not wear foundation? Of course they bloody do!
Admittedly, older women aren't boycotted entirely. There are plenty of brands with 'faces' over 40. But have you noticed that they're always a celebrity (so that we know for sure how old they are) and that they're always promoting skin care? Serums, retinols and moisturisers are still 'on theme' apparently, but since when did lipsticks, blush, mascara and all the other fun stuff have an age limit?
It's something many of us don't notice until we reach that age ourselves. After all, if you fall into the 18-35 bracket, you're well catered for and when something isn't effecting you directly, it's hard to sit up and take notice.
Well, consider this your notice.
We're not here to call anyone out, and we're no angels ourselves (despite this being heaven), but as a community with beauty loving members who span across all ages, it's something we felt strongly enough about to raise in support of the women in our forums who feel they're not being respresented.
And when you think about it, why aren't brands looking past the age of 40? These are the women who have paid their mortagages, raised their kids, climbed the corporate ladder and are very likely to have a more disposable income. Why wouldn't you want this ready-to-splurge crowd covetting your products? It seems like a missed opportunity to us...
Please don't consider this a cry for 'age appropriate' products, either. The aim is inclusivity, not exclusivity. Frankly we can't say it better than one of our members who wrote:
"There is one aspect of the beauty industry that I find annoying, which is the well-meaning advice for older women about the type of makeup we should wear. We are often told to wear neutral eyeshadow, brown eyeliner, apricot coloured lipstick, and not to wear black eyeliner and shimmery eyeshadows. I am 56 and I love to wear colourful lipsticks. I wear black eyeliner, but not in the same way as when I was younger. I wear cobalt blue, green, violet, navy and aqua eyeliners. I wear shimmery eyeshadows, I wear matte eyeshadows."