Will the real women here please stand up? 11



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Tired of excessively thin models that don’t make beauty realistic or achievable? Wishing that older, real-sized women featured on the covers of magazines and in websites dressed in wearable clothes that make them look attractive? We sure do, and we’re tired of people saying otherwise.

It seems that some companies are trying to turn the tables, and there is no doubt that the feedback has been good. Rebel Wilson, who graces the cover of Australia’s Elle Magazine this month, on the back of the release of her latest blockbuster film, Pitch Perfect 2, is a shining example of an atypical woman who is making it work in the industry. That the Editor of Elle appeared on Channel 9’s Today show this week and said “I had to fight hard to get this cover” shows that it still is not mainstream to consider “normal” body types for the promotion of style.

In America, underwear brand Aerie featured Jacky O’Shaunessy, a mature model they found on the street, in a campaign last year and were astounded by the feedback.

On our own site, the readers hailed American Eagle Outfitters for their foresight, although we note Jacky hasn’t been included in further campaigns that we have seen.

jackie american eagle

Last year we featured some campaigns by Blue Illusion who championed the older woman in their campaign as Mothers’ Day approached and were applauded by our readers.

Blue illusion_059

We think it is time that readers open up a magazine or website and see people who look a little more like a well-styled version of them, rather than the uber-styled, stick-thin models that we see today and that offer such a limited view to the older or more shapely clothing and beauty buyer.

It is quite clear that only some in the world of advertising agree. On the Today Show, they discussed Dove’s famous “real women” campaign that has been running for over a decade now. It was said to have doubled their profits! Imagine that: real women with real bodies in ads making a company double the money! Funnily enough, it isn’t always the case though, said the advertising guru on the show. So advertisers tend to assign authenticity to one brand and high impression super style imagery to another, to differentiate them. The advertising guru gave the example of Lynx deodorant for men, which promotes in it the ability to attract a “perfect” woman. I guess it makes sense to appeal to a man’s vanity, rather than his reality.

So we ask you what you think today about the plus sized and mature models being made up of real women, and whether you would make a good model for our site here at Starts at 60.


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Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. When they put in real size women and good styles for older and larger ladies instead of a bag then I will start to read them again

  2. Are there any? You’d have to see them whennthey get out of bed in the morning to see the ‘real’ woman.

  3. Don’t read mags. Seems like an endless parade of nit wits posing as human beings. As far as fashion goes I look around at what people are wearing on the streets not “high” fashion that is walking down the run way. Who on earth buys and wears some of that ugly rubbish? Most people tend to wear casual, neat clothing and as long as it does not make me look like an old crone or frumpy and is comfortable (oh and I like jewel coloured tops) then I will give it a go. Being a big woman it is hard to buy clothes because most of the good colours and styles have already been snapped up by other women of similar size. The only sizes left are the 8,10 or 12. You would think manufacturers or retailers would have got it right by now. One can only hope for the future.

  4. Look in any shops, up & down any streets, In businesses, in malls. Millions of women that look really nice, or attractive, or gorgeous, or sexy, or just well co-ordinated with their clothing. They are not skinny undernourished bags of bones. Yet they get a persons attention. We can appreciate that they have taken the time to present themselves for a positive reaction from people.

  5. So true they should show all ages and sizes it makes me laugh when they advertising cream for older skin and the model is in her twenties idiots

  6. I would say they come down to real humans , stop bombarding people with their artificial views of how a person should look like based on their distorted alter ego and cashing on it.

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