America has a problem with aging. Not because the nation’s senior population is growing like kudzu, but because of how we tend to view older age: as a time of enfeeblement and disappearance—from ourselves and society. Rather than seeing ourselves as growing more beautiful, we imagine our beauty fading with age.
That’s why it’s such a shame that mega cosmetics company Lancome missed the mark with its “Love Your Age” campaign. By failing to include anyone over age 40 in their campaign video, Lancome missed a huge opportunity to change the narrative about how we think about getting older.
And by excluding over-40 faces, the company also sabotaged its own (positive) message of embracing your age no matter what it is.
Why didn’t Lancome include someone like beautiful 61-year-old Justice Sonia Sotomayor? Or sexy 70-year-old Helen Mirren?
I can point to several over-40 women and men in my life who are beautiful inside and out. I’ll bet you can, too, because the reality is: beauty knows no age limit. But you’d never know this from the “Love Your Age” campaign, and the dearth of positive images of older adults in the media, be it digital, print or radio.
Americans may be living longer than ever, but until we convince ourselves as a nation that every age is worth celebrating and including in our society, we won’t see our full potential as a country of truly caring human beings.
What do you think about the way older adults are represented in the media? Is there anyone in your life you’d like to tell us about? Share your thoughts in the comments below.