There are certain buzzwords in the beauty world. Acne-free, shrink pores, repair split ends — you get the idea. But perhaps no term is more widely used than anti-aging.
That’s what makes Allure’s just-announced decision to refrain from using the term in its pages pretty revolutionary. In a poignant editor’s letter fronting the mag’s latest issue (which just so happens to feature the stunning Helen Mirren as cover star), Editor-in-Chief Michelle Lee calls out, well, all of us really for relying on the term as a marketing ploy. “Whether we know it or not, we’re subtly reinforcing the message that aging is a condition we need to battle — think antianxiety meds, antivirus software, or antifungal spray.”
Pointing out that “language matters,” Lee reminds us that people always tend to place conditions on compliments proffered to anyone over a certain age. “When talking about a woman over, say, 40, people tend to add qualifiers: ‘She looks great…for her age’ or ‘She’s beautiful…for an older woman.’ Catch yourself next time and consider what would happen if you just said, ‘She looks great.’”
Our September issue, starring #HelenMirren, is the long-awaited, utterly necessary celebration of growing into your own skin — wrinkles and all. No one is suggesting giving up retinol. But changing the way we think about aging starts with changing the way we talk about aging. With that in mind, and starting with this issue, we are making a resolution to stop using the term “anti-aging.” Tap the #linkinbio for more on this initiative, and why we’re encouraging others to follow suit. :@scotttrindle :@heymichellelee :@hanneshetta :@lukehersheson :@ctilburymakeup
The letter cites Mirren as an example of someone whose sexiness is undisputed and celebrates her age, which is often overly hyped in articles. Now, it’s probably worth pointing out that Mirren is a L’Oréal Paris brand ambassador who appears in spots for the brand’s Age Perfect line. But the beauty powerhouse, perhaps at Mirren’s insistence, actually never uses the term “anti-aging” in those commercials. (Although, on its site, the Age Perfect section is led by the line, “Everything from the Age Perfect eye creams to the SPF lotions, moisturize, help reduce the effects of aging and restore healthy skin.” Not “anti-aging,” but it comes close.)
Lee actually implores beauty companies to rethink their branding practices but realizes it will take time. “We know it’s not easy to change packaging and marketing overnight. But together we can start to change the conversation and celebrate the beauty in all ages.”
Sometimes big changes begin with little ones. At theFashionSpot, it’s been our policy for many years not to discuss or highlight anyone’s weight. And though it has taken some time, other sites/publications have jumped on that bandwagon. Here’s hoping Allure is onto something and that the world is ready to accept that age really is just a number.
[ via Allure ]