Our society doesn’t like the idea of aging. The beauty industry pushes anti-aging products as an over the counter fountain of youth for women conditioned to believe that any age outside of your early twenties is unworthy. That’s why Allure’s End of Anti-Aging campaign was a much-needed call to action. Yet it didn’t receive the attention it deserved.
Allure started the movement September 2017 with their cover star Helen Mirren. In its inaugural issue, the Editor in Chief Michelle Lee set the stage to explain why this issue is so important.
Whether we know it or not, we’re subtly reinforcing the message that aging is a condition we need to battle”
When this issue initially launched, there was a small debate on social media, namely Twitter and Instagram. Majority of people applauded Allure not only for their campaign but because they also said they’d stop using the word anti-aging.
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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
Despite this initial awareness, their efforts were on the 15 minutes of fame track. A beauty magazine banning the word anti-aging is huge. Skin care specifically is notorious for using the term anti-aging to push product sales.
Allure said it wouldn’t stop reviewing products that use the term. Just that the magazine itself would no longer use that term and reinforce the idea that aging is something that has to be stopped.
Over the last year, Michelle Lee stated that their commitment to stop using the term sparked large circles of conversation. However, as much as I would’ve like to, I never saw that dialogue happening in my social media circles.
Sure, you can say this is because I’m just 23 years old. Why would I see that? But women my age are constantly worried at the thought that one day, they won’t have super smooth skin. That one day it will be replaced with fine lines.
The Kardashian women have openly talked about the fact that they started taking preventative measures in their early 20’s. This endorsement alone was sure to have sent many 20-year-old women to the store to by eye creams and collagen infused creams claiming to firm skin all over again.
It can take a bit of time for movements to really gain traction on a larger scale. It’s quite possible that in a few years, we will see the ripples of change Allure started in 2017. This movement Allure started over a year ago is so important because it takes the power away from the term anti-aging and replaces it with the hopefulness that we will be able to grow old and experience life authentically.
1/ Soooo excited to share our new November cover with the queen Angela Bassett. This is our followup to last year’s End of Anti-Aging Issue, in which we declared we were banning the term “anti-aging” from Allure’s vernacular. pic.twitter.com/B02lRmi7X2
— Michelle Lee (@heymichellelee) October 9, 2018
Some of my closest friends are already stressing out that they are breaching their mid-twenties. Stating it’s time to have a funeral for their youth. To each their own, of course.
But if anti-aging was just a word, people wouldn’t look at approaching the next decade of their life as if it were their funeral.
In a beautifully written piece by Ashton Applewhite, she pointed out the sexism of aging. Women are fighting to stay young while men, or most of men, embrace their age. The term silver fox enforces that idea that an older man is more attractive while his female counterpart isn’t.
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Stop asking #AngelaBassett why she looks “so young” for her age. In our “End of Anti-Aging” issue, we spoke to the actress about growing older and being a woman of color in an unforgiving culture — and how that all is changing. Link in bio for the full cover story. Captured on #Pixel3 ___ #photographer @sharifhamza #stylist @jaimekaywaxman #makeup @dandremichael #hair @hairjunkierandy #nails @nailsbyemikudo #setdesign @bigtimebowen #production @roscoproduction
There is nothing wrong with using products that promote anti-aging benefits. If you want to fight for youthful looking skin at any age, do it. But it’s time to stop shaming women for their age.
Instead of looking at aging as a plague, let’s not only praise Allure for its stance in an industry saturated with the negative aspects of aging, but also embrace our age and experiences as they come. It’s time to end the era of anti-aging.
Also published on Medium.