Normally, I meet with women who are thought-provoking and an inspiration. This week though, I am in effect, in conversation with myself! Well not quite! I had the pleasure of doing a podcast with strategic marketing company SuperHuman, discussing the perception of women and ageing, the outdated stereotypes and what’s shaping our attitudes.
Listen to the podcast for the whole debate and discussion. I’d love to know your thoughts too? What impact do you think society’s attitudes to women getting older has had on women?
Alternatively, here are a couple of excerpts from the interview below.
We have started to see some evolution in the public domain, through film and TV (for example Nicole Kidman in Big Little Lies). The conversation is beginning to bubble to the surface. Have you noticed any positive impact of this?
Yes, I’ve started to see this influence come through. Women today are more independent and much more opinionated. We have our own sense of agency. Our expectations are higher, and we fundamentally feel that we matter.
On the other side of the coin, the 40+ woman is still not comfortable in her own skin as it is today. Our research showed that women consider themselves at their most beautiful and attractive during the decade before their current age.
That’s interesting. Is that how they see themselves or is that what society has determined they should see? In Eastern cultures, lines and wrinkles are part of your history. They form part of who you are. Your journey. We need to get to that stage.
At Studio10 we are PRO-AGE. Why do we use make-up or dye our hair? I do those things not because I want to look younger, but because I want to look the very best version of myself. And that’s the key I think.
What role do you think big brands play in this evolution? We mentioned that women see themselves at their most attractive during the decade before their current age, so big brands say they are just playing back the attitudes of this generation. Do you think these brands have a responsibility?
I do. Big brands have a social responsibility to society. They are the biggest influencers and have the biggest audiences.
The beauty industry comes under fire a lot for its marketing. Dior recently did an advertising campaign for an anti-wrinkle product and used Cara Delevingne as the model. We ran a poll and 97% of respondents agreed that Dior should have used a model with wrinkles. So, there is a big disconnect between marketing and advertising and what the end user wants to see.
Our research also showed that 80% of 40+ women said they rarely or never see women of their age in advertising.
That’s just not acceptable. What you are trying to do with an advertising or marketing campaign is connect. Build a relationship. Build trust with your audience. You must understand and respect them to do that.
Finally, how do you see this debate continuing? How would you like to see the narrative for these women change?
It’s beginning to change, as you mentioned earlier with certain TV programmes, movies etc recognising older women. That said, I’m impatient and don’t think it’s happening quickly enough.
I’d love for the debate to continue and to visibly see it pull through into advertising and marketing – it is time for brands to pull their weight.
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