Older Models Find Success After Youth

In our youth-obsessed culture, as women get older they start to lose value. Enter the era of the older model.

Women well past 40 are gaining speed in the modeling world. Some are former models returning as the Baby Boomer generation demands more representation of their demographic, others never stopped working.

I’m featuring four here, but there are many, many more out there. All are proudly silver haired and eschew coloring it.

First up is Daphne Selfe, a British model known as “the world’s oldest supermodel.” In an article from the Huffington Post, 85 year old Selfe can be seen in a video for a TK Maxx (UK version of TJ Maxx) strutting her stuff alongside her much younger counterparts.

photo: Huffington Post

I think it’s a blast that her last name looks so much like the ubiquitous term “selfie.” I wonder if she’s ever taken any of herself? She started modeling in the 1950’s and has never considered Botox. “I’ve never had anything done to my face,” Selfe once told the Daily Mail. “Not that poison, not a face-lift. I think it’s a waste of money. Anyway, I couldn’t afford it!”

Next is Carmen Dell’Orefice, the world’s “oldest working model” who first appeared on the cover of Vogue at 15. Now 83, with double knee replacement surgery behind her, she still walked the runways of New York Fashion Week in 2012. There’s a wonderful pictorial of her in Harper’s Bazaar here. She graced the cover of You Magazine in 2013.

photo: MoDa’s Touch

Dell’Orefice has been a working model for 70 years. In the Huffington Post, she says, “I wasn’t a cover-girl type. I’ve had more covers in the past 15 years than I had in all the years before that.”

Jenni Rhodes is the same age as Dell’Orefice and was a featured model for Zara and Vielma London in 2013.

photo: Vielma

She told the UK’s Metro, “My grandchildren call me Super Gran and Glam Gran; they love that I’m still modelling.”

The “baby” of this bunch is Cindy Joseph, 63. Joseph, a former makeup artist, worked in New York and Paris, so was no stranger to the fashion world. But then she was scouted for Dolce & Gabbana at age 49, and her modeling career took off from there.

photo: Atisha Paulson, Courtesy of Refinery 29

According to StyleList, Joseph was “Fed up with the idea that gray hair and wrinkles are flaws to be hidden,” so she founded Boom! a line of “pro-age” natural honey-based cosmetics and skin care.

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing and hearing a little about these amazing women who show us the beauty doesn’t stop after 25!

Which older women inspire you? Do tell in the comments!

Ciao! Paula