I keep running into the face on the left featured in ads for Cover Girl makeup. The woman pictured is in her 60’s and apparently it is “ground breaking” to feature a woman of her “advanced” age in a makeup commercial. When I first saw this photo filling a whole page in a magazine I shuddered. To me she looked frightening, not appealing. I felt immediately that I was supposed to be delighted that an older woman was a “Cover Girl,” but I felt anything but delighted. If the look was supposed to entice me to purchase makeup it failed. I have no desire to look anything like the woman(who, as it turns out, is Elon Musk’s mother.)
I found the image on the right at the website “unsplash,” which another blogger suggested as a site for royalty free images. The woman seems to be about the same age as the model, but to me she looks inviting and welcoming. Her wrinkles show the ways her face has aged, her brown spots reveal past sun exposure, her lips lack filler, her face is free of Botox, and her eyebrows show the thinning that comes with age. In other words she looks her age, and in this case I found her lovely not off putting. If she had been featured by Cover Girl how might I have responded? For one, I might like to know the color of her lipstick. It flatters her, rather than seeming at odds with her face.
Millions of older women in the United States have a little disposable income. Some of it could go to cosmetics, especially if they seemed aimed at how we actually look. Instead most ads seem addressed either at young women or women in their 40’s who apparently are terrified of looking “aged.” This so-called groundbreaking ad won’t reassure them.
And as a final thought. Which woman would you rather have as your grandmother? I know I am clear!