Personal care brand Dove recently launched a campaign using the hashtag #KeepTheGrey to help combat ageism in the workplace. They asked that women participate by turning profile pictures grayscale and will donate $100,000 to Catalyst, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping build inclusive workplaces for all women.
The campaign was sparked by the recent firing of Canadian news anchor Lisa LaFlamme, a move which was speculated to have been motivated by her decision to let her hair go grey.
“Aging is beautiful. We should all be able to do it on our own terms and without any consequences,” the brand posted on Instagram.”That’s why we’re going grey.”
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Not surprisingly, the campaign went viral. And Dove, like SI Swimsuit, has long been at the forefront of combating ageism and fighting against the traditional stereotypes of what it means to be beautiful.
This year alone, we featured Maye Musk as one of our four cover models and, at 74, the oldest model, period, in SI Swimsuit history. In 2020, Kathy Jacobs was named a co-winner of SI Swim Search at age 56 and appeared in the issue the following year as a rookie, speaking out about how women are still sexy after 50. Supermodel Christie Brinkley also proved you can be sexy over 50, appearing in SI Swimsuit in 2017 at age 63, 28 years after her last SI Swimsuit location shoot.
“In the olden days, the numbers came with so many rules and so much weight on a woman,” Brinkley said in an interview with Fox News. “To me, to be turning 65, it really could be any number. The only thing is that once you pass 50, every birthday is an opportunity to take stock and say, ‘What else do I want to do?’ And then go for it!”
Paulina Porizkova had a similar take as Brinkley, posing for the magazine in 2019 at 54, 35 years after landing her first SI Swimsuit cover. Porizkova admitted to People magazine that “Although [she is] militant about aging women still being sexy and beautiful, [she doesn't] always feel that way.” Which is part of why advocacy for representation is so important.
We applaud the work being done across the industry by brands like Dove to remind us all that women are beautiful at all different stages in life, from pregnancy and postpartum to menopause. The goal is to show that women are held to different standards of beauty than men but shouldn’t be.
“The journey we’ve been on—to break out of the mold the world put us in—may sound familiar,” SI Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day said earlier this year. “It’s certainly familiar to the women we’ve chosen to be our models.” For that matter, it’s familiar to every woman out there.