"What does real women actually like to be the age they are? No matter, change the way we do think If aging begins by changing the way we do talk about aging. Growing older is a wonderful thing because it means we get a chance to live a full and happy life every day. As a beauty expert, Allure's role is to help people grow up with self-confidence – to provide these stories, share expert insight and make people feel beautiful regardless of their numbers. That is why, together with AARP, we are growing cultural stigma about aging through its study of women's reflections on beauty, age and the media. Read on to find out how far we've come – and the work we still have to do to change the people on aging in the country. "
– Chief Editor, Michelle Lee
Fifty is the new 40. Fifty is the new 30. Thirty is the new 20.
Like hashtags, they are everywhere. The nominal value is the feeling-good mantra. On a deeper level, however, one thing is clear: aging is something to deny, to avoid, explain. Why is your age when you can pass for younger?
Of course, sociologists and TED-talkers can grow rhapsodic about how women of every generation are bucking norms and conventional wisdom about what it means to be in the 30's, 60's – for decades. But … what do women actually like to be, you know, the age is they? Do they embrace it? Pretend? Hide it? What does age recognition mean when we live in a culture that loves to play fuzzy maths with a women's social currency?
And so it is now – just over a year later attract launched its anti-aging campaign – to present a groundbreaking study of AARP to discover what 2,000 women, 21-22, really know about their age.
No question was beyond limits. Women were asked about their skin care systems, their body image, their biggest fear of getting older. What became apparent immediately is that the average women's attitudes about her "number" are much more nuanced than any expert would have you believe. While our culture tends to make sweeping black and white statements (Boomer women feel sexually invisible! Millennials are self-obsessed, and that's whittling away on their self-esteem!), Our relationship with aging is largely gray. And it is in the gray corridors that many popular age concepts are challenged.
For one, women of all ages (but especially Gen Xers and Boomers) are less likely to attach their boilers over older than over how often they see women who look like those in popular culture. In fact, 61 percent of women claim that they do not feel represented by images of women in the media. About three quarters of those happy ads celebrate all ages and wish they saw more realistic images of women in newspapers and social media. (Marketers, this is your alarm clock!)
And even when there is representation, women look back on images that do not really reflect what they see in the mirror. Half of all women acknowledge that they are annoyed by airbrushed pictures on newspaper tires. And yet – and yet – so much of their own personal lives are perceived through a filter. Of all groups, thousands of women are more likely to gain self-confidence from filtered images by themselves – and from scoring "likes" to social media.
While today's women can hide behind a filter or two, they are unapologically open to reveal their numbers. Only 17 percent of women doubt when they are asked to spoil their age. Perhaps it is because it is not at the forefront of their minds: Less than a third of women, from the twenties to septuagenarians, consider it a crucial factor in their lives.