Beauty Advice

The PRO AGE movement, with STUDIO10

Grace Fodor, the founder of makeup brand STUDIO10, meets with us to explain why her PRO AGE movement is so important.

As a society, we’re obsessed with youth. The idea of growing old is too often seen as something to fear and fight against with an arsenal of products and potions, lasers and lotions. I remember being apprehensive to turn 45 when I should’ve been a celebrating a birthday milestone. I might not have felt particularly different to the way I felt in my 30s or even my 20s but, culturally, I had been taught that this age marked the end of my youth – something women, in particular, are expected to retain at all costs.

Being labelled ‘middle-aged’ was desperately unappealing to me; it didn’t help that I was inundated with anti-ageing messages and surrounded by negative stereotypes that didn’t reflect how I lived my life. The truth is, nobody wants to be made to feel invisible or be regarded as past their prime, and I was determined to remain relevant, respected and connected to the world around me.

Creating the pro-age movement

I know I’m not alone in how I felt at that time in my life. A study conducted by Harley Street cosmetic surgeon Dr Julian De Silva revealed that 2,000 women felt they had become invisible to society at large by the time they reached 45 – and we perpetually see this illustrated in our everyday culture. For example, once actresses hit the midlife mark, many complain that the roles made available to them become limited.

Female newsreaders and presenters over the age of 50 slowly start to disappear from our screens. Women are encouraged to fear their future appearance by manipulative advertising campaigns designed to help tackle a biological process that’s entirely natural.

Of course, ageing isn’t an easy concept to navigate, and the psychological and emotional toll can affect men and women alike. Yet it’s a statistical fact that as men reach midlife, they are often rewarded with promotions, places on corporate boards, senior partnerships and increased salaries. In the same corporate landscapes, women are often still fighting for equal pay or side-lined to accommodate younger, less economically demanding generations keen to climb the career ladder. These feelings of irrelevance are so acutely felt by many women in their 40s and 50s that the experience is now identified as ‘Invisible Woman Syndrome’.

However, like many aspects of life, ageing is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you change the way you perceive ageing by adopting a positive, PRO AGE attitude, you can actually influence how you make the transition. That doesn’t mean you have to wholeheartedly embrace the natural ageing process, wrinkles and all, of course. For me – and for lots of other women – it’s about celebrating your age and making a conscious choice to age with positivity. Whether that means dyeing your hair, wearing make-up or committing to fillers is entirely up to you. After all, there’s no right or wrong way to age – just do what feels right.

Why language matters

The first step to improving the way we respond to ageing begins with how we choose to articulate it. You’ve probably seen the words ‘anti-ageing’ splashed across beauty products recommended for women as young as 25. By using the term anti-ageing, we’re subtly reinforcing the idea that growing old is a condition we need to avoid. For years it’s been a buzzword in the beauty industry, with brands pushing anti-wrinkle, anti-ageing and anti-sagging promises and formulas to convince consumers that a serum, cream or lotion holds the secret to eternal youth.

The fact is, we’re all getting older. No amount of serum or cream is going to prevent the inevitable. Bombarding women with anti-ageing messages from their twenties is incredibly toxic. This is the reason I founded STUDIO10 as a PRO AGE, rather than anti-age, beauty brand in the first place.

There’s no denying that ageing often presents a complex series of physical and psychological challenges to overcome, but I’m passionate about redefining beauty for mature women – and reshaping the idea of ageing, too. I want to inspire women to stand united and challenge the outdated misconceptions of middle age that leave us feeling invisible, undervalued and unattractive. And I want to inspire the next generation to stamp out ageism once and for all.

Join the PRO AGE movement

That’s why I want you to join my PRO AGE movement and help to tackle society’s outdated stereotypes (all too often perpetuated by ourselves to ourselves) that diminish our beauty, value and confidence.

As part of my PRO AGE movement I’m running an online exhibition entitled ‘Beauty Comes With Age’ – and I’d love you to take part. To join, just take a picture of yourself holding a white sheet of paper bearing your age and a positive word or phrase that describes how you feel about yourself right now. Then, share your image on your social media accounts – tagging @studio10makeup and using the hashtag #ageismisoldnews – so that we can exhibit your image across our feeds and call out ageism.

You can’t turn back the clock – trying to do that will only cause you unhappiness because it’s a battle you can never win. But true beauty is ageless, so own your years and celebrate your age loudly and proudly. By giving yourself permission to embrace the signs of ageing your focus will shift, and you can begin to enjoy the life you deserve. After all, age will never define us – only our inner self has the power to do that.

Find out more about STUDIO10

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