Forget fictional billionaire Christian Grey and his ruthless sex addiction. Move over Anastasia Steel. There’s a new ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ in town. We’re talking about an exciting new lingerie campaign from UK brand JD Williams called ‘Over 50 Shades of Grey’ which has nothing to so with BDSM and everything to do with celebrating beauty of a certain age.
We’re bombarded with images of youth and heavily-photoshopped women in the majority of lingerie campaigns we see today. A UK study by YouGov suggests that three out of five women, who are aged 50 and over, feel under-represented in the media.
However we have seen some exciting developments lately with news of 80 year-old author Joan Didion becoming the face of high fashion label Celine, and Dame Helen Mirren becoming the new face of L’Oreal. It seems there is a slow shift happening in response to the demand of consumers, but the battle is far from won.
Capitalizing on the major press surrounding the movie based on the popular books by British author E.L James, the ‘Over 50 Shades of Grey’ campaign shows clearly that beauty isn’t based on a specific number.
The mature market currently stands as the UK’s fastest growing fashion sector, which is now worth £6.7bn and is emerging as Britain’s most powerful consumer group, yet it’s widely ignored, reports the Daily Mail.
JD Williams spokesperson Carie Barkhuizen said: “We can expect to be bombarded with images of young women looking luscious in lingerie at this time of year, but what about the more mature woman?”
“Interestingly, our research also discovered that 52 per cent of UK women feel most confident over the age of 45, so what better way to showcase that confidence by featuring mature models over 50 looking just as fantastic – and sexy – in lingerie as their younger counterparts?”
“Age is just a number and I think our campaign proves that you can good in lingerie at any age!”
“There are now nearly 14.7 million people in the UK aged 60 and above,” said Diana Moran, presenter for AgeUK’s radio station The Wireless to Huffpost UK. “In fact, there are more people aged 60 and above than under 18, and more pensioners than there are children under 16!”
Model Alex B, who starred in the campaign told HuffPost UK that she’s “delighted” that older women are finally being represented more.
“I’m so proud to be part of this campaign,” she said. “I’ve been very vocal about lingerie for older women being modeled by older women, and being part of this revolution has meant a lot for me.”
Representation is everything. The day when fashion understands using normal women to market to everyday consumers actually empowers women to spend more, perhaps there will be less complaints about the lack of diversity in campaigns.
For now we are happy to celebrate and promote every brand that chooses to go against the grain and portray a wider definition of what beauty is. Something that is closer to resembling the real world.