Eight years ago my silver hair led me from behind the scenes as a stylist to being in front of the camera.
Early on I was asked to rock a bikini with 5 women less than half my age, at 53 I'd been conditioned to think I was too old, it took a complete shift in my thinking to own it that day. To my surprise, the image went viral turning into one of those “Look who’s wearing a Bikini” moments…what made it into one of those moments?
Simple, It struck a chord, a woman in her fifties having fun looking youthful and confident in her skin. Not something we were used to seeing in the world of advertising. Up to that point, women with grey hair were relegated to modelling granny nighties, incontinence products and retirement homes.
It led me to wonder how I could empower those who didn’t share the same confidence some of us possess. From that moment my mission was “To be what I wanted to see in the world” to show my peers that we weren't invisible past ‘a certain age', especially in advertising. I wanted to show that mid-life women were a new breed, confident and comfortable in our skins, with little time or inclination to worry about others opinions of us.
So I dug deep to stand in front of the mirror and the camera to acknowledge what I loved about who I was and how I looked, but more importantly how self-acceptance made me feel. I really went under the bonnet to fine-tune myself, overhauling my skincare, makeup, my wardrobe and my attitude. I only took modelling jobs that showed me as that vital, youthful fifty-something I was, and yes I rejected all three of those 'other roles' instead, I modelled lingerie for Target, swimwear for Unfold, I played the mechanic for Special K and the art dealer for Holden.. oh and yes I played a granny but it was the Groovy Christmas Granny for Bonds! Last year I lent my face to DB Cosmetics to celebrate their pro age beauty campaign, so proud to partner with a company that realises everyone deserves to feel beautiful.
Now I'm home in Tassie I'm less available for interstate modelling jobs and that's okay, I don't feel the need to fly the flag quite so high. Why? Because I'm proud to say I had some part in striking the match to ignite the fire that led to my peers building a bonfire to light the way for many more self-possessed mid-life women. Silver is normalising, we cannot scroll through social media without seeing campaigns that represent them, now I have even more hope we are showing our brothers and sisters, daughters and sons there is nothing to fear from ageing but so much to look forward to.