Ageism in the fashion industry is a growing topic of conversation as people feel judged for what they wear depending on their age..
Diversity within the industry has progressed massively over the past few years. Race, gender and size have all started to be considered more respectfully amongst fashion however judgement depending on age is still a large issue. People feel they must dress a certain way to ‘fit in’ and be respected as there is constant pressure with what individuals wear, particularly within the fashion working industry as well as day to day life. Have you ever changed your outfit because it wasn’t ‘age appropriate’?
To find out more about different people’s opinions on the important matter, Georgia Copeman, a 3rd year student at Solent University created the ‘CourAGE Campaign’, a project to shout out about the issues behind ageism within the fashion industry. Georgia aims to break the barriers between younger and older females within the media and create a relationship through fashion rather than a divide. She believes that especially as being a fashion student, there is a huge amount of pressure to keep up to date with the latest trends, however she is much happier when just embracing her own style. Carbon watched as she interviewed various people of different ages and backgrounds and got a range of interesting responses.
Rebecca Weef Smith, editor of Goldie magazine (a magazine for women aged 40 and above) gave an older insight into the insecurities within older female’s fashion dilemmas. “I feel as though there is pressure on my age group to dress age appropriately. My age group are told ‘don’t wear short skirts, cover up, be sensible’ so if we break out from that, it is looked down apon.” This shows that no matter what age you may be, everyone feels pressured at different times in their lives when choosing what to wear. Rebecca went on to explain how she personally doesn’t take notice of how people expect her to dress. “From a young age have just done my own thing. It is something I really try to get across to my readers. When styling shoots or personal editorial sessions I make it about yourself. It’s all about how you love yourself and sharing it.”
Goldie Magazine is one of a few magazines that are now pushing the boundaries when it comes to ageism. Many brands are beginning to use older female role models to represent their lines for example Author Joan Didion (age 80) being the new face of Celine. This is a great way of breaking the ageism boundaries, showing how women are just as successful as they get older. It is important to have older role models that inspire us to be whoever we want to be. Getting older is definitely not something that the young generation should dread.
So, leading back to our original question of ‘Do you want your career to end in 20 years time?’ the answer is of course no. You should never feel pressured to dress in a certain way and the true best way to show your passion for fashion would be through expressing yourself when deciding what to wear in the mornings.
Next time you look through your wardrobe, don’t hold back on an item of clothing because it is not ‘age appropriate’ or is ‘too young’ or ‘too old’ for you. Stand out and be proud of your style.
Words and design by Chloe Gill, images by Cainan Noah Jude Alpin.