By Roberto Muñiz, President & CEO
In its September issue, Conde Nast fashion and beauty magazine Allure announced that it will no longer use the term “anti-aging” in its pages. Writes the publication’s editor-in-chief, Michelle Lee: “This issue is the long-awaited, utterly necessary celebration of growing into your own skin—wrinkles and all. . . But changing the way we think about aging starts with changing the way we talk about aging.” Ms. Lee bravely holds to account the magazine industry for its role in promoting anti-aging stereotypes. “Whether we know it or not, we’re subtly reinforcing the message that aging is a condition we need to battle—think antianxiety meds, antivirus software, or antifungal spray.”
While acknowledging that “Americans put youth on a pedestal,” the editor implores readers to “agree that appreciating the dewy rosiness of youth doesn’t mean we become suddenly hideous as years go by.” Seventy-two-year-old, Academy Award-winning cover girl Helen Mirren (The Queen) is held up as an exemplar popular figure “who’s embodied sexiness for nearly four decades in Hollywood without desperately trying to deny her age.”
Online, the magazine has launched a range of interactive features to support its campaign, including a gallery of 29 celebrities who are taking a stand against anti-aging that features the likes of Cate Blanchett, Yoko Ono, actress and Supermodel Andie MacDowell (“I dated a guy recently who said I looked really good for my age. I was like, why not just, ‘You look really good’? I never went out with him again.”), and Drew Barrymore (“When I look at women who have not messed with fillers or Botox, I love looking at their face[s]. I love the grace and the story that women are telling by aging naturally.”).
These interactive features also include video segments with Betty, 101, and Helen, 104, in which these two cool centenarians are asked the secret to happiness and longevity. “If there’s one inevitability in life, it’s that we’re getting older,” Ms. Lee concludes. “Repeat after me: Growing older is a wonderful thing because it means that we get a chance, every day, to live a full, happy life.”
Allure’s campaign is equally moving, inspirational, and bold; our great hope is that other influencers will follow in taking up this cause. The call to action issued by the popular magazine is especially heartening to us here at Parker, given all that we do each and every day to help change perceptions about aging and empower older Americans—whether partnering with universities; expanding services from traditional models; embracing connectivity through technology, and off-campus programs and community partnerships. Around here, we call it #WithIt, and we applaud Allure for helping to make aging part of life.