Initially launched in June 2023 on social networks by Jacynth Bassett, a British entrepreneur, the hashtag #Ilookmyage (I look my age) has been far more successful than its author expected, particularly internationally.
The #Ilookmyage has been launched on social networks to encourage women to accept themselves as they are. With #Ilookmyage, women share photos of themselves without filters or retouching, proudly showing off their wrinkles, gray hair or any other sign of aging. A huge number of women from all over the world have joined the movement on social networks like Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook and others.
This hashtag joins many others around the representation of women over 50, such as #greyhair, #wrinklesonmyface, #ageismisneverinstyle…
Behind these hashtags are women, as Claire Flury testifies on Linkedin, who “don’t recognize themselves in the representations of women in this age bracket that the media inflict on us” and want to change this representation in society. It’s also a movement that goes against previous trends, where cosmetic interventions to “correct” or “slow down” aging were recommended to “stay young”.
At a deeper level, it’s ageism – age discrimination – that women want to combat, and which they say they feel strongly about from their fifties onwards. In its 2021 report on ageism, the World Health Organization warns that ageism has a negative impact on people’s physical and mental health. Of 52 studies on the impact of ageism analyzed by the WHO, 50 conclude that people who have experienced ageism are more likely to adopt one or more of the following risk behaviors: unbalanced diet, poor medication compliance, excessive drinking or smoking.
Cover of Vogue USA September 2023, picture in this same edition
These hashtags are gradually changing society, but other initiatives are also contributing. A case in point is the September cover of Vogue, featuring four well-known, mature models:
- Linda Evangelista, 58,
Cindy Crawford, 57,
Christy Turlington, 54, and
Naomi Campbell, 53
posed together with “minimal retouching” to the delight of readers who had rarely seen them on magazine covers in recent years.
Source: Rapport 2021 sur l’Agisme de l’OMS