It’s taking time, but the media and the movie and television industries are slowly starting to give older adults a greater presence that doesn’t just pay lip-service to a more age-positive reflection of our society. And a Russian modeling agency has recently taken this celebration of aging one step further and embraced the natural beauty of older adults by employing models mostly over the age of 60.
The world’s population is undeniably aging, nearly every country in the world has a growing number and proportion of adults over the age of 60 in their population. And according to the United Nations, by 2050 the number of older adults is expected to double and to triple by 2100. In short, there are more seniors living longer lives and that’s not changing any time soon, but our attitudes about aging need to adjust to a new reality. Seniors are working longer, living longer and want to be included in the conversation.
According to a recent article in Vogue, photographer Igor Gavar started a project using retirees as the subject of his photoblog which has developed into a full-blown modeling agency called Oldushka. Models working for the agency range in age from the young male model Sergey, 45, right up to age 85, proving silver hair and wrinkles are no less beautiful or interesting than smooth skin and long blonde waves.
Age diversity is showing up not only in magazines and blogs but also on the runway where designers are increasingly featuring older models helping to bust stereotypes about age, beauty and style. Instead of marginalizing older people, opportunities like modeling help empower older adults and break down stereotypes about aging.
Gavar’s clients who hire older models are under contract not to photoshop out any wrinkles or grey hair. His models are not for hire to promote anti-aging products or services, keeping in line with the agency’s values that age, wisdom and experience rather than height and weight are the most interesting qualities of his models.
For more inspiration and a glimpse into how older models are helping to break down stereotypes, check out oldushkamodels on Instagram.