Six over-50s strip naked in protest against ageism

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Six people aged between 50 and 65 have bared all in a fight against ageism in advertising.

The dissenters stripped naked and took up placards bearing such slogans as: ‘Grey hair don’t care’, ‘Nobody puts Granny in the corner’ and ‘It’s our time to be seen’.

The pro-age photo shoot, conducted by over-50s dating site Lumen, features three men and three women and it is on billboards across Australia.

“I wanted to challenge the stereotype that over 50 is over the hill,” billboard star Dean told YourLifeChoices.

“Society is no longer aimed at you, but at younger generations. This is understandable. Previous eras saw 50 as the last phase of life, but today the over-50s are really just mature teenagers! I think Lumen is helping to show 50 isn’t necessarily halfway through life but can be a new beginning.”

The billboards are in response to a study that involved 2000 adults in the United Kingdom. It revealed that almost nine in 10 over-50s believe advertising directed at them needs to change.

More than half say there is too much airbrushing, over a third say the models look plastic and another third say that models and celebrities are made to look younger than their actual age, suggesting an emphasis on the downsides of getting older.

Overall, one third of over-50s say that advertising is ageist, nearly a quarter say that they’re made to feel “invisible” by the under-representation and one in 10 say that advertising makes them feel unattractive.

“Even though I still do all of the same things I did when I was younger, I often feel like I am invisible because of my age and I don’t think that’s right,” shoot participant Amey told YourLifeChoices. “I’m here to say that women are not taking it lying down and we’re not giving up on ourselves. We are just as valid and beautiful as everyone else, and the tide is turning!”

Fashion was the main culprit said 57 per cent of respondents, followed by beauty (42 per cent), health and wellbeing (36 per cent) and travel and leisure (30 per cent).

It could be that the advertising industry is simply out of touch with the 50-plus market. According to a recent study by B&T and Honeycomb, 81 per cent of those responsible for making these ads are under 45 years of age – 55 per cent are under 35.  

“The fact that almost nine in 10 over-50s think that advertising aimed at them needs to change should be a real wake-up call to the industry about the ‘everyday ageism’ all around us. Not only is it a case of underrepresentation, but heavily edited images are making older people feel like it’s not okay to be themselves,” said Charly Lester, co-founder and CMO of Lumen.

“We’re calling on advertisers to reconsider how they portray older age groups, and show them for the attractive, funny and real people they are. Just because you’re aged 50-plus doesn’t mean you can’t be sexy and have a little fun.”

YourLifeChoices research shows that there is no expiration date on ‘hotness’. Sixty-nine per cent of 1243 respondents in our Friday Flash Poll: Setting the record straight about sex and ageing said people their age were still ‘hot’ and 38 per cent said age was irrelevant when it came to ‘hotness’.

“Just because you’re 50 or 50 plus, you don’t have to be embarrassed,” said shoot participant Joel. “You should be proud of how you look regardless of your age. I think that society still perceives over-50s as ‘old’, but things are changing and you are as old as you feel. I feel 25!”

YourLifeChoices members share the sentiment.

“I agree there are plenty of hotties out there over 55!” wrote YourLifeChoices member Clarkey.

“Sex is one of the most common desires of humans, especially adults. And it simply cannot cease just because you are retired,” wrote Amie.

Almost seven in 10 respondents to our Friday Flash Poll: Ageism: how it works and how it affects the afflicted also said they experienced ageism, with one third saying it was in the form of being ignored. Women were also twice as likely as men to have experienced ageism.

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 26
  1. 0

    Oh my giddy aunt – yet another total non issue – what a waste of words and paper.

    • 0

      I couldn’t agree more; who cares? They have been using 14 year old female models to sell overpriced clothes to women for years so ageism doesn’t start at 50 and it isn’t a recent event. Advertisers will do whatever sells to whoever will buy, so get over it!

  2. 0

    Ageism affects especially older females applying for employment. I have never seen a photo/ picture with an accompanying article about or for LGBT people or on YourLifeChoices. Did I miss it?

    • 0

      Do not bring the alphabet people into YourLifeChoices as they are everywhere else. There are rainbow flags outside most pubs in the inner city. There is a lot more publication than their population percentage warrants.

    • 0

      Indeed – the fringe dwellers get more than enough coverage already for every petty gripe they designer build from whole cloth. A bit of respect for the rights and views of others would go a long way… before the Downfall….

    • 0

      “Ageism affects especially older females applying for employment.”

      It affects older males a lot more. The ranks of the unemployed are dominated by men.

      “I have never seen a photo/ picture with an accompanying article about or for LGBT people or on YourLifeChoices. Did I miss it?”

      Since (to bastardize Oscar Wilde) it’s the ‘love’ that nowadays never shuts up and is in your face everywhere, I’d say that hiatus is a positive.

  3. 0

    No, we are looked after with advertising each and every day. There are ads for Depends, ads for funeral insurance, ads for false teeth, ads for arthritis remedies, ads for foot problems and ads for machines to pulp our food. If anything, there are too many ads for older people.

  4. 0

    We will be in real trouble when they introduce Carosel. In the movie, people went to Carosel at age 30 because they were deemed to old. For productivity reasons it may not be implemented until age 45 or 50.

  5. 0

    We will be in real trouble when they introduce Carosel. In the movie, people went to Carosel at age 30 because they were deemed to old. For productivity reasons it may not be implemented until age 45 or 50.

  6. 0

    If those photos are over 50s please don’t show the over 60s.
    Maybe show the rest to really put this rubbish to the test. My wife won’t even wear a two piece swimsuit any more so the advertising will fall on deaf ears as it should.

    • 0

      I lost the ex in a supermarket yesterday (again)…. she hides in among all the other 70 y.o ladies who all seem the same shape and size…. honestly I looked at her for a full minute down an aisle before I worked out it WAS her….

      I might be going back to work meself once we move to the oceanside with the solar on the roof and all…. told me haemotologist so…

    • 0

      Trebor that reminds me about the old guy looking for his wife in the supermarket when he bumps into a young guy with the same problem. So he suggests that they help each other by teaming up and looking for both. First he asks what the young guy’s wife looks like. “She is tall and slim, big blue eyes, long blond hair and wearing a bare mid-drift. And yours?” “Never mind, we will concentrate on yours.”

  7. 0

    Wait one – being ‘sexy’ and ageism are the same thing?

    I’m happy to oppose ageism, which I consider possibly the most short-sighted and stupid idea of ‘management’, apart from their innate incompetence these days and their structural incapacity to actually see what is in front of them – but ‘sexy’?

    Oh…. sorry… you need ‘sexy’ to get a job these days…. or to belong to some special interest group or accredited victim industry group. Jeez – even the one bloke in the bank was coiffed and primped and precision razored in every way in his dressing and his perfume etc…. (I whispered to one of the girls that he should be called ‘Clark Kent – a mild-mannered banker from a great metropolitan lending institution’… now you know why they all love me)…

    (Jesus God!)

  8. 0

    I am quite happy to draw the line for sexy girls at 50 or even younger, also the older I get the less it matters.

  9. 0

    Someone needed to engage their brains before airing this photo shoot!. “Stripping naked to protest against ageism!” One of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia is taking off your clothes.
    Publicity they might get but will it be the right kind.

  10. 0

    Invisible – moi ? Maybe so, but then I’d much prefer that… and perfectly comfortable with it rather than kidding myself into thinking I’ve still got what it takes to do whatever it was that (formerly) seemed to mean so much.
    Gee, just thinking about it conjures up memories of; vanity, naivety, inadequacy, stupidity and narcissism. Hell it’s been a buzz – at least I’ve loved every minute of it so far, but having reached the point of supposed wisdom I’m now happy to grow old gracefully – if by keeping my clothes on ensures invisibility…it will also guarantee both mine and everyone else’s comfort.

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