Batsheva’s New York Fashion Week Show Displayed Gray Hair In a Statement-Making Way — See Photos

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All of these “real women” that Batsheva cast in its show are, of course, incredibly beautiful in a way that most people will find aspirational or maybe even unattainable (if you had told me they were professional models, I would believe you). And I do have to point out that, for all its wonderful age and race diversity, this show was lacking when it comes to representing everyday body types, especially bigger ones or disabled ones.

However, the importance of positioning mature beauty as something to admire at this current moment in time is not lost on me. Young people across TikTok frequently cower in fear or laugh hysterically when looking at older versions of themselves mocked up by aging filters. Red carpet events feel more baby-faced than ever, regardless of the average age of their attendees. Even my dentist is offering Botox these days (and not for jaw tension).

For context, I’m 29. That’s a sticky age when it comes to self-image and aging. Despite having the rigorous skin-care/hair-care regimen and plethora of cosmetic treatments any beauty editor has access to, I can’t control the fact that my face is changing and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. Or the fact that my dark hair is likely going to be streaked with white sooner rather than later. Despite what internet youths will tell me, I’m still very young. But teetering on the edge of 30 makes you think about aging in a new way, and for me, that applies especially to the ways I see women older than me represented (or not represented) in different industries.

When you no longer identify with the images of plump cheeks, textureless foreheads, and smooth undereyes that seem to be in every advertising campaign, on every popular album cover, and, of course, on every runway, you realize just how infrequently you see women over 40 represented in media in a way that values their aesthetics, not just their “wisdom.” Women of all ages deserve to be respected for their characteristics beyond the physical — but society often approaches younger women with unabashed, leering desire, meanwhile, older women are met with either a back-handed sense of pity about their loss of beauty or an ass-kissing attitude that suggests their cumulation of life experiences compensates for their lack of youthful appearance.

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