An industry that has long doted on physical change and improvement is transitioning to highlights and expressions for its breadth of individual, diverse consumer base. Some beauty industry leaders are burying ageist mindsets and vocabulary and replacing them with a new relationship between age and beauty.

In May, Martha Stewart emerged as Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit cover star. The 81 year old entrepreneur, chef, homemaker and domestic lifestyle superstar is the oldest of the outlet’s cover star since Maye Musk, who was 74. Stewart spoke out recently about embracing her sexuality at her age, and resisting the temptation to alter her face to look younger.

Vogue Philippine’s April cover star was a charming centennial, whose story as a Filipino tattooist was celebrated from within the edition’s inner pages. Apo Whang-Od, also known as Maria Oggay, is the 106 year old resident of Buscalan, a remote village in the Philippines. Here, she carries on the thousand-year-old practice of batok: hand-tapped tattoos etched from a pomelo tree thorn, a bamboo stick, coal, and water. She stands as Vogue’s oldest cover star to date, but her story focused on her social, artistic, and traditional impact on the ancient technique she continues to teach and practice. Her age and her history were revered and permanently put on display in her elegant and graceful cover photo.

The industry that has long boasted anti-ageing solutions is pivoting to reconsider the beauty in maturity. Some brands utilize terms that, on the surface, embrace aging, marketing anti-wrinkle creams and hair dyes as pro-aging or anti-anti-aging. But, as The Business of Fashion writer Rachel Strugatz noted, “nothing really changed.” In an April article for the platform, titled “Beauty’s “Ageing” Rebrand That Never Was,” Strugatz unpacked how brands have continued to sell consumers on age-negative creams, supplements, and serums, and offers the idea that maybe, that’s what needs to change in order for the industry to truly embrace the beauty of ageing.

The Intelligence take

This spring, Beck's beverages in Brazil released a beer for drinkers aged 70 and older. The limited-edition release is a tarter, tastier brew that makes up for a common loss of taste sensitivity that comes with aging (gracefully).

This coming fall, the ABC televised franchise "The Bachelor" will debut its senior citizen season, titled "The Golden Bachelor." One male Bachelor and a cast of female suitors will be announced in the coming months for what ABC calls a "whole new kind of love story — one for the golden years.”

Consumers of all ages are reconsidering old age, and are widely more accepting of all forms of aging or anti aging as personal preference. Some people are choosing to nurture rather than refine, or to rewire their careers with passions rather than retire and slow down their lives. Alternatively, when others choose to refine and retire, both perspectives are perfectly acceptable. The beauty industry may finally be adopting a changed attitude towards this life stage, where we currently see baby boomers and gen Xers reinventing what it means to age for themselves and for generations to follow.

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