And then I came under fire

Recently I came under fire. I was asked to 'blog-sit' for a very good friend and wrote a blog post about Jane Fonda and her fashion cover and spread in the June/July issue of W Magazine. My point was that the fashion spread was a great example of a positive movement in our society that I dubbed anti-ageism. And I received backlash for it!

Comments to the blog post stated that this photo spread in W Magazine states the opposite, because Jane Fonda is in a photo-shopped fashion series where she poses and dresses as a much younger woman - so in a sense the ideal is still youth and not age. And then there was the push-back saying that of course she looks great, because she's had cosmetic surgeries to make her look younger, so considering that on its own made Jane Fonda anything but an exponent for an anti-ageism current in our society.

I knew this subject was going to be provocative, and I did anticipate that some would misunderstand the post as me celebrating plastic surgery and that 'as long as you look young everything is fine'. But that was far from point with introducing a subject like anti-ageism.

Photo: W Magazine/Steven Meisel

Photo: W Magazine/Steven Meisel

So just to reiterate: Jane Fonda is in a fashion photo shoot, which by definition is an idealization of the subject (model or clothing). It's a perfect world where everything is corrected (trust me, EVERYTHING is corrected).

What I  (still!) find interesting with this fashion series is that Jane Fonda could have been made to look like a 20-year-old, but she's doesn't - she looks like an idealized version of her age. If you were on the cover of W Magazine wouldn't you like the help of makeup, hair, wardrobe, good lighting, and post production aka Photoshop to look you absolute very best (be honest now!)?

My overall point was that a photo shoot like this - along many more examples of female actresses in their mid-seventies getting parts in films and TV shows - is creating a positive impact in our culture by putting a renewed focus on this group of women that is otherwise easily overlooked and discounted in our society.

Yes, we have a long way to go because our culture is still heavily youth-obsessed, but in the grander scheme of things I do think that this cover is a step on the way to a world where age plays a much smaller role.


2 Responses to "And then I came under fire"

  • Rossana R
    September 14, 2015 - 2:21 pm

    Jane Fonda is a beautiful woman and looks awesome with and without photoshop. But hey, if I was in a photo shoot, I would definitely love all the help and retouching I could get!
    Kudos to you for showcasing her and for reminding us that it is possible to still be productive in our old age! My mom always said that she was always too late for everything so I love hearing these stories that prove that it is never too late as long as we are willing to try and put in the effort!

  • Lise
    September 15, 2015 - 2:08 am

    If you were here I would kiss you for trying. But I went hard on W Magazine for not trying. Jane Fonda would be sexy in turtleneck, so why bother with Photoshop on 77 year old breasts. That’s why I think this cover is at step away ‘to at World where age plays a much smaller role’. Oh yes, I think we have a long way to go untill knowledge and not look is preferred in the context of jobs.

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