Though the statement there’s no expiration date on sexy should go without saying (because duh), it’s one that does continue to raise eyebrows out in Medialand, given that it subverts dominant ideals about sex and beauty being intrinsically linked with youth.
Let's Subvert 'Sexy' Stereotypes
Our culture has been telling us “youth equals beauty” since ages ago, and has played out the stereotype that women, in particular, lose their sex appeal (or their sexuality altogether) once they get to a ‘certain’ age.
The ideology doesn’t match reality, and as any woman who has been around the block a few times will tell you, sex doesn’t stop at 50/60/70/80/whatever. So-called experts are suddenly in agreement, declaring that people over 50 have the best sex lives and uncovering the amazing truth that, shock/horror, women over 50 enjoy as much sex as those in their 20s.
C’mon media, give us a break already.
Sexual desire ebbs and flows throughout our entire lives, based on numerous factors, like whether we’re stressed out, how we’re feeling about our bodies, the place we’re in emotionally, how we’re feeling about our partner/s, etcetera, and has little to do with how many candles were burning on our last birthday cake.
The Truth About Age and Sex
Sexy is ageless. And, hallelujah, an increasing number of brands are starting to recognize this fact, using gorgeous over-60 models in a number of high-profile, and subsequently much-celebrated, advertising campaigns.
- At 82, and known as the world’s oldest working model, Carmen Dell’Orefice landed the cover of YOU magazine looking fierce and fabulous.
- At 66, Sarah Wiley’s career is just taking off, having just starred in one of Stella magazine’s beauty shoots.
- And most famously, American Apparel recently featured 62-year-old lingerie model Jacky O’Shaughnessy in a campaign, which they posted via Instagram.
Yes, the cynic in me wants to roll my eyes and acknowledge that perhaps this is just a well-considered publicity stunt. But the idealist in me wants to high-five the people behind these campaigns, no matter what their motives, for waking the world up to the fact that women can be – and bloody well are – beautiful and desirable and, yes, desirous at any age.