For countless years too many industries to name have created campaigns and geared their efforts towards a miniscule lens of beauty. From largely praising slenderness as the only way to be attractive to using incredibly young models, the beauty industries have arguably left a legacy tilted towards the young. Aside from marginalising billions of us who are now no longer ‘young’, this unrelenting focus on ‘vibrant youth’ has been having significantly negative consequences on people of all ages. For seniors, not seeing themselves in beauty campaigns and ideals of beauty has had a myriad of negative consequences from challenging mental illnesses to self-isolation because they ‘do not fit the bill’. An incredible woman is tackling the host of prejudices against seniors and beauty, especially for women in her bold looks and unapologetic attitude.
It all started for the Fordham University professor when she went to meet a friend for a bite to eat during New York’s Fashion Week. There she was outside the Lincoln Center and suddenly a hoard of foreign journalist surrounded her and started taking her picture. Rather nonplussed, Lynn Slater simply stood there and looked her incredibly self, all of her incredible self at over 60 years of age. And she was fabulous. Her friend meeting her for lunch, upon seeing the spectacle stated, quite simply, “Look at this, an accidental icon” and that proved to be the inspiration for Lynn’s now thriving blog and instagram, Accidental Icon.
Hitting the nail right on the head, when speaking into the toxic culture that society and many industries have contributed to, in terms of value, beauty and age, Lyn says, “What surprises a lot of people is that I appeal to a lot of younger people, they don’t want to be afraid of getting old, they don’t want to be thinking I need botox at 20, they see me with my attitude, which is, I’m not 20 and I don’t care that I’m not 20, I think that feels very liberating to them.”
Lyn has been using her celebrity and platform to re-shape, reignite and re-evolve society’s dialogue on aging, fashion and beauty. When she was researching for her blog she “disliked most” of what she saw, “if the image is too contrived, if it’s too perfect after a while so many people are doing that, it’s boring”, “if I started to do contrived I would lose my most important ingredient which is this in the moment feel.”
Lyn Slater’s journey even while so powerful and moving now, is likely only at its beginning. Challenging what beauty is and who can access it is an important mission for us, so keep looking out for Lyn Slater and what outfit she will be expressing next.
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