Shaking Up Beauty Standards: A Photography Revolution on the Way?

Shaking Up Beauty Standards: A Photography Revolution on the Way?

If you think that your fashion imagery has to be all about young models, think again. Being trendy today is focusing on seniors. And what we might consider their imperfections is what is making them so appealing. 

The fashion and beauty industry has always evolved around the young. A fleeting moment celebrated as the unattainable goal for all, especially women. With the demographic boom, the cards are being re-shuffled to accommodate a new clientele. Retirement is no longer branded as an act of aging gracefully but has become just another period of living life to the fullest. Seniors have the means to enjoy fashion and make-up, and do not want to be camped exclusively in the grandma's panties department. 50s are the new 40s, hair trends are pushing the silver mane in the spot light, and older women's closest are filling up with sexy lingerie. Standards of beauty are getting a makeover.

Nicola Griffin, 56 year old British model and single mother, has been featured in a Sports Illustrated campaign, and just shot an editorial for Slink magazine. The American plus size magazine enrolled photographer Roberto Aguilar to create a sizzling story around her and some alluring lace bras and body suits.

Roberto was born in El Salvador and raised in Miami, Florida. Discovering his love for photography at a very young age, his curiosity led him to the darkroom at the age of ten. He moved from Miami to El Salvador, then Paris, and finally London in 2004. He was the main in-house photographer for Tigi Haicare for 11 years working alongside Anthony Mascolo. Now freelancing, he is known for romantic and sexy imagery with a touch of class and strong composition.

Being an advocate of real beauty in his personal work, he approached this shoot as any other. He saw a beautiful subject and wanted to create a pleasing image. He had discussed the ideas prior to the shoot with the editor-in-chief and knew what he had to achieve on the day. The only difficulty seemed the location and timing, as they only had one small hotel suite to shoot in, and had to leave before three in the afternoon.

The most important thing for me was to capture her strength and confidence. Nicola is very comfortable in her own skin and I absolutely love that. There was no image manipulation other than color gradation done in post production. This is was Slink Magazine is all about: positive body image.

The results are refreshing; Nicola is sensual and confident. Reality is finally desirable.

All images used with permission.

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10 Comments

Sean Shimmel's picture

Anna, such an intriguing quick read. Bravely beautiful model. Thank you.

Dave Kavanagh's picture

I love these. I think this (like a lot of things) comes down to intent. Neither the model or photographer are trying to portray a typical "young" model look. There's no need either as she looks great as she is. I've seen this type of thing done where the intent seems obviously aimed at making the model seem considerably younger then they are and it often comes off as a failed attempt.

Anna Dabrowska's picture

Exactly it is capturing reality and not morphing it and it looks good!

Jason Ranalli's picture

This market segment is interesting and frankly I'm surprised there isn't more of this - or perhaps there is but folks this age are not likely to plaster their pictures all over the internet so we don't see them.

In any event, the baby-boomer generation is one that has refused to slow down and constantly goes for the most they can get out of life...that IMO is what you're seeing here. Someone strong who refuses to let age be anything more than a number.

Composition and lighting are fantastic.

Brendan Baker's picture

People must LOVE working with you...

michael buehrle's picture

i think that many people will agree with you but won't say it because then it's open season on them. if everyone doesn't love every pic then the group jumps on them for it. these forums have become so PC it's not even funny. let's face reality, i might love something and you may hate it, that's ok with me. i'm not gonna bash you for your opinion of it. there is too much hand holding these days. when i learned, if it was off then i was told it sucked and how to improve it next time. if my subject sucked then i was told it.
that being said, i love it, wink wink.

Dennis Skyum's picture

Hat's off to her for being comfortable with her body. These are some classy looking images. But if this in any way shakes up the borderline deification of the young and fit, I'll eat my hat.

Studio 403's picture

I am 69, will be shooting some ladies in my bracket, I am inspired to press on. Be fun to push this look where I live. KL

Henry Thad's picture

I love this, very interesting perspective.