Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Does this Photo Shock You?

It shocked me, and I am not proud to say that.

What disturbed me was the woman with the mass of red hair and no makeup.

I saw this photo in the entertainment section of the weekend Sydney Morning Herald. It headed an article about Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of American Vogue. The woman is Grace Coddington. She is a former model who started at Vogue magazine the same day as Wintour and is now her number two.

What shocked me? Do I even have to say? It was this old hag. To see an old woman in the entertainment section of the newspaper. An old woman who obviously has money and has not had surgery nor is wearing makeup.

Then it excited me. Grace Coddington is obviously a woman of courage and great self esteem. Imagine having the guts to look like that when your life is in the fashion world. Next to her, Anna Wintour looks 20 years younger. But she isn't. Grace Coddington has the courage to look her age. It is a radical statement in this time and culture.

And really, she looks kind of cool.

15 comments:

The15YearOldNaive said...

haha I agree with you!

luthien said...

absolutely!!

PJ's talking... said...

I no longer want to look 16 or 25... I'm over it. I finally want them to just see ME, whatever that is. I think she looks like someone I would want to know... interesting, intelligent, been there seen everything, and wise. A real person. How refreshing... ~PJ

nollyposh said...

i completely agree X:-)

mrsb said...

Love it! I'd rather see a woman that looks like that, than some plastic surgery mess that's trying to look young, but only looks fake.

Chris said...

Right ON.

lulu said...

I agree with the comments above and your final view, but not this:

What shocked me? Do I even have to say? It was this old hag. To see an old woman in the entertainment section of the newspaper. An old woman who obviously has money and has not had surgery nor is wearing makeup

Old hag?? Just because she has money, why should she have to resort to surgery? there are so few role models of older women looking their age and looking good and interesting. Give me Grace over Anna any day of the week!

And thank you for your comments on my blog by the way :)

Zom said...

Oh, Lulu I absolutely agree. I think so too, which is why I wrote the post.

What you quote was me writing what came into my mind when I first saw the photo. It was like my social conditioning came up and caused me to feel this shock and judgement. I called her 'a hag' to convey that shock.

Then as I step back, I begin to realise what I really think. That I honour her integrity and appreciate that there is a woman willing to look old.

And why shouldn't we look old?

lulu said...

thanks Zom
I appreciate your honesty. We are all socialised to believe that young = beautiful and old = ugly and therefore should be invisible (check out my other site www.theinvisiblewoman.co.uk !)

good for you girl ;)

Rochelle said...

Bravo for her. Having lived in that world, a wry thought crossed my mind -- something like I bet Anna quite enjoys that so she looks that much younger next to her...!

lisa cole said...

you have an awesome blog here ... but i'm going to have to slightly disagree with you on this one ... this was interesting and i looked up the ages of these women ... grace coddington is 68 (and that's a pretty bad pic of her) ... anna wintour is 60 ... they both should still be looking good ... they're not old enough to start looking like the crypt keeper ...

as far as the differences between them, they each have a different face shape, skin type, and coloring which accounts for most, if not all, of the differences between them ...

what's cool is that they are BOTH strong intelligent visible women working in a high powered industry and who look like the gorgeous individuals they are ...

women don't have to be ugly for us to admire them or think they're cool (and that says more about us than them anyway) ... the beautiful ones can have it going on too :)

Mixed Media Martyr said...

It is her confidence that does it! You couldn't carry it off unless you looked like you already were carrying it off! I admire that confidence. Confidence is beauty!

Lesley said...

Hi Zom, Just wanted to thank you for your comments on my blog about my first attempt at art journalling....then I saw this post and do agree with you very strongly.

At 52 I am coming to terms with my own aging process and becoming a grandmother (which is fabby).

Embracing your own wrinkles and sagginess when all the world around yoou seems pert and smooth is no easy task and I do find it difficult.

I find this picture uplifting and thank you for sharing it with us.

Lesley x

Lesley said...

....by the way - forgot to say...your blog is fabulous. Lots of inspiration.....
Lesley x

mandy said...

Hm...where it shocked you to see this woman being who she is, the photo struck me as beautiful. What a woman! I think this is a perfect example of why we should NOT all dash to the plastic surgeon. I love the character that shows on this woman's face. It is MY idea of perfection!!! I can only hope to become as beautifully old as she has.