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Maye Musk: ‘This is only the beginning for me’ as a model, aged 69

Maye Musk walks the runway at Concept Korea during New York Fashion Week

Youth is not everything – at least not 69-year-old model Maye Musk. But, as Alina Isachenka reports, is her success more than just a trend?

The recent “Spring 2018” shows in New York, Paris, Milan and London saw a record number of models in their 50s and 60s on the catwalk – 27, according to the industry’s forum, Fashion Spot.

Does this mean that the fashion industry is finally breaking with beauty stereotypes and becoming more age-diverse?

“I’ve never worked as much over the past 50 years as I did in 2017,” says 69-year-old model Maye Musk, mother of billionaire entrepreneur and Tesla founder Elon Musk.

Canadian-born Musk started modelling in South Africa at the age of 15, but it’s only in recent years that her career has picked up.

Musk signed a contract with IMG Models, who also represent supermodels including Gisele Bündchen and Gigi Hadid.

She also appeared on the covers of New York Magazine, Elle Canada and VOGUE Korea. And she starred as the oldest brand ambassador for American cosmetic company CoverGirl.

A fashionable grandmother of 10, Musk believes that allowing her hair to naturally whiten has helped her career. But being a successful model comes with certain challenges.

“I have to plan all my meals and snacks every day, or the wheels come off and I gain weight,” says Musk, a nutritionist with two masters degrees.

“It then takes two weeks of being really strict to lose it. I’m a UK size 8, so not skinny.”

Maye Musk with her son, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk at the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

Debra Bourne, a director of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk – an initiative that aims to promote racial, age, size and body diversity in fashion – attributes much of the success of older women in modelling to social media.

“With the growth of social media through platforms like Instagram we have seen very successful examples of where elder models have created huge audiences themselves,” says Bourne, a psychotherapist and a former fashion editor.

This is certainly the case for Musk, who frequently posts photographs on Instagram where she has almost 90,000 followers.

“There is less competition when you’re older, but also less jobs,” says Musk. “If you keep on working and posting your work, you can build up a following.

“Also, you can be booked directly from your photos and don’t have to go to castings.”

With sweat and tears

“I think many designers believe the current focus on silver-haired models is merely a trend that will be over next year so they can return to tall, thin, young colts,” says Rebecca Valentine, founder of Grey Model Agency, which focuses on models aged 35+.

Launched in 2015 to ‘represent the new diverse older population’, London-based Grey Models works with clients such as London Fashion Week and Hunger fashion magazine, and represents models including Vivienne Westwood’s former muse Sara Stockbridge and 82-year-old Frances Dunscombe – one of the oldest models at the agency.

To Valentine, who is also an experienced photography agent, the emphasis on older models “is a response to market pressure where, for the first time, this ageing group are refusing to sit down and shut up.”

“They are the generation of rebels, punks, rockers, rappers, gay-coming-outers after all, they are used to being listened to and when they are not they shout louder and demand more,” she explains.

An older model is seen wearing Prada for Hunger Magazine

She believes the industry is catching up with the trend, but admits the process remains challenging.

“They [older models] can see that this is a hard mountain to climb with much adversity, prejudice and tradition to fight.

“It is wonderful to be surrounded by such strength and optomism at work,” she adds.

Beauty = youth?

But not all industry experts agree on the rise of older women in fashion.

Vincent Peter, co-founder of SILENT modelling agency in Paris, says: “You can see older women on an anti-ageing cream advertisement, but they are unlikely to be booked for high-fashion jobs.

“Occasionally they are on a catwalk but rather as an exception. I don’t see any trend here.”

Maye Musk became the oldest model to be the face of CoverGirl last September

While the fashion industry may hold on to its rigorous age frames, Musk continues to secure jobs worldwide and hopes to work well into her 70s and beyond.

“It’s been amazing to see how brands, magazines and designers are focusing on real stories from older women.

“Young models love to see me on a modelling job as it gives them hope for the future. My hashtag is #justgettingstarted.”

Henry Sapiecha

DUTCH GIRL AGES 12 YEARS IN ALMOST 3 MINUTES SHOWN IN THIS VIDEO

Lotte Hofmeester was filmed once a week every week since her birth in October 1999.image www.socialselect.net

Lotte Hofmeester was filmed once a week every week since her birth in October 1999.

It took Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s daughter Lotte 12 years to grow from a full-cheeked infant to a coy 12-year-old girl on the brink of adolescence.

But you can watch this incredible (and inevitable) evolution take place in less than three minutes, thanks to Hofmeester’s video “Lotte Time Lapse: Birth to 12 years in 2 min. 45.”

Hoffmeester filmed his daughter once a week, every week, since her birth in October 1999. As she was about to enter adolescence, he decided it was time to share this visual history of his daughter’s growth with the world.

He strung the videos together and sped them up, creating a time-lapse video of sorts that has gone viral on the Internet. In the last week it has racked up close to 2 million views on Vimeo and YouTube.

“She was changing at such a rapid pace that I felt the need to document the way she looked, to keep my memories in tact,” Hofmeester said in an email to the Los Angeles Times.

The images in the video are not static – so the video lacks that creepy slow morph that we’re familiar with from people who take their picture everyday.

Hofmeester said it wasn’t always easy to get Lotte and her younger brother Vince to sit in front of the camera every week.

When they didn’t feel like it, Hofmeester said he’d ask them questions about their lives, trying to stall them until he got the shot.

Hofmeester said he decided to share the video with the world now because Lotte is entering puberty. “She’ll be changing a lot over the coming years, but primarily on the inside,” he said.

But of course, he will continue filming.

LATimes

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Henry Sapiecha

Australian woman hits 108 years of age & has never been sick.This is her story.

Esther Penn 108 yr old woman image www.goodgirlsgo.com

An inspirational Melbourne woman who has just celebrated her 108th birthday has shared her secrets to a long, healthy and happy life.

Esther Penn is believed to be the oldest Australian woman still living independently in her own home at Forest Hill.

She has never been sick and still manages to tackle everyday domestic chores, including looking after her 44-year-old great nephew, Jason.

“She still gets around,” Jason told 7News reporter Jackie Quist. “She’s been cooking for over 100 years and she still cleans up after me everyday.”

She’s also a dab hand with an iron.

“I’m probably the only person in the world that has his underpants ironed by a 108-year-old,” Jason joked.

A retired dressmaker, Esther has never smoked or drunk alcohol, and attributes her longevity to healthy eating as a child.

The eldest of three, Esther never married.

“I never found anyone I liked and I was too busy looking,” she said.

She still remembers the introduction of the motor car, as well as both world wars, and her war effort in a munitions factory.

“I was filling little shells for aircraft,” she said.

As healthy as she was then, Esther has no intention of ever going into a nursing home.

She believes a cup of tea and lots of laughter will keep the doctor at bay.

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Henry Sapiecha