Archives for : OLDER WOMEN

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


From exotic travel locations to risky sports to having babies, there's an awful lot you're expected to do in the last year of your 20s image

From exotic travel locations to risky sports to having babies, there’s an awful lot you’re expected to do in the last year of your 20s.” Photo: Stocksy

If you’re on the cusp of your fourth decade on this earth, chances are you’re up to the eyeballs in opinions about what you simply must do by the time you turn 30. From exotic travel locations to risky sports to having babies (yes, this week,we’re back in the good old bad old days where babies need to be popped out, pronto), there’s an awful lot you’re expected to do in the last year of your 20s.

Take this list of “30 Experiences You Should Have Before You Turn 30”: evidently your average aspiring 30-year-old needs to run a half-marathon, go skinny dipping, take an improv class (?), test drive their dream car (??), and learn to bartend (???) – among other things – before the clock strikes [whatever time you were born] on the final day of your 29th year.

(I was under the impression that an improv class was less an “experience” than an endurance test, but to each their own.) (6)

Yes, from financial decisions to wardrobe items to music festivals to essential smallgoods to eat, there’s an unending well of “before you turn 30”-related content out there; enough to cause an existential crisis in even the most well-lived 29-year-old.

So, as a person quickly approaching the eve of my third-annual 30th birthday crisis talks, I’d like to offer a different slant on the ticking time bomb: here are six things you should forget about once you turn 30.

Talking Shit About People

Yes, there’s a certain bonding quality in getting together and ragging on what such-and-such wore to the work Christmas In July party (etc). But once you get a bit of distance, you may come to realise there’s nothing more tragic than a group of professional adults whipping each other into a frenzy of bitchiness (trust me, just spend a day on Twitter). That’s not to say you need to become saintlike in your day-to-day interactions, but just take a step back and take stock of how much of your time and energy is taken up by whining or griping: chances are you’ll be surprised.

Worrying About Solo Travel

The truth about group travel, as anyone who has ever travelled with friends or a partner will tell you, is frequent arguments, an irritating commitment to itineraries and inevitable griping about where to have dinner. Solo travel, for all its occasional moments of crushing loneliness (shout out to sobbing in New York doorways or on the Tube), is just really not that scary. I realise this is drifting perilously close to “you must try solo travel once you turn 30” territory but, really, trust me: it’s the best.

Going Bungee Jumping

“Go bungee jumping” is such a naff, late-’90s tourism campaign idea of letting loose and letting go of your inhibitions (see also: skinny dipping, parasailing, certain brands of backpacking) before adulthood comes knocking. Do you think Marianne Faithfull’s Ballad Of Lucy Jordan would have been so poignant if the eponymous 37-year-old was mourning the fact she’d never jump off a bridge into a river rather than driving through Paris with the warm wind in her hair? Plus, I mean, why stop there: take up stunt driving or BASE jumping or build a rocket. In your 30s, it’s time to reassess your commitment to your extreme lifestyle.

Whether Or Not Your Bum Looks Big In That

I vividly remember waking up on the day of my 30th birthday: after decades of fretting about whether or not my body looked “right”, I looked in the mirror at my stretch marks, grey hairs and the fact my arse was slowly disappearing into my thighs, and I thought, “Not bad”. Don’t worry about turning into a “YOU GO GIRL!!” model of body positivity, because it’s perfectly reasonable to also think you look like an old sock filled with corks on any given day, but rather try to treat yourself with kindness and respect. Your body has made it through at least 30 years, and it deserves a hug.

Dating “Bad Guys”

By “bad guy”, I don’t mean the dude from your drama class who wore a leather jacket, smoked and once combed his hair with water from the toilet bowl. No, I mean guys (and gals) who are emotionally withholding, manipulative, sulky, mean or stingy, or all of the above if you’ve picked a real winner. It’s time, in your 30s, to realise you are worth more than the crumbs of love that some gadabout scrapes off the table in your general direction. Stop that!

Trying To Work Out What You’ll Be When You Grow Up

If you went through school in the ’90s, it’s likely you were being pushed to have an idea of your career trajectory as early as Year 9, when you had to start thinking about your Year 11 and 12 subjects. This can lead to spending your 20s gripped by a crushing state of work-related existential agony if you’ve not “made it” to where 15-year-old you thought you’d be “by now”. But really, 15-year-old you also thought Dougie the pizza guy was hot, what the hell did they know? Take a break from being your own worst guidance counsellor. It’s okay to just let your career unfold. (5)

Henry Sapiecha

German grandmother gives birth to quadruplets at age 65

babies in nappies x 4 image

A 65-year-old German grandmother gave birth to quadruplets at a Berlin hospital this week, with the three boys and a girl born prematurely at 26 weeks being in good health and having a good chance of survival, German TV network RTL reported on Saturday.

The network, which had covered the pregnancy, said Annegret Raunigk already had 13 children and seven grandchildren. The announcement of her pregnancy last month had sparked a public debate in Germany about its merits.

Raunigk, an English and Russian teacher in Berlin, had received fertility treatment in Ukraine and is the oldest woman in the world to have had quadruplets, RTL said, although other women of her age and older have given birth.

The four babies, born by Caesarean section on May 19, weighed between 655 grams an 960 grams.


Henry Sapiecha


copter on grass image

Increasing demand for Botox and tummy tucks in regional areas has prompted cosmetic surgeons to offer fly-in fly-out services to country towns.

The cosmetic medicine industry is booming in Australia, with some the uptake of some procedures increasing 15 per cent per year.

Regional residents are as enthusiastic as their city counterparts about getting cosmetic lifts, with FIFO cosmetic doctors touring small towns and renting surgical rooms to treat patients.

Dr Ehsan Jadoon has a practice in Perth but spends much of his time doing two-day visits to centres like Alice Springs, Broome and Esperance.

“The services we offer are not generally available locally, so patients would have to fly to Perth or Darwin to have a procedure done,” he said.

“So that’s how it all started. MORE HERE

Henry Sapiecha

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

Esther Penn 108 yr old woman image

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.


Henry Sapiecha

Madonna’s topless photos are a triumph for all women – whatever their age

madonna posing on bed image

Madonna, as she appears in a shoot for the latest issue of Interview magazine.

There’s no denying it. The last few weeks have seen the cup of celebrity naked flesh runneth over. And I’m not even talking about that jungle reality show.

Today, it emerged that the ‘Queen of Pop’ has posed, topless, for a spread in the December issue of Interview magazine. Wearing a bustier and leather glove, she reclines on a satin cushion, her hand to her forehead, her boobs bared.

It’s styled as a romantic image – very different to the black and white Knightley shot (which appeared in the same publication back in September), where she stared confidently down the camera, hands on hips.

madonna posing in leather gear image www.goodgirlsgo (1)

At the time, I wrote a piece defending Knightley’s right to be photographed topless. It was, I said, a feminist statement from a woman who’d been roundly criticised for having her modest cleavage digitally enhanced on film posters. Here she was, in all her natural glory. Hur-rah.

Her detractors didn’t agree. Who, they cried, wanted to see the actresses ‘fried eggs’? Some, unkind, commentators referred to her appearance in the Pirates of the Caribbean film ‘Dead Man’s Chest’.

Now, just weeks later, Madonna is under fire for committing the same offence.

Madonna, as she appears in a shoot for the latest issue of <i>Interview</i> magazine. Madonna, as she appears in a shoot for the latest issue of Interview magazine.

How dare she? At 56, no less. I’d wager you won’t see a report today that doesn’t mention her age alongside her cup size.

‘Still got it!’ a few have already trilled.

Groan. They’ve utterly missed the point.

Madonna’s decision to pose topless has nothing to do with showing-off her wrinkle-free cleavage – nor male titillation. That she’s an older woman is powerful, yes. But, to me, it seems pretty clear that this is far from a pop star trying to prove that she’s ‘still hot’ in her fifties.

keira-knightley image

Madonna’s age is just a convenient stick to beat her with. It’s an easy reason for critics to cry ‘put ’em away’ without, on the surface, seeming sexist.

Because there’s always something, isn’t there? Always a reason that a woman’s body isn’t deemed ‘suitable’. Breasts too small a la Knightley? No thanks. A middle-aged pop star? What the hell was she thinking?

Of course, Madonna is no stranger to nudity. Frankly, she’s been taking her clothes off for decades. Her decision to pose for Interview is, then, perhaps less surprising than Knightley’s. But it’s no less powerful a statement. Here is a woman still at the top of her industry, after almost 40 years. She’s weathered numerous musical trends and managed to stay relevant. Why shouldn’t she pose with her breasts exposed?

After all, she pretty much started it.

Indeed, just a couple of weeks ago, Madonna posted a censored topless picture of herself from the Nineties, in response to theimages of Kim Kardashian’s oiled, nude backside in Papermagazine.

‘It’s confusing,’ she wrote. ‘Nipples are considered forbidden and provocative but exposing your ass is not. #flummoxed’ (sic).

Here is a clear indication that Madonna knew her latest photo shoot would shock. Let’s face it, she’s saying, topless pictures of famous women always have.

We might be used to seeing pictures of seeing flat chested models in fashion magazines (think Kate Moss on the beach, or backstage at a catwalk show).

But a model’s body is a commodity – it’s the vehicle she’s using to sell products. For stars such as Madonna and Knightly, it’s different. They are selling their own image, not someone elses. Choosing to bear their breasts is a feminist statement, not a requirement. They are saying: ‘Here I am. Take me, or leave me’.

Of course, Madonna and Knightley both have exceptional body types compared to us mere mortals. But, the fact remains. When it all gets too ‘real’, we simply can’t handle it.

There’s undeniably an element of desire wrapped-up in all this. Knightley was criticised for being ‘unfeminine’. Small boobs aren’t traditionally seen as covetable. Neither are those of an older woman.

So, isn’t it a blessing that we have these strong, famous women brave enough to turn unrealistic thinking on its head and show us that the female body comes in many forms?

Madonna is flying in the face of what the naked woman ‘should’ look like. She’s controlling her own image, just as she’s always done. Her attitude? Just because she’s in her fifties, why should she hide away?

The sugary pink cardigan that exposes her breasts in the Interviewpicture, says it all. ‘I’m not ready to button-up like a little old lady. Thanks all the same’.

We all should applaud her (preferably while wearing cut-off PVC gloves) for it.

Telegraph, London

Henry Sapiecha

Esquire writer bravely deems 42-year-old women f-ckable

Long before there were listicles on the internet, magazine editors have devised the art of folding numbers into headlines to create intrigue.  And while women’s glossies tend to revolve around stories like “37 new winter looks under $500”, and “17 juice cleanses that won’t kill you”, the brains behind men’s magazines have focused their energy on a different kind of statistics – women’s sexual shelf life.

sofia marrow model image

42-year-old actress Sofia Vergara. Photo: Esquire/ Marc Hom

This month, Esquire writer Tom Junod has struck gold with his very own exclusive ‘numbers’ story. In the August issue of the magazine, Judod boldly declared it socially acceptable to sleep with 42-year-old women in 2014:

“Let’s face it: There used to be something tragic about even the most beautiful forty-two-year-old woman. With half her life still ahead of her, she was deemed to be at the end of something—namely, everything society valued in her, other than her success as a mother.

“ If she remained sexual, she was either predatory or desperate; if she remained beautiful, what gave her beauty force was the fact of its fading. And if she remained alone… well, then God help her.”

hot older women image

The story appears in the same edition that features 42-year-old Cameron Diaz wearing a smoking one-piece swimsuit on the cover, hinting at a brave future where (a very short list of) hot ‘early middle age’ women are no longer completely gross to sleep with.

According to Junod, the shortlist of acceptable 42-year-olds include: Cameron Diaz, Sofia Vergara, Leslie Mann and Amy Poehler. In case one is curious about what sparked this sudden liberation, Junod explains it thusly:

“Changes in sexual fashion are always mysterious. We assume that sex is a biological function, and therefore both beneath and

above the mere flutterings of style.”

Of course, men are not above succumbing to ‘mysterious sexual trends’. Just ask bromedy makers who gave relevance to ‘MILFs’ in today’s society, or the gossip columnists who pioneered ‘cougar spotting’ in the first place.

To make up for their advanced years, however, these female celebrities not only have to look beautiful but must also demonstrate a sense of humour about not being Kate Upton.

“It is no accident that every woman mentioned here has comic as well as carnal appeal, and entices with the promise of lust with laughs.”

Though above all, they mustn’t let their bodies go: “Of course, they have to work for their advantage; they have armored themselves with yoga and Pilates even as they joke about the spectacle. Still, what has made them figures of fantasy is not that they have redefined the ideals of female strength but rather their own vulnerabilities.”

But not all funny hot ladies would make the cut. Sarah Silverman (now 43), who hit back at critics for age-shaming, has apparently missed the boat to sleep with willing, trend-aware men out there.

Well, for Silverman and other celebrities who didn’t make it on Judnod’s f-ck list, there is always Tina Fey’s (now 44) wise words to reflect on: “I have a suspicion that the definition of ‘crazy’ in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her anymore.”

Because here’s nothing worse than a smart older women who refuses to shut the hell up about her sexual status quo, right?

Henry Sapiecha