'I’m 44 and I look my age.' The anti-ageism campaign that's going viral.

This year I turned 44 years old and I'm officially in my mid-forties. While I am comfortable in this midlife era, I am still coming to terms with my ageing face and body. 

What am I supposed to look like now I am 'middle-aged'? Is it normal to have a sagging jawline, or do I need to get it 'fixed'? Do I 'embrace' my greys or just go blonder?

There are a lot of mixed messages about how to 'age well' as a woman and I am used to seeing and writing about famous women over 40 and 50 who look more like they are 25: think Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman and Gwyneth Paltrow. But even in 2023, it is unusual to see women over 40 in the media who don't look objectively 'young', youthful or ageless.

This lack of representation of women in the media is exactly why Jacynth Bassett, founder and CEO of The Bias Cut and Ageism is Never in Style launched the 'Ending the Age of Invisibility' project with the UK charity The Centre for Ageing Better.

Watch: A collection of the 'I Look My Age' clips for the Ageism in Never In Style project. Post continues below.

Video via Instagram and Ageism is Never in Style

The project includes beautifully shot photos of real women in their 50s and 60s that Bassett is offering for free for businesses to download and use in campaigns.


"Representation – particularly in media – influences how we see ourselves, and how others see us," Bassett writes on the Ageism is Never in Style website.

"It boosts self-worth, self-esteem and creates a sense of value and validation within society. And with our population ageing, retirement age increasing, and over 50s being encouraged back into the workforce, it’s more vital than ever that women over 50 feel seen and valued."

Before launching the project and viral social media campaign that has encouraged millions of women around the world to share videos or photos with the 'I look my age' hashtag, Bassett conducted a survey to explain why improved representation matters. 

The results were depressingly clear: 88 per cent of the surveyed women over 50 felt poorly represented in the media. 

Almost two in three (66 per cent) women ceased to feel represented in the media from the age of 46, and over half (55 per cent) of UK women over 18 say the way they are portrayed in the media makes them feel ‘bad about ageing.’

I completely relate to this 'feeling bad' part.

Because while I theoretically know that ageing is a normal part of life and a privilege that not all get to experience, I am constantly confused by how few women I see of my age and older in the media who don't have my sagging neck or jawline.

And that doesn't mean I don't want to see women like JLo or Aniston out there looking fabulous in bikinis at 50, but there is room for women of the same age who look different. 

Like the women depicted in Bassett's campaign, who I have become obsessed with looking at on Instagram.


I love seeing photos of these beautiful women with grey hair, blue hair or blonde hair. Women who have had some tweakments, women who wear makeup and can pose in wild yoga positions or women who have crow's feet and sagging necks. 

Women in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond who are confidently looking at the camera exactly as they are and just owning it. Women that look like JLo and Gwyneth, yes, but ALSO women who look like me and my friends. Women who all just look great – but also look their age.


Because to 'look your age' (however that looks to you) is not the bad thing we have been told it is, and yet we have been sold the notion that to 'look good for your age' or 'young for your age' are compliments.

Not so, says Bassett.

"All of these phrases are outdated and ultimately meaningless," Bassett says in an interview with The Retail Bulletin.

"We all look the age we are supposed to look as we all age differently. Ageing is not a monolith. Yet ageism in society has resulted in warped, stereotypical, narrow-minded perceptions of what ageing looks like – especially for women.

"Ageing is a personal experience for every person and the aim of this campaign is to champion diverse representation of ageing; disrupt outdated, restrictive ideas of what it means to look a certain age; and for women in particular to reclaim ageing as a badge of honour."

Need some entertainment in your ears? Take a listen to this episode of The Spill. Post continues below.

Ageing is a personal experience and our choices should be individual ones – but none of us age in a vacuum. 

I have the means and have chosen some anti-wrinkle injectables in the past, but would I have made this 'choice' if I had reached my late 30s in a society where older women were SEEN and celebrated and not ridiculed or sidelined?

It is hard to say because for centuries we have merged female beauty and value with youth, thanks to the patriarchy.


Go to any art gallery or think of any major female character in a book written by a man and she will be a youthful maiden. Look at the smooth-faced ingenues in pop music videos, magazines, and advertising campaigns – the list goes on. 

Is it any wonder women find ageing harder than men? Men get called a 'silver fox' and we get 'crones' or 'hags'.

Is it also any surprise then why famous women do what they can to stay looking youthful? 

Celebrities like Madonna, or more recently Kristin Davis, have been cruelly picked apart for getting filler to change their naturally ageing faces. Whereas actor and director Justine Bateman was mercilessly trolled for 'looking old' and daring to have wrinkles. 

These horrified reactions to women just getting older – as nature intended – prove just how much we need better representation in the media of women of every age. 

I have a bit of a way to go before I can fully embrace my sagging neckline but with the help of this globally embraced campaign to celebrate women who 'look their age' in whatever way that means to them, it is a big step in the right direction.

To find out more about how you can get involved in the #lookmyage campaign for Ageism is Never in Style, visit the website or follow the project on Instagram @ageismisneverinstyle.

Laura Jackel is Mamamia's Family Writer. For links to her articles and to see photos of her outfits and kids, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

Feature Image: Instagram @ageismisneverinstyle / Canva

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