Models over the age of 40 are enjoying a surge in popularity, as women turn to more realistic figures and faces from which to absorb their fashionable influences.
While international models such as 57-year-old Nicola Griffin dominate the group, there are models closer to home finding their ageing looks more popular than ever.
In an industry that has been forever dominated by young, thin figures, it’s a welcome change and an exciting challenge to those companies refusing to embrace diversity.
This month Griffin starred on the cover of Sports Illustrated in the US, a choice that was widely celebrated.
Appearing in @si_swimsuit this year was the highlight of my 2016 ???????????? I wish you all a happy and healthy 2017 ???? I hope to continue to be a part of the ground breaking changes in the fashion industry ???????? ????#swimsuitsforall #MiLkgirl #slayformilk #newyears #groundbreakingchanges #fashionindustry #ilovemyjob #grateful #excitedfor2017 #happyandhealthy #bodypositivity #diversity #bebold @russelljames @neilkraft ☺️ @theashleygraham @philomenakwao thank you @milkmodelmanagement ????❤️???? @si_swimsuit @swimsuitsforall ????????????????
Nicola has only been modelling for the past five years, after being approached by a scout at a bank in Nottingham, UK. She has since appeared in campaigns for JD Williams and Marks & Spencer.
Griffin said she initially felt uncomfortable at the Sports Illustrated shoot, but then realised her inclusion was important to represent older women.
“On the shoot I was surrounded by younger girls and I thought, ‘What am I doing here?’ But then I thought, ‘Thank God I am here, representing my generation’,” she told Telegraph UK.
Australia’s first mature age modelling group Silverfox Management Group — which represents models aged 30-98 and promotes itself as “the home of ageless beauty” — has three women over 40 who are proving popular thanks to the renewed interest in older models.
They are Nadine Bush:
And Jacky O'Shaughnessy:
Silverfox Management Group's Managing Director, Brigitte Warne, says the popularity of older models reflects society's changing attitudes about ageing.
"We saw the body positive movement a few years ago, the age positive movement is happening now. Brands are looking to talent who represent a more diverse and affluent customer base, have life experience, are relatable and, importantly, are worth talking about," she says.
Nadine Bush has only been modelling for a few months, after filling out an application online. After reducing her hours at her day job as a designer and consultant, Nadine filled in an application for Silverfox thinking it might be fun to do a job every now and then.
Christie Brinkley says she's battling ageism with this cover shot. (Post continues after audio.)
Instead, she's found herself working steadily, with recent shoots for Women's Day, RUSSH magazine and clothing label Camilla.
"It was like 'bang', you know, like straight away," she says.
Nadine says she loves being an older model because she has become more comfortable in her skin as she's grown older, leaving the insecurities of her younger years behind.
"I've just turned 54 in January and I feel like there's just a switch that flicked inside me and I really don't care what anyone else thinks," she says.
"Even if they take a bad shot or publish, you know, a not fantastic shot, I don't really mind."
And that's the magic of it. That's the true beauty of older models: they are all of us. They are comfortable in their own skin. They accept everything they are, and everything they are not, and that acceptance and peace shines through.
Nadine says her children are very proud of her.
"I've got two grown up boys, Zac and Josh. They're 27 and 30 and they're both like, 'Go Mum!' They're really very supportive and the boys give me great feedback and I think they're proud, actually."
The real sign of change has been the popularity of older models working in high fashion.
Daphne Selfe, 88, has been modelling for over 50 years and in 2015 was awared the Guiness World Record title for being the world's oldest working supermodel.
These women are so accomplished and stunning, it's enough to make older women around the world wonder why they bother to dye their greying hair at all. Not to mention leaving us wildly excited to embrace ageing, something Western women have long fought.
Although a glance at any of these incredible women begs the question: why are we fighting something we cannot change when it can be as beautiful as this?
Inspirational quotes about ageing from some of our favourite women. Click through the gallery.