As a makeup artist for casts in Broadway shows and for celebrities and models, Laura Geller has worked her magic on women from ages 19 to 90. For the past 24 years, she’s had her own eponymous make up line, which is carried in stores everywhere, and has become a star on QVC. We’ve always loved her products and attitude (see this video our beauty editor Cheryl Kramer Kaye made with her), and now we love her even more for making a bold decision: From now on, all the models her company uses will be over 40.
To put up only young faces is not aspirational anymore.
“Women want to know that they can look like a 60-plus woman, or a 50-plus woman, or a 40-plus woman, and they identify with those images,” Geller said in an article in Allure. “We really have done a real, deep dive on our client, and we have seen that a good portion of our clients are over 40.” They’ve not only taken note of their age range, but also their decibel level. “[Our] mature clients have spoken loudly, and we heard them. They’ve said things like, “We want to see us. We want to see our faces in your social campaigns.”
By featuring mature models, Allure says, Geller is changing the narrative on what’s aspirational in beauty-brand imagery. For eons, or so it feels, youth has been considered the ultimate in what women are after. “To put up only young faces is not aspirational anymore,” Geller reports. She uses her own experience as an example. “If I’m interested in a product—whether it’s clothing, skin care, or whatever it may be that I am interested in for me personally—and I’m looking at images of young women who could be my daughters, I’m thinking that this product may not be for me or be intended for me, and I’ll probably shy away from it.”
Mature women have probably always felt a bit miffed that they didn’t see themselves in advertising and marketing, but they accepted the status quo. Today, women aren’t hesitant to express annoyance and dissatisfaction. (NextTribe often hears from readers if our fashion stories include photos of young models, even if that’s the only images we can get of the products.)
“To be very fair and very transparent, I think we didn’t address [this issue] for a long time,” she continued. “We thought that an older woman would look at a younger woman and see that as aspirational. But she’s very vocal now, like myself, and we now know it’s very important that [inclusivity] is not just about skin tone, it’s not just about size— it’s about diversity in age.”
Geller reports that her entire team is on board with the new direction, and the company’s social media feeds are filled with women (both famous and not-famous) who look like us. It’s refreshing and encouraging and yes, truly aspirational. Geller is smart to recognize that the most effective marketing campaign is one that makes you feel the prize is within your reach. Thank you!!