Women proudly growing out their naturally grey hair has always held a fascination to me.
The time for using a 20 year old to market to the over 40s market is over. I interviewed three of the Grey Models for their thoughts to what growing out their natural hair means to them. Their answers provide some amazing insight.
What does being a Grey Model mean to you?
Beverly Clark: I am honoured to be a Grey model to carry the message to other women that anything is possible at any age. I had such negative body image when I was younger, I would have never imagined being a model. I feel better about myself and respect my body more than I ever did in my twenties.
Nicola Griffin: Being a grey hair model means a great deal to me . I feel that I can help push forward the fact that having grey hair is liberating and gives you freedom to be yourself , I feel lucky that I can demonstrate that’s it ok to stop dying your hair , it doesn’t mean you turn into a old granny. I keep spreading the word of how to go with your natural grey / silver. Change your colours, let the silver shine through. I feel a real ambassador now for being natural healthy glossy grey/silver women in your 50s / 60s / 70s /80s.
Alex Bruni: Grey Model Agency is an exciting new venture in the modeling world in that it aims to supply older models to the fashion and advertising industry putting them in roles that are normally given to younger models. Therefore being a Grey model means a lot to me, as I am keen to dispel prejudices and stereotypes about being an older woman and an older model. We are as diverse in our older years as we are in our younger years. Grey is carrying that message and is set to make a sweeping change. I have been actively involved with organisations aiming at changing the portrayal of older people in the media so Grey’s agenda really resonates.
What do you do for your health and wellness?
Beverly Clark: I teach Pilates so I do need to be a role model for a healthy life style. For me that means alignment of mind, body and spirit. I love walking in nature everyday if I can, it grounds me, and sets me up for the day. I enjoy relaxation, meditation and yoga. I also sing and I’m learning piano, being creative keeps me vibrant.
Beauty at any age is an inside job. Fortunately I have never smoked and for the last 12 years I haven’t drank alcohol, I’m sure that helps with my well being and peace of mind. I eat healthy most of the time, avoiding white flour, sugary processed foods. I do enjoy a curry, dark chocolate…. occasionally!!! Lots of laughter, water and earl grey tea !!!!
Nicola Griffin: I eat very well. I feel it’s important to think about which foods you eat, I drink veg juice and eat plenty of fresh fruit/veg. I do drink wine but am careful about the amount. I feel also a positive outlook on the future keeps me focus on working hard. Being happy and feeling well are the 2 main thoughts each day. I always feel really well when my diet is full of really good foods, not expensive foods but just fresh and not processed. Walking the dog every day helps me feel good too.
Alex Bruni: I do watch what I eat in the sense that I make sure my body gets the right nutrients, though I do not obsess over food and drink. My motto is ‘eat or drink everything but in moderation’. I have lived by it for decades. I avoid going to bed on a full stomach, it interferes with my sleep.
I exercise daily and by that I mean that I follow a ballet based programme which combines barre work with cardio and mat work – I did spend much of my life in and out of dance classes and dance is my grand passion, I wanted to be a professional dancer but life took me elsewhere. The technique is called Sleek and was devised by two professional dancers, Victoria Marr who danced with Birmigham Royal Ballet and Flik Swan who was recently dance double for Lily James in Cinderella. I do this programme everyday, for 30 to 45 minutes, six days a week. I do it at home, participating in classes through videoconferencing or using streaming workouts. Sometimes I go to dance classes, for fun. I believe that exercise is fundamental to well being and it has to be done regularly and systematically, just as one showers and brushes one’s teeth. I make sure I sleep enough and relax. I love going out to see exhibitions and performances and from time to time I pretend to be a tourist in London where I have lived since I was 19 and wander around taking pictures and sightseeing. It gives me great pleasure to do so. I also try to spend time on my own on a regular basis, I am very sociable and love being with people, but I need to be alone to recharge.
What change would you like influence in the world about the perception of age?
Beverly Clark: I would like to influence the world about the perception of age by doing all the things that people say you can’t do after you become a ‘certain’ age. Acceptance is the key, if we accept ourselves, our inner light shines out. People will accept us for who we are. No amount of plastic surgery will ever do that. Be authentic, be fearless, believe you can do it. I’d like to think with age comes wisdom. Wives, mothers, sisters, friends, lovers!!! We are all these and more. Lets embrace the women we are, and the women we were meant to be. Magnificent, powerful, and beautiful at any age.
Nicola Griffin: I think the perception of age is changing fast. We have great older people to admire, my favourite models are a lot older than me, 65 & 86. So at 55 I feel young. I don’t feel old at all. In fact I feel the best I’ve ever felt. Age has nothing to do with it, it’s simple really age means nothing, if your well and look your best, being happy and positive with a thirst for living, this is what I’m finding in my aged group and above. Seeing more older models would be helpful in changing the perception of age.
Alex Bruni: I would like people to embrace growing older without any anxiety simply because it means living and I would like the media to support this, through images that do not stereotype age. Ageing should be celebrated, it is not the end of fun, on the contrary, it gives you discernment and the ability to rely on your experience to live a better life for yourself and with others. I also believe that love is very important, especially love for oneself. If we spent more time appreciating ourselves and our bodies as they are – we breathe and move and this is truly wonderful – we would get rid of much anxiety about looking this or that way and growing old would no longer be something to fret about.