Why Older Women Should Be Used in Lingerie Ad Campaigns

Jane Fonda wearing a nighty in an episode of Grace and Frankie
Grace and Frankie via Netflix

Companies know older women wear lingerie, right?

Why Are Older Women Not Being Used as Models in Lingerie Ads?

Just last week I wrote a piece on the best lingerie brands for women over 50.

Shockingly (yet not at all surprising), there weren't many brands that catered to older women—at least, none that were easy for me to find through a quick Google search. And I searched (somewhat) extensively.

I found one brand, Lonely, that actually used an older woman to model their lingerie. The rest didn't have a girl over 30 or larger than a size 0 showcasing their looks.

Even then, Lonely only used one older woman to model their lingerie, whereas they were more inclusive with their more youthful models.

I don't know why I was somewhat shocked, especially considering inclusivity has been a huge issue in the advertising industry for years now. A variety of humans of all shapes, sizes, colors, ages, genders, incomes, etc. is rarely ever shown in the thousands of ads we're exposed to on a daily basis. Everything is very, well, white.

I am by no means the first person to speak out on this issue, even when it comes to lingerie. Cora Harrington, founder of the Lingerie Addict, wrote an op-ed about what the lingerie industry needs to know about older women. I am here to echo those sentiments.

Women of any age can wear lingerie, so why does the industry make it seem as though only young, skinny women can sport the seductive intimates? Even when a brand does a fantastic job of getting a variety of women to wear their undergarments, they often leave out women over a certain age. Are they really all that inclusive then if they do so? I don't think so.

I'm only 26, so I am very well-represented in the models I see wearing lingerie I'm interested in. But when I get older, I won't see that. The same women that once filled my Instagram feed will be replaced by ones with fewer wrinkles and more toned bodies. That terrifies me. Not being represented means I'm no longer seen as "sexy" by society's standards, which won't be great for my confidence. I work tirelessly to love the body I'm in. So when the world is telling me I essentially don't matter by not representing women of my age, how am I supposed to feel?

I can't speak on behalf of older women, but I would bet they feel the same way as future me does—disappointed and a little bit sad.

Older women need to be shown in lingerie ads, because sexy does not have an age limit. It's time we stopped acting like it does.

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