One of the most talked about models of the year isn't Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen or the gaggle of early twenty-somethings who partied their way through recent Fashion Weeks around the globe, it's Jacky O'Shaughnessy, the 62 year-old face of American Apparel. O'Shaughnessy, who only began modeling in 2011, is one of a number of mature models who are challenging assumptions about age and beauty and at the same time grabbing headlines for the brands they represent. "I love when these women are paid attention to," Kristi McCormick, the founder Matchbook Company, which does casting for magazines and advertising tells Yahoo! Shine. "Women in their forties, fifties, and beyond, are better models than they were at 18. The brands are probably getting more out of the photo shoots. The models are great ambassadors for the companies." Cindy Joseph, one of the most successful older models working today and the founder and CEO of BOOM! By Cindy Joseph tells Yahoo Shine that it's about time. "When society sees beautiful, happy, healthy women being represented, it changes the perspective on what aging really is. You can be full of vitality, passion, and adventure at any age." She adds that the trend also sends a positive message to younger generations about growing older.
It's good news that the fashion and beauty world is starting to embrace more diversity, but using mature women is also about the bottom line. A 2012 study found that women over 35 were 200 percent more likely to purchase an item featured with an older model. Patty Sincular, who represents legendary women in the industry such as Beverley Johnson, Cheryl Tiegs, and Carmen Dell'Orefice for Trump Model Management, puts it succinctly, "Everyone wants to see a more perfect version of themselves."--Sarah B. Weir, Yahoo Shine