It transforms the fashion industry!
74-year-old model battles ageism and redefines beauty, Today.com reports.
Carolyn Doelling has had a fulfilling life, spending most of her career working in banking, telecommunications and various non-profit organizations. It wasn’t until she retired at age 70 that she began to notice that the way the world looked at her had changed.
“It didn’t take long for me to realize that people expected a lot less of what I could accomplish, and I also noticed that I was starting to feel invisible. So my first thought was to do something about it because I’m not invisible, ”Doelling told reporters.
It was then that she decided to reinvent herself, connecting with a new goal of making sure to be seen, starting by wearing brighter colors. She quickly discovered that she wasn’t the only older person to feel this, hearing much the same thing from other people her age, which prompted Doelling to embark on a quest to discover a new purpose. .
“I think the idea of not having the purpose and not having that kind of connection is what makes you feel invisible. And I’ve heard so many people say the same … My friends and family recognized me, sure, but the general public – the “right on the street” audience – totally ignored me. No one seemed to notice or care who I was. It was as if everyone in this culture of ageism agreed: you are done, your job is done. You are no longer needed. And with the kids and the husband gone, your goal for us is questionable, ”Doelling said.
A little trip to a Californian boutique changed her life. There, Doelling was asked if she had ever considered modeling, and the rest is pretty much history. Today, the 74-year-old adorns printed covers, across social media and on the catwalks, wearing a designer outfit from head to toe. Before now, she had never modeled, hardly taking pictures; now she can’t get enough.
“I have to say the modeling has never been in the picture. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a photo of me in advance because I was always in the last row …[But now] just wear those clothes, and the whole process is so exciting. Learn how to pose and ask the photographer to give you great feedback, ”Doelling exclaimed.
Now, the bright colors have become her signature, a stark contrast to the dark and dreary colors she wore in retirement. Doelling seeks to show people that they can reinvent themselves and fight ageism. She joins an elite group of senior models, including Maye Musk, 73, who became a CoverGirl ambassador, and Ernestine Stollberg, who burst into the fashion world in 2017 at age 95.
“My aspiration is just to be the role model for others to watch and say, ‘You know what, she’s 74, she rebooted and reinvented herself, and maybe I could do that too,’ Doelling said.
The ultimate goal of the mannequin is to create more representation for the elderly to see themselves reflected.
“I really hope that the people who can make choices about who they use as role models will broaden the representation of who can represent their product… I say I oppose height, ageism, hairdressing and colourism. I covered all of the “isms,” ”Doelling said.
Congratulations! Thanks to you, we can!
Photo courtesy of @ ashleybatz / @ doellingcarolyn / Instagram