Younger women, older women and power

You would have to be living under a rock not to have heard about the #MeToo movement.  It’s all we hear about these days… women of all ages claiming sexual abuse particularly when they were younger.

This is not a political blog and so I’ll leave the commentary to the pundits but I can remember back in the late 70s, a university classmate asked me if I wanted to attend a march for women.  I asked, “What is the march for?”  She answered, “To give women more power!”  I thought to myself… MORE power?

Of course, I come from a family of very strong women.  My unmarried grand aunts worked until they were the age of 65 and you’d have to be physically and emotionally tough to work at a sewing machine most of your adult life!  And, my grandmother was about as strong a woman as you’ll ever meet!  Whenever my grandfather got carried away with his pronouncements on religion or politics, my grandmother would banish him from her kitchen with just a few words, “That’s enough!  Get out of my kitchen!” He would look at us, smile and leave for a long walk only to re-emerge several hours later for supper.

My mother was strong.  The day that my 6th grade teacher threatened to give me the strap if I ever forgot to do homework again, she literally threw me in the car, drove to the school and told the principal (in her very broken English) that if anyone ever laid a hand on me, she would call the police.  He answered that a “little strap” never hurt anyone.  I saw many boys being given the strap in those years, walking back to their desks, tears streaming down their faces.  It was an all-boys school.  The strap was part of the education system.

Is it just me or are older women taking center stage?  Lancôme rehired Isabella Rossellini at the age of 65 to be their new spokesperson.  And Iris Apfel was just interviewed recently at the age of 96 (!) looking absolutely fabulous and sharp as a tack!

And in a world where one’s employment opportunities narrow as one ages, I can’t help but admire the late Diana Vreeland, who at the age of 68, was hired as a Consultant to the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

I look forward to seeing older women in perfume ads.  Older women can be strong AND desirable.  Wouldn’t it be fun if Lancôme used its money and creative power to shoot Ms. Rossellini in a new perfume ad!  I certainly hope that they don’t use her for wrinkle cream.  THAT… would be such a wasted opportunity.

Leave a comment


  1. jacardella

     /  March 23, 2018

    Great article.

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Andrea

     /  March 24, 2018

    All well said!

    • We’ll see what Lancôme does with Isabella Rossellini. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for another great perfume launch!

      Thanks for writing.


  3. Sophie

     /  March 29, 2018

    Cette chère Iris! Je l’adore! Ainsi que les autres belles dames qui figurent dans “Advanced Style” !
    “More is more and less is a bore” 😊

  4. Sophie

     /  March 29, 2018

    “She worshipped at the Altar of Accessory” (Iris Apfel talking about her mother).
    So do I ! 😁

  5. Tara C

     /  April 20, 2018

    Remind me to discuss the #metoo phenomenon when we next meet up, I have some insights for you.

    As for Isabella Rossellini, I saw a video of her talking about Lancome’s offer to rehire her at 65 after firing her at 40 for being too old. They contacted her by phone it seems, and she insisted that they should meet in person so they knew what she looked like at 65 but they insisted it wasn’t necessary, they definitely wanted to hire her back. No idea what products they will be featuring her to promote.

  1. Pierrette Mireault (1929-2018) | The Perfume Chronicles

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