This 53 YO Model Is Embracing Her Greys And Breaking Age And Beauty Barriers In The Fashion Industry. What A Star!
When I’m in my 50s or 60s, I want to keep my hair au naturale, in the shade of gorgeous grey. Like Caroline Labouchere here. I’ve tried convincing my mom to give up those toxic dyes and her touch-up appointments and embrace the salt and pepper look, but she won’t budge. Maybe that’s how most women feel because having grey hair sort of validates that fact that you’ve reached the ever-so omnious ‘old age’. Still don’t see what’s wrong in that but that’s how it is.
Even today women believe ridiculous age-related beauty myths like white hair is only when you’ve given up on your life or red lipsticks is a complete no-no when you reach a certain age. I call BS. And so does this woman, a fashion model I must add, who’s literally showing a middle finger to these rules and boasting her grey hair on the glossy pages of the biggest fashion magazines. Caroline Labouchere became a model at 53 years of age and proudly wears her hair an ombre blend of ash grey and nickle grey. She is the only Dubai-based grey model in the industry and revolutionising the fashion and beauty norms with every hair flip.
Ironically, grey hair was one of the biggest beauty trend of the year and women in their twenties and thirties were obsessing over the look, dying their hair stunning silver. However, if a women past her prime flaunts her naturally grey hair, it’s somehow looked down upon. Isn’t that weird? We are glad we have women like Caroline Labouchere who are smashing these beauty standards and finding their silver lining in their naturally grey hair.
Caroline Labouchere’s hair started to grey prematurely in her 20s but she didn’t really feel confident with her look at the time. She said in an interview with a fashion magazine that it took some time for her to come to terms with her grey locks and truly accept her look. “I dyed my hair in my 30s and 40s, dipping in and out of going natural. I gave in to peer pressure and conformed to societal norms. If you don’t have the support of friends or family around you when taking the decision, other pressures will stop you in your tracks,” she says.
But she eventually threw her dye bottle and thank goodness, because she was discovered by the British Vogue in her 50s while they were looking for a grey model and she never looked back since. Another grey model who started landing ad gigs from biggest fashion and lifestyle brands later in life and made a strong case of grey mane is Yasmina Rossi. She featured in a swimwear campaign in her 60s and with her natural beauty and even more natural hair. She is known for her enviously flawless grey mane that could give any hair model a run for her money.
Back home, there is a serious dearth of representation of models of all ages. Young models with luscious dark hair are still the runway fixtures on the Indian ramps and we hardly see any grey model embracing any brand billboards either. While we do have a handful of male models who are quite the silver foxes in the fashion industry like Daljit Sean Singh and Nitin Mehta but no names of female grey models come to mind.
A few years ago, a fashion designer Anu PD started modelling in her 50s for social causes. She told Hindustan Times, “My friends wanted me to get into modelling but I never took it seriously. Now, having done ramp and print ads, I want to give it my best.” Apart from this, in the recent Gaurav Gupta’s runway, his friend-cum-flatmate, Poet Navkirat Sodhi was spotted rocking her greys but that’s just about it. And might I add, she looked gorgeous.
While many male celebrities like Akshay Kumar and Anil Kapoor have owned the salt and pepper look on screen, actresses only seem to embrace the look once they are off the showbiz, barring one or two (think the legendary Ratna Pathak). You could say this is the result of the deep-rooted gender stereotypes which makes a man owning grey hair socially acceptable and applaudable, while a woman doing the same is welcomed with ridicule, causal remarks and unsolicited advice on how to look young and put together. SMH!
And it’s not just camouflaging your age with a dye bottle that falls into the grey area (excuse the pun), there are million other so-called laws of beauty that stop women from being themselves and show off their natural features, regardless of age. As Caroline Labouchere told Grazia, “Going grey could be a metaphor for other natural traits that people cover up such as wearing make-up or glasses because they think that is required. I say take the leap on whatever your ‘grey’ is!” So, ladies stop hiding your greys or wrinkles or whatever the world thinks it ‘not acceptable’ and do whatever the hell you want just like these grey models are.