Inspirational Women: Cindy Joseph
Cindy Joseph the make-up artist-turned-model and founder of the cosmetic line BOOM died on July 12, aged 67. She spoke eloquently on the subject of ‘pro-ageing’ (or embracing wrinkles and taking a positive approach to getting older) before larger beauty brands realised its significance. I was fortunate enough to interview Cindy for my first book Style Forever. We chatted on the phone for well over an hour and I found her to be warm, friendly and engaging. Here’s the Inspirational Women -Cindy Joseph page as it appeared in my book:
My Pro-Age campaign is about saying ‘enough already.’ We’re led to believe that life is an upward journey that reaches a midlife crescendo: the prime of life, and after that, the future’s doomed. I’m like the kid in the Emperor’s New Clothes who tells everyone the king is naked. I’m just telling the truth about women, beauty and age. We’ve been told a load of crock and now we want the truth.
Women are judged heavily on looks, when you’re young and beautiful you have value – and somehow we lose value as we age, that’s total make-believe. Matriarchs of families are highly respected. We need to see beauty all the way through life. I’m 64 and I know I’m getting better, smarter, wiser, more experienced in every area.
On young equals attractive
If a woman buys into the idea of the need to look younger, it doesn’t work. Trying to hide our age makes us look desperate. It’s crazy, people pay thousands of dollars for photographs of beautiful older women, like Georgia O’Keefe, and then they look in the mirror, see one wrinkle and freak out. We need to tweak our thought process. Women who live in fear are not attractive, happy women are attractive – that’s why we want to hang out with them. If you feel good inside it creates a charismatic attractiveness.
Looking fabulous is in the eye of the beholder. We all have a different viewpoint and we all have opinions. There is a standard of beauty in our society created by the media and fashion magazines – I think that’s what everyone is rebelling against, right now. I’m not interested in looking younger. I want to look healthy and radiant. I want to look like me – and I want to be a positive role model for younger women.
On the old lady revolution*
It’s about time. What the women of the Boomer generation are doing is unprecedented. We have reinvented every decade of our lives and are continuing to do so in our 60s and 70s; starting new careers, going back to college, we’re doing stuff differently to the previous generation. We’re a new wave of older women and manufacturers have finally recognized that.
My sincere condolences to Cindy’s family and thank you to Kathryn who informed me of the New York Times obituary.
*A term coined by Fabulous Fashionista Sue Kreitzman.