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Beauty is Truly Ageless – How Can We Make the Market See It?

Am a sucker for beauty and all things beautiful. My MPhil thesis was titled Concept of Beauty in Thomas More’s Utopia. You can’t go more obsessed with the notion than me. However, if you automatically associate beauty with the latest skincare product, I guess we are talking about very different concepts here. Although maybe the cosmetic industry is something I will be coming back to later. To exemplify my idea of everything beautiful, I will quote one of my favourite poets, Robert Burns:

“She Walks In Beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!”

I think this depiction of beauty is the most comprehensive and inclusive one and precisely, because so ‘generic’, can be applied to any creature or state of mind: human, animal, sibling, daughter – anyone and practically anything. Herein lies the brilliance of its universal relevance and applicability. Especially in our crazy 2020 pandemic, when we find ourselves confined to the claustrophobic boundaries of our homes – what with those never-ending rolling lockdowns.

It was a good year in one respect though – we were forced to take stock of our values and life path and maybe re-calculate the route to the future.

Am not going into the macro-issues of this surreal situation – am still writing a separate post about that.

Back to the beauty concept though.  Personally, for me, it’s such a multi-layered/multi-faceted phenomenon, that those minnow online “influencers” peddling makeup tutorials are a thing of the past. Reliques of the Pre-Pandemic times. In 2020, we have discovered our “bravery” to live without zillion cosmetic products and still survive. Aren’t we great? However, not everything you find online is a shallow silly muck – if curiously savvy enough, one can find some real gems of info and people. Speaking of which, stumbled on this truly fun lady on LinkedIn. We started to bond over our mutual love of cats and everything feline – from shape to nature. And then discovered that we are also in a similar trade, her, however being in her late 60s, is sadly out of work, because was cast to the scrapheap of the employment market – qualifications and skills irrelevant.

She sent me some media clips of her, and I was blown away – even just externally, she a totally gorgeous person with a Rapunzel-like never-ending mane. My first knee-jerk reaction was ‘wow, she would make an amazing natural witch in any Hollywood blockbuster’ and then I wondered how come none of the modelling agencies for seniors signed her up for ad gigs? To make a long story short, I have found some talent firms and am pushing her to contact them. She should not be a wasted beauty.

In between our encounter, I was reflecting on this totally insane paradox of Ageism and Longevity, whereby the former still hampers our quality of life and thus prevents the realisation of our full potential for the benefit of the human collective. Adrienne is a bubbly, ebullient person, a clear-minded highly skilled professional with tons of experience. A bit eccentric – like all cat ladies – but who am I to complain, right? She’d destined to live well into her 90s, if not beyond that, but what will her next 30 years look like?

With healthier lifestyles and advancements in medical science, all of us are destined to live unimaginably longer and in better health. But with 40+ being dumped like old socks by employers, our social cognition seems to be horrendously out of step with the physical reality. And nobody is brave enough to put a definitive stop to that.

Flash news – the pandemic won’t be over for some years to come, especially its economic and financial ramifications, as we are probably heading into a major global depression.

The marketing “guild” appears to be particularly stuck in the pre-2020 cycle. If anything, that year taught us all to sift chaff from kernell and realise which is really necessary for our existence. So bare necessities – in, excess – out. For the first, you don’t need any marketing at all, because the market knows where to find what it needs. But some of the trade “experts” are stuck in the same playlist doubling down on the bottish tactics of “marketing automation” – annoying pestering of existing and ‘potential’ customers with their offering, lamely justifying it by “when the pandemic is over…”. Flash news – the pandemic won’t be over for some years to come, especially its economic and financial ramifications, as we are probably heading into a major global depression. So neither private nor business customers will be back lavishly spending as they used to. Both simply won’t have the money for it.

Back to Adrienne, she a skillful professional who has been out of work for some time, due to ageism. She’s a gorgeous woman who would do any business good by serving as their brand ambassador. And she’s a great personal example of a new age of human development – a story that would push many products to the relevant markets.

Marketing gurus like to use the word ‘smart’ in almost every tutorial, lecture, and presentation. When you check the factual application of that notion in action, sadly it looks more like “monkey see, monkey do”.  Isn’t that why marketing departments, along with HR, are the first to be scrapped when the going gets tough? How many years have we been hearing about the need for a ‘story’ behind every company and brand? Well, there are loads of living breathing beautiful ‘stories’ walking around unnoticed and unsupported…Why? Because of the human myopic cognitive bias of Mailchimp doing the thinking for you.

Looking at “Adriennes” and the wealth of professional and personal insights they can offer, I can’t help but go back to immortal lyrics of  the Beatles:

“When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a Valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine

If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four

You’ll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with you

I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more

Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four

……

Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four”

I deliberately omitted the grandkids part of the song, because written in the 60s, that what was expected of the 60+. The warped realities of today are, that the 60s+ are much more vital and active than 60 years ago, but still treated as a ‘past due date’ surplus professional and social leftovers.

I will get to that age too, so “Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m sixty-four”? And I dread the answer.

Greyscale Photography of Woman Wearing Long-sleeved Top

Vickie Zismanhttps://vickie1.wordpress.com/
Historian and a blogger (a story weaver), Vickie daylights as a marketing communications professional, specialising in brand building, content, digital media and cross cultural environment. Works with businesses and organizations across all industries in the private and public sectors. In her spare time likes to deconstruct modern management myths. Believes: 1. The Torch of Erasmus still shines bright in the digital era. 2. Word carries the Power of Change - into a positive ROI as well. 3. Capitalism can be humane and benefit all, when applied wisely 4. Technology is the tool not the goal. 5. Human is ABOVE the Machine. Highly allergic to self-righteous hypocrites, universal moral preachers et al. Incurable, politically incorrect, cynic. Mad cat-lover. Vegetarian. Proud Israeli.

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