Susan Sarandon is the new face of L’Oréal. (Photo: Getty Images)
The beauty industry is often the subject of criticism for promoting unattainable ideals of beauty, weight, and age. But the tide may be turning. There is a growing trend of fashion and beauty brands celebrating age by tapping brand ambassadors in their 60s, 70s, 80s, even 90s. Charlotte Rampling modeling for Nars at 69, Joan Didion looking effortlessly cool for Celine at 80, and Iris Apfel, 93 collaborating with and modeling for MAC Cosmetics. The latest is actress Susan Sarandon, who it was announced today will be the newest international brand ambassador for L’Oréal Paris at age 69. The actress will be joining the brand’s other over-65 spokesmodels Helen Mirren, 70 and Diane Keaton, 70.
L’Oréal is definitely making a statement, by choosing three brand ambassadors over age 69. The message? That beauty clearly transcends age. It also seems that the brand has made a conscious choice to choose a celebrity ambassador for every decade. Julianne Moore is 55, Naomi Watts is 47, Lara Stone is 32, Blake Lively is 28 and Karlie Kloss is 23. No matter what age you are, they have a spokesperson to reflect where you are. With a dearth of models over 30, it’s a smart choice that is being noticed.
What’s interesting about the celebrities who have found modeling work later in life is that in addition to being beautiful, they are strong, successful, dynamic women. It seems that while choosing models in their 20s is all about beauty trends and looks, there are more factors involved when making the picks for women over 65. “Susan is a cinematic icon,” stated Cyril Chapuy, L’Oréal Paris brand global president. “She is strong, charismatic and talented, and has a compelling sense of self. Her outspoken activism, captivating film work and authentic charm continue to inspire women to be fearless and believe in their convictions.” In addition to her acting work Sarandon has been an activist speaking out on LGBT rights and environmental issues. She is currently UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Sarandon’s perspective on aging is also inspiring: “I look forward to being older, when what you look like becomes less and less an issue, and what you are is the point.”
For Sarandon, the partnership with L’Oréal was meaningful. “The brand has always been a leader in helping in the empowerment and development of women. The very first time I heard ‘Because I’m Worth It’ [the brand’s motto], it definitely was a shift in the framing of why you should look good. It had to do with women becoming the master of their own lives and decisions. It’s an extremely powerful statement that has transcended time. Beauty comes from the inside; it’s a state of mind. I’m proud to be a part of their message and to represent the L’Oréal Paris woman.