Does the Industry Expect You to “Age-Out” of Blogging?

shutterstock_229770070

When I was just starting out in my career at the tender age of 22, an older industry veteran told me to milk it while I can, because “the industry LOVES young.” At the time, I smirked because I was young, and couldn't imagine anything changing that much which would skew away from being to my advantage, as long as I kept the enthusiasm, perseverance, and super hard work at a maximum.

I was naive, or disillusioned with “that won't ever happen to me!” in the same way you don't understand why your parents react in certain ways, (mainly acting like “psychos”) until you become a parent yourself, or have empathy for the lengths that certain women go to, in order to slow down the aging process, from a variety of degrees of aesthetic and cosmetic alterations.

This might be a bit of a loaded question, but does the fashion industry expect us to “age-out” of blogging once we hit a certain age? Do we need to simply disappear or rejigger the content that we provide because society doesn't expect us to continue along the same path, one that we had established and potentially even pioneered when we were younger?

Will we feel bad about ourselves, in comparison to the new wave of PYTs (pretty young things) coming onto the fashion blogging scene, and fade out due to a lack of esteem or confidence?

Or, will there be less brand interest for campaigns and advertising causing less money coming in, which as a result could cause a blog to shut down, or have to remake itself in order to monetize content?

Don't get me wrong: it's never a bad idea to continually evaluate and evolve your blog as you change, but there's a difference between wanting to, and feeling like you have to do it.

In speaking with bloggers in their late 30s and 40s recently, several of my colleagues have expressed feeling “pushed out” and looked over already, which seems ridiculous because these are all on-the-pulse, smart, entrepreneurial women who work very hard at what they do and how they look, and it seems very, very off that they should be feeling this way, when in theory, there should be decades of work ahead for them.

The great irony of the fashion industry is that it does project a young image, even for brands that have target demographics of women that are 60+, it doesn't feel “fresh” unless it shows a 20-something model in an active pose in the garments (if this is a subject you're interested in, check out the essay, “‘No One Expects Me Anywhere‘: Invisible Women, Ageing and the Fashion Industry” by Pamela Church Gibson, as part of this book).

IFB draws a great mix of readers to its community from all over the world and at a wide age range, so regardless of being 50 years old and starting a blog, 16 and penning your first post, or have had one for a long time, you may want to think about how you want to evolve your blog besides the point of how your interests may change, but from the perspective of aging. Consider how you would approach conventional standards of aging and expectations from a blogging perspective, and how you may buck the trend or embrace it and make it your own.

It's hard to refute that with aging comes a certain stigma and expectation to recede from the limelight, but I wonder if enough of us don't follow what's traditionally expected, if it's enough to change the cultural opinion on the matter and make fashion blogging the exception to the norm.

 

Have you considered the topic of  fashion blogging and aging? What are your thoughts?

 

[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

Related Posts

About The Author

Blogging at her site Fashion Pulse Daily since 2008 and working on fashion's editorial side since 2003 has lent Julia the acumen to think creatively and endure in the colliding worlds of blogging, fashion and beauty. New York City is her backdrop for inspiration (and many a outfit photo), where she is often found on her couch, feverishly typing away at her latest post, with her trusty feline at her side. Follow her on Instagram , Twitter, and Pinterest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

30 Responses

  1. dahi.

    i have never thought about it, but these are some interesting thoughts.
    and i really accept the fact that there’s a difference between wanting to change and feeling like you have to. of course there is.

    from beginning on, i have kept my own style and it also transforms, when you get older. i think that its very important to remain individual. then i don’t think theres a problem.

    Reply
  2. Willemijn Sofie

    I don’t think you will every be to old for (fashion) blogging. I met an dutch lady around sixty two weeks ago and she told me about her fashionblog and it is a very popular one.

    X Willemijn Sofie
    Amsterdam So fashion

    Reply
  3. Annette

    I am 52 and started blogging only 2 years ago. The 40+ scene is a worldwide community, we are very well connected. Networking and supporting each other are huge benefits amongst us mature bloggers.
    Maybe it is more difficult for those young bloggers to go with age and “fade out” but my style confidence developed over the years and I now use it to my advantage. No longer we need to show the latest It-bag but being confident with our own unique style is more important.
    You are right, there are still too many brands who use young models even when they are targeting at 40+ customers but I am convinced this will change over the years!

    Annette | Lady of Style

    Reply
    • Julia Dinardo

      Hi Annette,
      Thanks so much for weighing in on the topic and sharing your story (your blog is fantastic and I LOVE your style!!). “My style confidence developed over the years and I now use it to my advantage,” so true! Love this quote from your comment, thanks for sharing it, I think it really adds a lovely element to the story. Keep up the great work!

      Reply
  4. Faith Bowman

    I think that if your content resonates, you’ll still have an audience. The pint is to make them grow up with you by reflecting them. All the while understanding that one day you may be modeling adult diapers.

    Ok, that was a joke. But if your content is ‘age-centric’ and you don’t have a following that wants to grow past that, then that may be where the trouble lies.

    xoxo, Faith
    http://sassyethnicbohemian.wordpress.com

    Reply
  5. Melody

    I have thought about aging and fashion blogging a lot lately. I feel that in the end it has to do with the audience. Starting out, the blogging world (especially in fashion) seemed gear to much younger teen to early twenties crowd. However that is changing as the age range of bloggers expands. Veterans who paved the way in their younger years, now have an exciting opportunity to blaze new trails. They’ll show that a bloggers voice can stay (and even become more) important with change and time.

    I recently went with my mother to see Ari Seth Cohen of http://advancedstyle.blogspot.com/ show and discuss his ground breaking film. Everyone should see this. It definitely shattered my fears or growing older and staying relevantly fashionable.

    xo, Melody
    http://blingaholic88.com

    Reply
  6. une femme

    I agree with Annette. I started blogging at the age of 50 in 2007, and feel as though the audience for style blogs for our demographic is growing. Perhaps among the more fashion-forward/fashion industry blogs an emphasis on youth and “newness” is more prevalent, but in our niche, aging isn’t a negative!

    Reply
  7. Gracious Store

    The problem with the fashion industry is that they prefer to have forever sweet sixteens to model their clothes, they deceive themselves believing that fashion is only for the young. But the truth remains that most of those love fashion are not just sweet sixteens. There are fashion lovers in their thirties and forties and at this age, the fashion taste change, because our choices/taste change as we age. Aging does not mean irrelevance, it simply means a shift in perception, choice and taste. In the same way our blogging content/topics and will also need to change to draw audience from the age group beyond the sweet sixteens

    Reply
  8. Dawn Lucy

    I’m hoping that brands will see that 40+ women are a great target audience and use more age appropriate models (and bloggers!) to advertise to them. I started blogging at 47, so I don’t know what it’s like to be a PYT in the industry. I know I’m having lots of fun and meeting great ladies of all ages!
    OXOX
    Dawn Lucy
    http://fashionshouldbefun.blogspot.com

    Reply
  9. Accidental icon

    I am fairly new to blogging (I am 61) and have been amazed at the response I have gotten, not just from the over 40 bloggers (including the lovely Annette) who are very supportive and connected but also from younger bloggers, readers and followers on social media. I think that it is completely about the confidence I project and unique approach I have to style (if you look at enough blogs they can start looking the same). A recent article in WWD has the big headline, “Boomers, 21 Billion, Ignore Them at your Peril”. So things will have to change. Some brands like Dolce and Gabbana are showing “intergenerational” ads, with women of various ages. Maybe that’s the future of blogging…having woman across ages collaborating on a single blog. I think that would really be fun!

    Reply
  10. Kierra

    What I’ve noticed is the older women get the more thier blogs evolve into more lifestyle and family oriented. The blogs turn into documentation a of thier life( i.e marriage, kids etc) instead of just being about fashion/makeup etc.

    Reply
  11. CynthiaCM

    Good GAWD, YES!!! While I never really got the kind of opportunities as other bloggers, I find that I’m constantly being bombarded by more “mommy” type opportunities (even though I’m not a parent site and am currently child-free) than true fashion posts. I feel that at my age – 35 – the only way I can get fashion proposals or press is if I become a designer’s sponsor, which, well, I can’t do because I don’t have the funds!

    Reply
  12. Deryn @ Running on Real Food

    I’m not a fashion blogger but I could see how that could come up. However, I think there is room for everyone to succeed and there is millions of readers in every category. Plus, hard work never fades out 🙂

    Reply
  13. Maliha Rao

    This was very insightful. I am 35 and I started my blog two years ago but with my knowledge and background I was able to get where I am today faster than the 20 year old bloggers I know off who started with me. I believe its about the knowledge you share and how you share it. If you have a true readership even a 60 year old can be swaggalicious 🙂 I mean look at Iris Apfel! She is such an inspiration to all ages! <3

    Reply
    • CynthiaCM

      I think it also depends on HOW you blog. I don’t post outfit pictures very often (most of my Instagram photos are of food), so I don’t get clothing/beauty-related sponsorships. However, because I post food pics, I don’t understand why I’m not getting invitations to restaurant openings and product launches as often as I should! Oh well, I guess one day, if/when I become wealthy enough, I’ll just help sponsor a company. That’s when things will come in 🙂

      Reply
  14. Helen Carey

    I’ve only just started blogging at 52 3/4 so hadn’t thought about this aspect so very thought provoking. I was asked to join an existing blog after having had a moan on FB about not finding anything for me that was age-inspirational (if that’s even a ‘thing’!) and not full of ‘rules’ I’m s’posed to follow. I’ve since come across more relevant blogs which is joyous. I’ll surely never stop being interested in fashion … am finding blogging and putting up pictures of myself a bit daunting but will give it a go for a while. Oh and it’s great to find a few more bloggers to follow via this thread! May you all have a wonderful 2015.

    Reply
  15. Mille

    When I started blogging a few months ago I did think of how competitive blogging has become and how many young bloggers there are out there with tons of readers and beautiful faces wrinkle free. I’m 44 and I love fashion so I though to myself why not give it a try. I hope I can inspire my target audience as much as younger bloggers and I think no matter what age you are you’ll find your readers.

    Reply
  16. vanity and me

    The reason i started blogging, because of my background in the hair/beauty industry, i want to share tips to other women and let them know it can be just as good being in our 50’s as it was in our 30’s . I agree there are far more younger bloggers, but the more mature bloggers are growing fast and i think the bigger it gets, then more companies will sit up and listen

    Reply
  17. Irmin Marchee

    I don’t feel pushed out or too old at all. I will be 44 in two days time. I’ve started blogging a few month ago so I’m a novice still. Already I found dozens of other women, much older then me, enjoying fashion and style. There is a real sense of community amongst ‘older’ fashionbloggers. Really warming and inspiring! I guess what is happening is that we, the older demographic, turn away from traditional (funny that, he?!) fashion-marketing and make our own! At least I do not give a monkeys when the fashion industry ignores us, I just look at all the wonderful 40+ fashionblogs. And maybe the’ll join……

    Reply
  18. Souri

    Happy new year. Interesting article. I just started blogging around 1.5 years ago in my late 30s … of course there are much younger girls. Magazines and advertising will of course go for stunning young models … but we are bloggers not models so age should be no issue at all. Blogging is so much more than just posting pretty faces and bodies and there is room for wide variety. But it will be very interesting what happens to some of the “young” high profile blogs 10 to 15 years from now.

    Even at an older age I still like to produce as stunning images for my little fashion blog (Example: http://www.fabulous-femme.com/goodbye-2014-an-incredible-year/ )- age should be no factor here. Styling and fashion sense is far more important.

    Reply
    • Anastasia Nicole

      As a hobby blogger who just turned 30 and is only now taking her blog seriously as a potential business, you are giving me something to look forward to. And as those hot “young” bloggers age along with their readers I’m sure we’ll start seeing an unptick in advertisers targeting older women a bit more aggressively. I mean Millennials as a group are bigger than the Baby Boomers, and we see what happened with ads when they started going grey.

      BTW love your site ; )

      Reply
  19. Brittany Ann

    If anything, blogging helps 40/50 + women have a voice in the fashion world – a voice that (except for those in elite insider positions) was previously hushed to only the sound of their credit cards, buying all the fashions modeled by women 30 years their junior.

    I’m 25 and love browsing older women’s style blogs because it gives me something to look forward to. Magazines/fashion shows/mall posters would have me believe that in a few years I’ll be fashionably invisible, while style blogs show the opposite – people of all sizes, demographics, and style genres, enjoying fashion at every age.
    There’s a sense of freedom in stylish older women as well, and many of them look so much happier and more comfortable than their younger, trendier counterparts (I “sense” this in many of the women on the Advanced Style blog). I’m not sure why a few less wrinkles is thought to be a good trade-off over decades of experience and refinement.

    Brittany
    http://www.fineryandmadness.com

    Reply
  20. Anastasia

    That’s a great subject actually! For me 30+ is a normal audience for fashion blogs, as at this age women obviously have more purchasing power than young girls at early 20s. And it’s now a secret, as it was mentioned in the article, that 20+ age is appealing for brands because that’s how they find the way to the hearts, and excuse my french, wallets of the more grown-up audience. And besides look…how many of the popular bloggers are already 30+ themselves? From Fashion Toast to Capcackes and Cashemere…I guess the new “terra incognita” for blogs and a “new wave” will be the age of 50-60 as it’s a big market. And whatever we say, in comparison with previous decades, now the same age perceives differently, 30 are new 20, 40 are new 30, 50 are new 40…I’m sure that we will see something interesting towards this direction!

    xx
    http://fashionpeekaboo.com

    Reply
  21. No Fear of Fashion

    Hi, I will give you my two cents from a blogger’s point of view and from an advertiser’s point of view.
    Being a blogger is something I started two years ago at the age of 58. But I am a hobby blogger so that doesn’t count. However, I do know several bloggers way in their 40ies doing financially well with their blog, aiming at women over 40.
    Now from an advertiser’s point of view (I work in advertising at a bank doing big campaigns)…….
    Advertisers aren’t the least bit interested in pushing older bloggers out. The only things they are interested in are number of readers and target groups. If your target group is from 15-65, you might have a problem in focus (for some or a lot of products). Advertisers want to know: what kind of women read this blog and how likely is it that they want my product and can afford it. Simple as that. So perhaps it is good to evaluate the purpose of your blog as you yourself change with time as well.
    Now, reading this comment again, it sounds as if I know. I don’t really. These are just my thoughts and I might be totally wrong.
    Greetje

    Reply
  22. Tiff

    My favourite style blog is Advanced Style. Not only is it aspirational (“Man do I wish I end up with a smart wardrobe like that one day!) but it’s inspirational for right now. Blogging from any age, not just limiting it to a few decades, really helps broaden perspectives of the reader and other bloggers.

    But I can see being pushed out as a reality. It’s just the nature of the industry to want something fresh be presented on someone a bit more youthful. To purport how “innovative” or new it may be.

    I think that’s changing slowly though. The fashion industry is slowly–so slowly–embracing age as a good thing. Wisdom, knowledge and evolution. Céline recently got Joan Didion to front them this season so hopefully this push out of old bloggers will stop with this trend!

    Reply
  23. Corrina

    Passion for fashion!!
    Age is nothing but a number…
    It’s just a wonderful time we live in now. Fashion is just one click away
    I love it because now you can save so much space & money on all the fashion magazines. Also waiting for the new style to hit the runway but NOW fashion week is just a click away, you got to LOVE it!!!…
    We are living in different time being old and young at heart is the key. I think it OK to be just a little older, let’s face it we all are going get older soon or later ..
    To be an older blogger and being some what new to blogging, you have to staying relevant ..have fun with fashion I just love see girls having fun with fashion, sharing style I so wish I had the when I was young I would be into IT ..BUT wait I am!!!
    I say “go for it”
    That what life all about!!
    XOXO ONE GIRLS PARTY
    “Passion for Fashion”

    Reply