Friday, August 12, 2016

Women of the World

Youth is wonderful while it lasts, but the older we get, the more we get a not-so-sneaking suspicion that life just gets better as it goes on. Then we met Cindy Joseph, a 63-year-old model whose joie de vivre is nothing short of inspiring - and our theory was proven correct. This is one woman who has that whole inner-outer beauty thing down.

A former makeup artist who worked in New York and Paris, Joseph is a beauty-industry veteran in her own right. Then, after being scouted for a Dolce & Gabbana campaign at age 49, an unexpected career in modeling took off. Since then, she's posed for the likes of Anthropologie, J.Crew, Shopbop, Elizabeth Arden, Aveda, and magazines galore. But, there's more to Joseph than her timeless looks. Fed up with the idea that gray hair and wrinkles are flaws to be hidden, she founded Boom!, a line of natural cosmetics with a "pro-age" (versus anti-aging) bent. Refreshing, much?

How to look gorgeous at EVERY age

And, while we're all about embracing beauty at every age, we did have to ask Joseph how she stays so stunning. (Admit it - you want to know, too.) Read on for Joseph's thoughts on looking good, feeling great, and finding purpose in life. We just hope to be half as cool in our 60's...and beyond.

Cindy Joseph's story

63-year-old model Cindy Joseph by Atisha Paulson, Courtesy of Refinery 29 

What do you grow into as a Suicide Girl, a goth chick, a fetish model, a swinging chick, a video vixen? Not being a woman I am not sure those questions arise within women from alternative kilts. Women are making decisions about themselves that have nothing, or little to do with men. Every Western standard preceding the late 20th century did not have place for tattooed women, women in black makeup listening to dark brooding music, or women with vampire tendencies, or loose moral standards, wild fetishes and odd shaped hair cuts. If there is a journey back to times of the Ancients, or racing into what independence wants to look like we are in the midst of shuffling energies that are re-shaping the world, but to what end? I've only described white women. The implication is that women of color don't matter. It is not their agenda on the front lines of the news, or walking down fashion house runways. Truthfully, the other ethnic groups are invisible, or on the lower tiers.

That is how our standards and remarks are steered. American education deeply and thoroughly embeds white European-American's spirit, ideologies and mentality and sense of the world into all students. It is unavoidable. That spirit is contemptuous in nature and of Nature because of its insistence upon dominance. Its claims of superiority are continually inflaming rebellions in countries, and religious sects and poor people and minds the world over. Yet, if you are honest and observant you will notice how culture is weighed, accessed, valued and placed in the context of American life. Everything is gauged with a standard, a foresight into the value system of white people; the one group you don't want to offend, or make uncomfortable.

Globally, women are influenced by their struggles, and obstacles to movement and expression. They are directly and indirectly influenced by white women as symbols of hope and direction, and derision. It is a complex story, but in these times necessary it is to completely understand it. Understanding it is fundamental to compelling women to remain with, probe into, remember and embrace their ancestor's teachings, examples and ways of living. Many women aspire to be white women in every bizarre way possible. Others fight to be themselves but cultural identity can pale against economic realities. It is brutal finding your true self. Perhaps it always has been, but times past had simpler social constructs in many places in the world, and those with more complexity to their societies were not intermingled with the likes of the white Europeans or Euro-Americans.

These are sensitive things to think about. They are crucial to survival and cannot be waved away to appease the dominant culture. What is rooted deep supports the strongest tree, the short grass, and the dances in winds.

Gregory E. Woods
Keeper of Stories

collage of 3 comparatively beautiful older women Carmen Dell 'Orifice, Bethann Hardison & Kristen McNemmany

Ernestine Shepherd is a 75 year old body builder & competitor in that field.

black body builder, Ernestine Shepherd flexing !!!!

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