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The Identity Issue december 2013

Editors letter t

he december issue of The self focuses on identity, ideals and diversity. we have explored the absence of older women within the fashion industry, shown that you are beautiful regardless of your age and documented street style shoes of different ages and genders. this issue also investigates the dominance of men in the cooking industry. It is time to embrace and celebrate older women within the fashion industry as well as give female chefs the recognition they deserve.

editor in cheif.....

Emily 4

Contents December 2013

6 LIke mother, like daughter 14 still got it 16 Beautiful at any age 18 below the knee 40 IN THE KITCHEN


Like Mother, Like Daughter


STill got it Words Emily Hopkinson The fashion industry has a huge absence of diversity, the nation is fearful of aging and women of all ages need to see older models in the fashion industry to realise that aging really can be beautiful.


n a culture where women immerse themselves within the typical high-end fashion magazines, there is too much beauty that goes unnoticed. Beauty out of the mainstream boundaries should be discovered and celebrated. Today’s society sees stereotypical models being used repeatedly. Embracing older women in fashion advertisements, promotional campaigns and using them for catwalk shows is essential. One of Coco Chanel’s most loved quotes is “Nothing makes a woman look so old as trying desperately hard to look young”. Sue Kreitzman from fabulous fashionistas is living proof of this and she said, “Growing old is an adventure and a privilege, I have no desire to turn my back on it”.

in today’s modern society. There is a very precise and defined idea of what the ‘perfect model’ is and brands continue to follow others and use these ‘ideal’ models. An interesting study on the BBC television programme ‘Your Body: Your Image’ showed that scouting a stereotypical model brief from a company on the high street is almost impossible. This consequently displays that most women aren’t naturally the size, age and shape of the models we see selling fashion and beauty products. The fashion industry typically uses models that are young, which is shocking and easily avoidable.

Sue Krietzman aged 73 from Fabulous Fashionistas believes that having older models in the fashion world is imperative. It would teach women to accept Super skinny, super tall, super young, white girls their bodies and the aging process, allow them to be continue to symbolise the stereotypical models we see empowered, embrace their age and feel confident


without feeling they have to remain youthful. Daphne selfe who is a mature model within the fashion industry displays that aging is a natural process and it should be seen as something that is truly beautiful. The debate around whether the aspiration to conform to popular images still exists in older women is on going. Roberta aged 62 said “You come to a turning point in your life and I realised I don’t want to keep up with the rat race. I am my own person”. She adds, “The prominence of older women in the fashion industry doesn’t particularly shape the way I feel about myself”. In contrast to the stereotypical magazine model, Roberta’s opinion is refreshing to hear. It is a reminder to us all that no matter what your age is, style is all about having a positive attitude. It shows that the media doesn’t have as much control as it thinks it does. These are the wise words of Caryn Franklin, a British fashion expert and former Fashion Editor and Co – Editor of i-D magazine “I think there is less desire on the part of older women to emulate somebody and certainly by the time you have got older you’ve got a much stronger sense of yourself and you have worked at it, you’ve worked for it, you have crafted your own personal identity. But you are not immune to fashion imagery or media imagery that suggests that there are no aspirational older women in our media or that there are very few.” “My grand daughter is 7 years old and she is already conscious of how she looks. She likes to make sure that what she wears matches”. – Roberta Girls start to be conscious of their appearance from a young age, much younger than they used to be a few decades ago. Teens along with girls as young as seven are highly focused on appearances and the media has an immense effect on how younger girls feel about themselves. The fashion industry presents a certain look that adolescent girls are pressurised to conform too. The media reinforces the message that in order to be successful you must be thin and that being fat is unattractive, as well as presenting air brushed images that provide unrealistic goals.

in the fashion media influences older women as well as younger women. Caryn said “Older women are repeatedly shown imagery iconising only young women that has an impact on their own perceptions of their self esteem”. She adds “I think that young women are affected by only seeing images of young women in a different way. If we had more diverse imagery young women could see where they were going and they would see that beauty ages beautifully and older women could see that they weren’t invisible”. Roberta said, “It is fundamental that age should never define an individual”. This is a controversial statement, as age will undoubtedly always define an individual

”You come to a turning point in your life and I realised I don’t want to keep up with the rat race. I am my own person”. Roberta unless the fashion industry as a whole can change this. Conversely even if brands do start to embrace using older women, will the fashion industry take note and continue with this theme? Will we see society being more receiving towards the whole topic of aging or not? The industry needs high-end brands to change the rules and set the trend flowing. The strong minded designer, Miuccia Prada in an interview for T magazine when asked, “If you put an old lady on the runway, other people would do it too”. She replied, “Let’s say I’m not brave enough. I don’t have the courage”. So if the Queen of fashion isn’t willing to take on older models then who is? Sue said, “We are old, we are bold, we are fascinating. Let’s make us as prominent as the size zero, zero personality, airbrushed nonentities”. She supports that the diversity in fashion should be stretched to embrace older models along with women of all shapes, race, sizes and disabled people. The obsession with young stereotypical model needs to end and the arrival of older models should be celebrated. Having a diverse age range of models in the industry would not only help older women but help younger women too.

It is almost impossible to open a magazine that isn’t filled with young and skinny models, so no wonder women of all ages are overly obsessed with how they look. The stereotyped models that women see




Below The knee








In The KITchen

The debate around whether the cooking industry is male dominated is ongoing. Are we really a culture that sees women as cooks and men as chefs, women in the home and men in the professional kitchen? The food industry seems to be notoriously male dominated but why? Are female chefs on the rise? And are male chefs really sexist? Award winning British chef and owner of a successful North Yorkshire catering business Tim Stokes shares his thoughts on the industry. Do you think the cooking industry is male dominated? I suppose so. There are a lot of fantastic female chefs but it takes a certain type of person male or female to fulfil the role in a kitchen. Long hours are required so it is not as easy for a female with a family. This is possibly the reason why the number of male chefs is higher than the number of female chefs.

been a gradual rise in the number of female chefs over the last 10 years.

Although women are on the rise and are starting to become accepted at top restaurants men still appear to dominate the industry. Why do you think this is the case? I think it is purely that women can’t work the long hours that are required. No matter how much Women tend to be bakers and pastry chefs. Why my wife and I share the care of our two children she do you think this is the case? Women do tend to be predominantly looks after them. This enables me to bakers and pastry chefs as they seem to have a lighter work the hours being a chef requires me to. touch for pastry work and possibly a lot of patience but maybe it goes back to the day when men were out Does the industry give female chefs enough hunting and the ladies baked at home. recognition? No it doesn’t, but if you’re a female chef surely you shouldn’t want recognition for being female Do you believe a women’s place is in the kitchen? I you would want recognition for your work. I feel that it believe that time has passed. More and more women depends on the work not the gender. If a female chef is have full time jobs and are out working. I think men good enough she will get the recognition she deserves are just at ease in the kitchen these days, as they have as with male chefs. I think one of the problems is that to be. I occasionally tend to cook dinner for the family there are hardly, if any professional female chefs on to give my wife a break. television programmes. If females are on the TV they are mainly domestic cooks. Having an equal presence Women are unfortunately not rising in the culinary of both genders on the television is important. I think world. Figures from the Office for National Statistics we need more female chefs in general. Having both show that of the UK’s 187,000 chefs, 37,000 are men and women as chefs is healthy. It makes the women, making up just 20 per cent of the total. The kitchen more balanced. Best New Chef lists created by US magazine Food & Wine have featured 92 men and 11 women in the Have you ever seen chauvinistic behavior throughout past 10 years, and while 11 women won Michelin your career? No I don’t think it would be tolerated. I stars in the UK in 2011, that compares to a total of think its done in a subtle way. People aren’t offensive 143 Michelin-starred restaurants. to people face to face they like to discuss the topic quietly. The kitchens are much less hostile places than Throughout your career has there always been more they used to be. It’s good as it shows our culture is male chefs than female chefs? And have you noticed evolving. Women are starting to take on job roles a rise in the number of female chefs recently? There that they perhaps didn’t used to do in the past. In has always been more male chefs than female chefs. my opinion there is no difference between men and Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, Heston Blumenthal are women. It is their quality of work that matters. amongst the most famous chefs and food experts and they are male. I’m really not sure why there are What advice would you give to women wanting to more male chefs than female chefs. It could be down enter this profession? Be prepared to work long, to simply the fact that its more interesting if you’re a hard hours to make it!! Be a tough character so you man and like to cook. I have mainly worked with male are taken seriously and most importantly believe in chefs throughout my career but there has definitely yourself. Words Emily Hopkinson

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