• "20 Minutes" has obtained the testimony of Caroline Ida, Natacha Dzikowski and Nicole Tonnelle, three "silver influencers".
  • They fight against ageism and injunctions that affect women over the age of 50 in today's society.
  • According to sociologist Frédéric Godart, the role of these women is "extremely important" because they are the ones who will "bring change" and bring more visibility to older women.

"We decided to rebel against ageism," says Natacha Dzikowski. A fight also led by Caroline Ida and Nicole Tonnelle. Nicknamed "Silver influencers", they all explained to 20 Minutes how, through their content on social networks and their parallel activities in life, they fight against ageism and the injunctions that affect "senior" women after the age of 50.

Taboo on Aging

"There are injunctions made to women through appearance and we feel it more cruelly as we get older," Natacha Dzikowski told 20 Minutes. According to Caroline Ida, these injunctions are due to the representation of women in society. Especially through women's magazines, where the feminine image conveyed meets the same beauty standards of "very young, white, thin" women, says Caroline Ida before continuing: "I stopped buying all these magazines because I didn't recognize myself at all." "Every once in a while we see a cover with a senior woman, like Andie McDowell for example, but they're still celebrities. We don't have the same life as them," says Natacha Dzikowski.

Frédéric Godart, a sociologist, confirms that women in their fifties (and over) are poorly represented. According to him, injunctions are stronger in women than in men, with age. "Sociologically, there is a taboo about aging. There is a progressive invisibilization of the elderly woman," he continues, before deciphering: "You have to extend your life, but always look young." Caroline Ida makes this observation in the cosmetics industry, where she notices that marketing puts pressure on older women. "In beauty, there are anti-aging creams, the word 'anti' is negative. As if anti-aging creams were going to prevent us from aging," laments the influencer, giving the example of the slogan "Eternal youth" for a face cream.

The impact of Silver influencers in society

According to Frédéric Godart, the role of these women in society is "extremely important", because they are the ones who will "bring change" and bring more visibility to older women.

For Natacha Dzikowski, author of the book, J'ai l'âge que je veux (I Have the Age I Want), published by Leduc, old age should no longer rhyme with "degradation", because you can be old and "have a crazy figure", remain sporty, active, etc. Considering age as a "fulfilling adventure", this Silver influencer decided to speak out to educate women on certain topics such as menopause for example. "In my books, I explain what happens in the body at 50. I do some research, then I do popularization and education to teach women to adapt their lifestyle to their age," explains the activist.

Through her advice, the author aims to restore women's confidence, which is what she confided to 20 Minutes: "I am moved when women thank me and tell me 'you saved me from depression'".

As for Caroline Ida, it is in fashion that the Silver influencer wanted to "change the codes", with the support of her community, which considers her to be "the spokesperson for women over 50". When she became a senior model, she had in mind to "show the real female bodies". This was possible thanks to the impact of her collaboration with the lingerie brand Darjeeling. "I'm not a 36, I'm a 44. I am 63 years old with my blemishes, my belly fat, my cellulite, my white hair. It wasn't a done deal, but it was part of my mission to try to change things," she told 20 Minutes.

Today, she is happy that the fashion world is "changing its tune" and showing different body types and women than what we usually see at fashion shows. According to her, these profiles "absolutely do not represent what you see on the street".

At 72 years old, Nicole Tonnelle's motto is: "There is no age to be beautiful". She started her channel twelve years ago on YouTube after noticing that there was a lack of representation and no influencer over 40 on social media. "Even in the advertisements for anti-aging creams, it's 20-year-old girls that are shown," the YouTuber lamented to our newspaper.

With the same motivation as when she started on the networks, the woman who defines herself as a feminist, encourages senior women on a daily basis to always take care of themselves and to "have fun". "I got a lot of criticism at first: 'Old woman, what are you doing on the Internet?' Now I have very few because there are more of us," she says. Well above these few negative remarks, Nicole Tonnelle has never stopped in her quest to give confidence to women, "if you don't grow old it's because you're dead", she replies with repartee.

Tips for freeing yourself from age-related complexes

The first piece of advice: "Be reconciled with yourself." By this, Natacha Dzikowski intends to accept that her body changes, but while continuing to "take care of herself". "Aging well means doing it in your own way, without obeying injunctions," the author continues.

"From menopause, I think that there is a liberation that takes place within us and we really have to take this liberation as an opportunity that comes to us from the universe," says Caroline Ida. She recommends ignoring the gaze of others, without stopping yourself from pursuing your dreams: dancing, painting or wearing a miniskirt, even at 50 or older.

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