At the movie theater, only 7% of roles are given to women over 50 (16% for men above this age), revealed in November the Aafa (Actresses and actors of France associated). And film is just one of the many mediums where the under-representation of older women has pushed the multimedia artist Sandrine Alouf to set up a project against ageism. With “It’s not tomorrow the old woman”, she first parodied fashion photos with older models, and released a pin-up calendar for 2023.
“A few years ago I asked an advertiser why we only see very young women in ads for products that don’t concern them, like anti-wrinkle. He replied that a woman after 50 is not desirable, ”says Sandrine Alouf, who decided to provide a bold response to this gentleman.
Exhibited in Paris and soon in Brussels
She made photos imitating fashion shots by asking women around her to pose for her. By posting them on Instagram, “I found myself receiving lots of messages from women who told me that they wanted to participate in this project, who told me what they were going through”. In September, she exhibited her portraits at the L’Œil bleu gallery in Paris, an exhibition which will soon be able to be visited in Brussels and which Sandrine Alouf hopes will go to other cities.
Clichés diverted with humor
For her 2023 calendar, she chose pin-ups to divert this “paroxysm of the female object”. The women who posed for her are netizens who enjoyed her project and have no modeling experience. “Getting their makeup done, doing their hair, dressing up, taking care of them, that helps them a lot. The photo shoots are bursts of laughter all the time. And in the end, they tell me it was a breath of fresh air. »
Among the people who bought his calendar, for sale on Etsy, there are of course women, but also “lots of men who buy it to offer it to friends”. For Sandrine Alouf, seeing images of women who assume their wrinkles is good for older people but also for young people: “The generation that is coming is very afraid of aging, in particular because of the image on social networks. »
It was also important in his eyes not to show stars. “Certainly, in the cinema, we see Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, but they are always the same. There’s no diversity, these are characters you can’t identify with. Instead of the old-fashioned image of “the granny with small glasses and who bakes cakes”, she believes that the oldest today are “the first truly free women”: “These are the first generations who had right to the pill, to abortion, to work without their husband’s consent. They are pioneers. At some point in their lives, they leave the injunctions behind them and in this freedom they touch on something magical. »
With humor, his “fight against wrinkles” calendar ends with a thirteenth month, the “Month I do what I want! “.