With less than two weeks to go until Valentine’s Day, retailers are putting their focus firmly on underwear as shop windows, advertising billboards and social media pages are flooded with images of sexy, lingerie-clad models.
While we’ve seen an improvement in recent years in terms of body diversity in fashion, with a wider range of sizes represented in promo shoots, when it comes to age it’s still rare to see older women represented – especially with lingerie.
But there’s one brand that wants to change that: JD Williams has just unveiled its Valentine’s Day lingerie campaign starring 59-year-old British model, Nicola Griffin.
Griffin, who is size 16, poses in a variety of matching bra and knickers sets from the retailer’s spring collection.
What’s more, the images haven’t been retouched or airbrushed in any way.
“We are making every effort to feature real – and age appropriate – women in all our campaigns,” says JD Williams spokesperson Suzi Burns.
“Nicola looks gorgeous in the images and her confidence shines through, so there was no need to airbrush anything.”
The shoot comes following comments by French author Yann Moix, who said in an interview with Marie-Claire magazine’s French edition last month that women over 50 are “too old” to love and “invisible” to him (despite being 50 himself).
In contrast to Moix’s comments, research by JD Williams carried out alongside the campaign reveals that 77% of UK men find ‘older’ women sexy.
Griffin is a prime example, and with her long grey hair she’s proving that you don’t have to erase all signs of ageing to be attractive.
“It’s a surprise to me that I would be doing this at my age,” she says.
“But it feels right and it feels amazing to be given the opportunity to represent my age group.”
The mum-of-two only started modelling aged 53 but says it has given her a new lease of life.
“I feel that as I approach 60 my time to focus on myself has just started.
“It’s exciting to start this year modelling lingerie, how thrilling it is as I leave my 50s behind.”
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Indeed, Griffin says she has better body confidence now that she did in her 20s.
“I definitely feel more confident now as I have accepted myself just the way I am.
“Whereas when I was young I was never happy with my size and shape – but now I’ve grown to love my imperfections. It’s OK not to be perfect.”
The images have been met with a unanimously positive reaction online.
“Lovely… an inspiration to all of us over 50!” commented Instagram user Jenifer Cleary.
“Gorgeous. I hope I am still doing this at her age!” wrote fellow model Penny Kehoe.
So does Griffin have any tips for looking good over 50?
“I feel great since I started running – my asthma has almost disappeared. I eat well and exercise.
“I’m a lot stronger and sleep really well as a result of exercising. It makes a big difference mentally to get good amount of sleep.”
As for feeling confident in your lingerie, the 59-year-old says it’s all about self-acceptance – and that’s important whatever your age.
“My tips would be to be brave and believe in yourself. You’re lovely just the way you are. Be confident. Enjoy yourself.”
- Press Association