This morning our old friends at The Daily Fail are hitting out at supermodel Kate Moss, who’s 40 today, for… being 40 today.
“How on earth did this happen?” shrieks the Fail, clutching at its pearls in horror. Well, it happened because Kate Moss was born 40 years ago, and has managed not to die in the interim, Fail. It’s pretty simple stuff, really. In fact, it’s something that will happen to all of us – if we’re lucky – and is a natural result of, you know, being alive.
Going on to compare a professionally posed modelling shot of Moss as a 14-year-old, to a paparazzi photo of her stumbling out of a nightclub after what appears to have been a long evening, the Mail makes the astute observation that 40-year-old Kate does not look the same as 14-year-old Kate. No kidding! Show us a 40-year-old person who DOES look exactly the same as their 14-year-old self, and THEN we’ll be amazed. Or maybe even consider comparing like-with-like: a professionally shot (and quite possibly re-touched) modelling photo of 40-year-old Kate, complete with expertly applied hair and make-up, would surely be a fairer comparison to the “before” photo than the one the Mail have chosen, no?
Do other people seriously not age? Are we really to believe that Kate Moss – now “paddling in the shores of Old Lady Lake”, according to the Mail – is the only person in the world to experience the ageing process? Or, indeed, that she’s the only person in the world to look a bit rough after a night out? Look, no one would claim that Moss has led a life of abstinence, or that years of hard partying don’t take their toll on a person, but let’s just say we’re glad there aren’t paparazzi around when we’re on our way home after a good night out, because WE sure as hell don’t look like fresh-faced 14-year-olds either in those circumstances.
The Daily Mail isn’t quite so bothered by Kate’s partying, however, as it is astounded and disappointed by the fact that she has dared to turn forty. Seriously: FORTY. A “perilous threshold for any woman,” according to them but PARTICULARLY for Kate Moss, because HOW DARE SHE BE OLDER NOW THAN SHE WAS WHEN SHE WAS 14? HOW? In an article peppered with “it seems just like yesterdays” and disparaging references to “the big 4-0” as being “not quite middle aged” but “certainly through the greying portal” (the hell?), the Mail gleefully jumps on the age-shaming bandwagon, in order to convince us that growing older is not something to celebrate, but something to be desperately ashamed of.
At a time when the media is full of (justified) outrage related to fat-shaming and Photoshopping women beyond recognition in order to create a totally fake idea of what we should look like, we’d like to add this kind of ageism to our list of “crimes”. It may be only tangentially related to fashion (although the fact that Kate Moss is a model appears to make it even more unacceptable for her to have the temerity to grow older each year), but there’s no doubt that the fashion world is particularly rife with these attitudes . Wouldn’t it be nice if that could stop?[Disclaimer: Yes, we know the Mail does this kind of thing to be deliberately controversial, and that we’re playing right into their hands by responding to it, but they’re not the only media outlet who displays this kind of “OMG, can you BELIEVE X celebrity doesn’t look exactly the same as they did 30 years ago!” attitude, so we think it goes deeper than just the Mail. Also, sometimes it’s fun to argue with them.]