The Business of Aging

The world’s most lucrative consumers are aging, and a marketplace already flooded with anti-aging solutions and magic potions is finding new angles, and manufacturing new trends for aging women. Fads are nothing new, and as such nothing has changed. Take the Keto diet as an example, another fad diet that eliminates entire food groups, promising rapid weight loss and better health. The keto diet business is expected to generate over 15 billion U.S. dollars by 2027, by introducing a cornucopia of new products with a low-carb or no-carb claim. I wonder whether Acheta Domesticus (crickets) will feature prominently in Keto diets since they are considered a nutritious, protein-rich, environmentally sustainable alternative to meat.

Weight loss and fad diets have been trending for decades, and overweight public figures, actors, and actresses often bore the brunt. Remember how the media and public shamed Elizabeth Taylor for gaining weight as she aged? What would Elizabeth Taylor say today if she saw all the inflated, fake booty strutting the streets? Even Madonna had implants surgically placed in her buttocks to stay in vogue. Yet as much as cosmetic surgery is on the rise, this blade has a double edge. As of late, cosmetic surgery and fillers are becoming taboo, and even Madonna is being heavily scrutinized and criticized for her numerous interventions. The media’s approach is frighteningly passive-aggressive.

All my social media feeds have been flooded with posts showcasing and praising actresses for not wearing makeup, with bold statements on how they’ve chosen to age naturally, as though it were some new religion.

Political correctness is being used as a weapon, and those that are constantly in the public’s eye, either play along and spread the new gospel or get shamed and/or canceled. Why aren’t women allowed to age according to their own standards?

Women who let their hair go white are now being exalted and encouraged by the media, as they adhere to new social standards. At the 2023 Oscars, female celebrities that rocked different shades of white and grey hair were being pined after by the paparazzi. You may have seen Andie MacDowell’s stunning grey curls at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, which unleashed this particular trend. Once you discover how much time it took to get that perfect layered mane of silver hair, and the products used to achieve this natural aging look, you realize it’s just another trend.

Every major hair color manufacturer now offers varying tones of grey, white, and silver, and YouTube is brimming with DIY videos. I got 9.710.000 google results for videos on how to dye your hair white. I also got 61,700,000 results for white hair dye for dark hair. The global hair dye market grew from $21.19 billion in 2022 to $23.3 billion in 2023 and it is estimated it will reach USD 34.13 Billion by 2028.

In the 1700s, white hair became very fashionable for a short while, and everyone wore powdered wigs, with all of the ensuing discomforts, which ranged from creepy crawlers to mice nesting in their white, super-heavy wigs. Let’s see how long this trend lasts for us.

There’s a visceral reaction to women aging, whether they opt to intervene with surgery or not. For those women that have gained star status, it’s as though the public is let down by the fact that these ‘stars’ are mere mortals after all. They are being served up, by the media, to provide women the inspiration on their journey to faking aging naturally. The media are the executioners and the gullible public, the facilitators. It’s called catch-22, you’re dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t.  

Published by Maddalena Di Gregorio

“I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in” Robert L. Stevenson

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