The nervous breakdown that was 2017 was a long time coming – and we’ve come out the other end stronger than ever. In 2018, women are kicking ass and taking names, by calling out sexual abusers through #TimesUp, taking to the streets in huge numbers for the second Women’s March, and demanding better representation in government, entertainment, and the beauty industry.
Credit: Steven Ferdman/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images
CoverGirl is just one of the brands making a major commitment to inclusivity through an entire revamp of its motto and models. “I Am What I Make Up ” has replaced “Easy, breezy, beautiful… Covergirl,” and the new faces – Issa Rae and Ayesha Curry among them – are proof that you don’t need white, airbrushed twenty-somethings to sell makeup. Take Maye Musk, who, at 69, has a modeling contract with IMG, walks runways at NYFW, and has been running a business as a registered nutritionist for over 45 years.
“I couldn’t have dreamed this,” Musk told us at a recent CoverGirl event. “You can’t think that at nearly 70, I would have the biggest career change of my life. You couldn’t make that up.” The model shares what she’s learned about aging and success.
Do you think the industry will move toward embracing older models?
I think CoverGirl has made a good start and everyone is going to follow because we’ve had such a positive response. Young people are appreciating it, too, because it means that there is longevity in whatever job you’re doing. It’s not only regarding makeup, it’s regarding working and being relevant to society and doing things for yourself at any age.
Magazines and brands have started banning the phrase ‘anti-aging,’ on the basis that it assumes there’s something wrong with getting older. Does the phrase offend you?
No, it doesn’t bother me. I think makeup is anti-aging. It smooths out your complexion and removes sun spots and the dark rings under your eyes, so it’s very anti-aging. Staying out of the sun is anti-aging, creams with SPF are, wearing a hat is anti-aging. So is sleeping well and eating well – you have to eat well.
Is there anything about getting older that scares you?
Maintaining my weight. It’s really, really hard. I have to eat healthily most of the time and when I don’t, I then have a couple of weeks to get under control again and it’s really hard because there’s temptation everywhere. People want to bring me chocolates and I say, “No, I can’t do that, I can’t have chocolates!” Well, not that I can’t have them, but I can’t have a box. I can have two or three, but two or three means I want a box.
What do you wish you knew about beauty earlier?
I didn’t give it a thought when I was younger. I was modeling and working and I didn’t think about it.
When do you feel most beautiful?
When I’m all done up and have a big team putting me together. It’s really glamorous.
How do you practice self-love?
I’ve always just worked hard, studied to get two Master of Science degrees, and helped other people. I used to have a lot of dietetic interns come and work with me and learn how to run a business, and with modeling, I’ve always helped younger models. I did a runway show in Toronto recently and the model behind me [was nervous because] it was her first show. I said, “Just walk as if you’ve always walked it and look straight ahead and enjoy it. Nobody will know you’re walking for the first time!”
What advice would you give young women who are struggling to stay positive amidst everything happening in society right now?
Don’t let it affect you. Stay positive, help other women, work together, become stronger, be good at your work, be a good mother if you are a mother, and don’t let anything else interfere with that. I think there’s a strong movement now with the Women’s March that shows that we are only going to be stronger.