For decades, women have been trained to fear getting older. From brands forcing the anti-aging movement upon us to the rapid rise of cosmetic procedure, messages that suggest growing older is bad have been deeply embedded in the beauty industry. Even young women are taking drastic steps to prevent the aging process before it even begins with premature fillers and so much more. And though many companies have worked to deter agist marketing tactics, it wan't until recent years that society slowly began to embracing older women.
One of the many women at the front lines of the debunking the negative views about aging is Jo-Ani Johnson, a 67-year-old supermodel who's been featured in campaigns for fashion brands such as Fenty and Pyer Moss. Day after day she proves that age truly isn't anything but a number. I got to sit down with Johnson to discuss her $3 beauty secret, what it's like to be one of the most mature women in the fashion industry, and her Fenty campaign.
R: Why did you ultimately decide to stop dying your hair with age?
Furthermore, when I was bleaching it I was doing it myself because of course, it was too much money, but the at-home job resulted in my hair forming into different shades. It started with red, and would morph into all these different colors down to platinum blonde. Again, in today’s world it would be fashionable, but back in the day it was not.
R: What drove you to become a model after the age of 60?
R: Do you think it’s been harder in your modeling career to navigate people's expectations about your race or your age?
J: I’ve got to say it’s about equal, because I’ve seen other black women that are younger than I am also face the same challenges and face people question them extensively about their purpose in certain spaces.
R: Companies and media outlets are slowly distancing themselves from the term "anti-aging" or banning it outright. How do you feel about that?
R: What is your advice for younger women who've been taught to fear the aging process?
I recently went to get my eyebrows done and she asked if I wanted her to pluck out the grey. My first thought was, “You mean I have grey hair in my eyebrows?!” But instead of becoming sad, or wallowing in the possibility of more grey hair, I began looking for a grey eyebrow pencil so that as it starts to grey, I can blend it. They don’t make it yet; tell somebody to make it.
R: Of course, we have to talk about your Fenty campaign. How does it feel to be a part of something so big?
I was very blessed to be a part of that experience. That [Rihanna] chose me is just amazing, because I don’t think of myself as being that big. Rihanna is the ultimate in a lot of ways. Of course I can’t talk about the set, but just know that she is the consummate professional, and I'm grateful. I can't wait for everyone to see it.