Wednesday, 18 September 2013

TV last night - Fabulous Fashionistas

I don't tend to review TV as I watch too much of it anyway but it's been a long time since I watched something so uplifting and life-affirming as Fabulous Fashionistas on Channel 4 last night.

Taking the stories of 6 women whose average age was a simply amazing 80, this film could have been patronising and dipping it's toe into tokenism. Instead we met 6 very diverse women who were sharp, full of personality and life, independent and inspiring. This should be shown at all schools and universities, as it not only gives a voice to the idea that life doesn't just stop when you get past 50 and that old people have not just something to say but lots to contribute.

It is all part of the brilliant Cutting Edge series and award-winning director, Sue Bourne deals with sensitive issues like body image, sex and fashion with sympathy and clarity. We meet Bridget, Daphne, Jean, Gillian, Sue and Lady Trumpington who are all determined to just keep going while looking fabulous and having fun. No botox, fillers, plastic surgery (well there was a knee replacement but that was about it), and not much in the way of hair dye either, this documentary explored their amazing stories and expectations and you cannot fail to come away with a renewed vigour and an understanding that life is for living and that you should never just give up and wear beige.

Watch it on catch up, show your daughters, sons and husbands, everyone should see this documentary no matter your age or sex there's a lot to be learned about appreciating what you have and not being afraid to live.

Meet some of the ladies

Bridget Sojourner is 75 and is an ageism campaigner.

"People stop me everyday in the street, amazed that I look so stylish at my age.  The insidious ageism in our society says that you become invisible as you get older and that’s what I’m fighting against visually with my clothes. It’s great to see women like Mary Berry and Mary Beard on television but it’s tokenism when you remember that Anna Ford and Moira Stewart had to disappear because of their age.

Jean Woods is 75 and works in a boutique gift shop. She wears Doc Martens with everything and says 
"Five years ago my husband died suddenly. I was in a terrible state and was going to get a job in a charity shop to take my mind off it. Then my son suggested that I apply to Gap instead. I thought it was a ridiculous idea because nobody over 21 goes into that shop but I went in anyway and they gave me the job immediately.

Daphne Selfe is an amazing 85 and still makes a good living as a model. She has worked in the fashion industry for over 60 years and her bone structure is to die-for. She has appeared in The Guardian, Italian Vogue and is the face of Tk Maxx.

Lady Trumpington became a YouTube sensation when she flipped a V at a fellow member of the House of Lords. She is 91 and a Conservative life peer and is addicted to catalogues. She is incredibly sharp with a dry sense of humour - we are lucky to have her like in parliament.

What have I learned from these amazing women?
I won't be giving up some form of work until I am completely bedridden - it's the best way of keeping a foothold in modern life
I won't be dictated to about 'age appropriate' clothes - if I still fit skinnies when I'm 90 I will still be wearing them
I won't be afraid to say what I think - damn the consequences (although I will always take other people's feelings into account, that is hard-wired into my psyche)
I will make sure I have a reason to keep on living
I will just get on with things and appreciate every day as being special and a gift
I can't expect others to be responsible for my happiness - that has to come from within
You can wear a rainbow of colours and still look FABULOUS

Photos and quotes from The Radio Times
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