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Joseph Massey
Joseph Massey

Mature Women In Bikinis Fix

There are opportunities for women over 60 to be a little non-traditional with their choice of flattering bathing suits. You can wear running shorts or tank tops with built-in bras, or swimming shorts with a halter top or t-shirt. There are no rules that say that you have to wear matching tops and bottoms. For example, you might try a solid bottom and floral top.

mature women in bikinis

Do you feel nervous wearing a bathing suit in public? Or are you completely comfortable in your skin? Where do you think are the best places to shop for flattering bathing suits for older women? Please leave your comments below.

Target brand Aqua Green offers classic swimsuit styles for women in fun patterns, like this cheetah print option. The faux wrap style and diagonal ruching details create a slimming effect across the waist. We love the adjustable straps and removable cups that allow you to choose the right level of support for your chest. The bottoms offer a fuller coverage style for modesty, and the brand claims the fabric is UPF 50+, which means it provides an added layer of sun protection (though you still need to wear sunscreen!).

Summersalt's swimsuits are a favorite among our editors and GH Institute experts, and the Sidestroke bathing suit is a top pick from the swimwear brand. The one-shoulder suit is made of compressive fabric with diagonal seams and looks great on women of all ages and sizes. The bottoms are full-coverage for added modesty. For even more coverage, Summersalt offers matching swim skirts and coverups that you can wear anywhere from the beach to brunch.

This high-neck one-piece swimsuit from Tempt Me has over 23,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, so we decided to put it to the test by having 10 real women of different sizes and ages wear and rate it. Testers said it was comfortable and loved the smoothing mesh material and ruching details. The suit may not be the best quality, but it is a great value and held up well in Lab wash tests. There are over 40 patterns and colors to choose from, and it's available in sizes XS to XL and 16 to 24 plus.

Three decades after the women's movement offered women greater equality and expanded roles, a small chorus of media critics laments what it sees as a one-dimensional portrayal of women by Madison Avenue, characterized by nudity, extreme thinness, sensuality, even bondage. With their dual emphasis on physical perfection and sexuality, such ads, these critics say, can create body dissatisfaction, fuel addictions, and subtly legitimize violence and bondage.

"The emphasis is so completely on women's bodies," says Jean Kilbourne, who for 20 years has been lecturing on images of women in advertising. "The ideal has always been unattainable, but now it's even more so." She attributes some changes to the ability to alter photographs with computers - to elongate bodies or put one woman's head with another woman's body. "The ideal is no longer a real woman," she says. "It's a composite."

Because advertising is "more influential, more powerful, more ubiquitous than ever before," Ms. Kilbourne says, she and other ad-watchers are mounting campaigns - in books, classrooms, talks, and videos - to alert consumers, women in particular, to what Kilbourne calls the "toxic environment" of American advertising culture.

Barbara Lippert, ad reviewer for Adweek, also sees a pattern of growing hostility between the sexes being reflected in advertising. "Men would like to see women in more stereotyped ways," she says. "Beer commercials are slowly going back to the babes. Victoria's Secret ads are aimed at women but appeal to men."

Another current advertising theme, Ms. Lippert notes, involves men making fun of women "because they're obsessed with shoes, they make you put the toilet seat down, and they take too long to get ready. I don't think it's very funny."

Women make 85 percent of retail purchases, with working women between the ages of 40 and 60 forming the largest market. Although a few companies, including Nautica and Banana Republic, feature mature models in ads or catalogs, older women remain largely invisible in print ads.

Referring to most older models, Lippert says, "These women are still extremely thin and look fabulous. It's not exactly realistic to think people are going to age this way." She would like to see older women and men "used for products other than bladder control and retirement money and electric mattresses. These older people are vibrant, doing all kinds of things, including buying cars and traveling."

Dines adds that older women also tend to be clustered in medical ads, "looking for arthritis pills, laxatives, or diapers. In every culture, you hope the older women will be the carriers of the culture, but we give them no voice."

Seven years ago Joanne Byron, an over-40 model in Wareham, Mass., launched a national signature campaign to encourage advertisers and modeling agencies to include older women. Her goal is 50,000 signatures per state.

"There is a myth that only young, seductive women can sell," Ms. Byron explains. "In reality, women of all ages have that capacity. Who has created that myth? Advertisers. Who runs the advertisers? Men."

Similarly, Dines finds that women of color are also rendered largely invisible in ads. African-American models may be shown in jungle settings or wearing leopard skins and animal prints. If advertisers pick African-Americans, they use models with white features, she says. "In reality, the model of beauty is whiteness."

At Teen Voices, a national magazine written by and for young women, resistance to negative images runs strong. A column called "Say What?"criticizes specific ads, explaining why the portrayal is damaging to teens. 041b061a72


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