Christie Brinkley says age discrimination in modeling is real — and it’s a problem.
“I have to constantly be reminding people that my age group matters, that we are relevant, and that we want to be represented,” the 64-year-old veteran model said during a panel about women’s empowerment in New York City hosted by Merz (she’s a spokesperson for their non-invasive anti-aging procedures Ultherapy and Xeomin).
She said this kind of ageism is reflected in her fees, too. “As an older woman in modeling, I think there is a little bit of a ‘maybe we can get her at less of a price because she’s an older model,’” she said. “But I’d like to remind everybody that we are 100 percent as relevant as anyone else.”
That being said, she acknowledged that the approach to older models has shifted, especially with the rise of Maye Musk, the 69-year-old mother of Elon Musk who also landed a CoverGirl contract. “She is seriously a top model right now,” says Brinkley. “She’s out there with her shock of gray-white hair, just looking gorgeous and striking everywhere she goes. People are really happy to see that.”
Her tip? “We just have to keep on keeping our foot in the door and not let it close on us.”
Ageism in modeling is something Heidi Klum recently dealt with as well, as she responded to critics who deemed her too old to model lingerie at 44.
“Sometimes people say, ‘You know you’re 44, you’re turning 45, why are you not giving the baton to someone else?’ But I always think there’s a lot of women my age 50, 60, 70. What, do we have an expiration date? Can we not also still feel sexy? I feel sexy,” she said during a visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
She explained that she has nothing against 20- or 30-year-old models, but questioned: “Why can’t older women also be in campaigns? So I’m still doing it.”