Ageism and Workout Wear

does my butt look fat?

AGEISM is real.
There are enough people posting on CPG topics that what I say is often just more of the same, but this keeps cropping up to me more and more.

With all the talk on inclusion in marketing and branding even in food-I decided to view through a different lens and look at other classes of trade, 
and I have noticed an absence of people over 55 in “regular advertising.” The question to ask is,” Why are we missing”? (I do not have a definitive answer, but some ideas).

 It is most obvious on fitness apparel sites. Seriously, we don’t just buy prunes or want to know where to buy compression socks, and if they think we worked that hard in our 30s and 40s to give it up in our 50s, 60s, or 70s, then they thought wrong.

I am not talking about body types or fitness per se, either. For many of us (male and female), having a go-to fitness thing or sport is vital in our day-to-day business life. The list of what counts is endless, from marathoning, rock climbing, resistance, and weights to HITT classes, yoga, and martial arts, and just listing examples.

I ran all my marathons in NIke and hiked Whitney in my Yoga pants back in the day (and now I am dating myself). I have been a worker-outer/gym-goer for years, and, like the rest of the world, I do a lot of my shopping online. To my chagrin, very few older “athletes” are being represented anywhere online, especially females.
There are no older people on the Nike site. There are many other models, though: thin, fat, shapely, pregnant, Black, Asian, but no grey hairs.
And this demographic is also missing from other notables, including Lululemon, Fabletics, Athlea, and Adidas.
Adidas only saving grace is that most of the models were shown from the neck down, so you have no idea who or what is filling out the rest of the photo.

It’s disheartening to see that NONE of the big-name companies have a fit, in shape, over 50, especially women (or, as I like to say, ‘ Us Fabulous Grey’s) in any of their marketing and advertising campaigns. Did we become invisible? Are our needs less important? Or are we a demographic that no longer needs targeting (I hardly think so)? Women like @Paulina_Porizkova and Jane Fonda both come to mind as forerunners in pointing this out. And, praising Martha for her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit shot, we need more of “us” to speak up. It seems major companies haven’t received the memo that we no longer age in front of the television while watching Lawrence Welk and taking Geritol. (Netflix and Ozempic have replaced that, and half joking here)

So, what is the real reason we have become an excluded role type? That is a whole ‘nother essay in itself, but it hit home hard on the power of visual marketing and how much I now matter (which is very little) to bigger corporations in my buying decisions or purchasing power. Food for thought.