Why it's so hard finding women to model for a menopause brand•
Posted on January 29 2020
We love hearing feedback from our customers — especially when it comes to areas that you think we can improve upon. One particular topic that always pops up in our comments and social media feeds is the diversity of models we use, specifically when it comes to their age and body types.
Within a growing Instagram world, we understand how important representation and inclusivity is. We agree — women should be able to see themselves in the models that they are presented with. But the reality is, especially when it comes to modelling for a menopause-related product or brand, there are a number of obstacles that prevent even us from achieving true representation.
Being completely open and honest, this is a challenge that we are still striving to overcome — but we are getting there. So to fully address the common concerns about the models we use, why we use them, it’s important for us to tell you about our journey and the challenges, limitations and frustrations we've faced along the way.
So, first things first...
All of our models are of perimenopausal and menopausal age. Fact.
Become is a brand for menopausal and perimenopausal women: so it’s only natural that these should be the women who model our clothing.
It’s really important to us that our models represent our customer base, so we only ever use models who are currently experiencing, or have already been through, the menopause or perimenopause. This goes for all of the women in our email campaigns, product imagery and social media posts — they’re all experiencing the same hot flushes, sleepless nights and brain fog that we are! It’s a value we pride ourselves on and something that not all menopause brands can guarantee.
However, upholding our commitment to only using models at this stage means that sometimes we’re forced to compromise in other areas. This is because in our experience...
Some modelling agencies (and models) aren't too keen to be associated with the menopause
Many of the comments we see about our models are that their body types don’t always represent the different shapes and sizes that women come in. Now, you know that we’re not one to make excuses, so while we recognise that this can be true, the reality is that we’re extremely limited in the kinds of models that we can select from.
This is because many models, and their representatives, don’t want to be seen promoting the menopause or menopause-related products. In our experience within the industry, we’ve been turned down by countless models, agents and potential brand ambassadors simply because they don’t want to associate their name (or face, or legs, or bums or tums for that matter) with “the dreaded menopause”.
Even in 2020, we’re still battling against the stigma that the menopause makes you “old”, “hormonal” or “over the hill”. This means that the pool of models we can select from is significantly reduced. So when we finally do find a woman of the right age who is happy to represent us, she then may not have a body type that is fully representative, and vice versa. It’s a constant battle that we’re doing our best to overcome, but while we would love to have a huge range of models of shapes and sizes to pick and choose from, the industry doesn't always allow us this luxury.
Our brand ambassador Lisa Snowden is proudly perimenopausal.
As pioneers in tearing down the stigma against the menopause, we wish more models would embrace their experience, like our brand ambassador Lisa Snowdon:
“It seems wrong that, in 2019 (and now 2020!) the menopause is still looked at a topic to be kept secret. I’m proud to be working with Become to bring the subject to light, and in turn, allow all women to feel supported.”
Are real-life models the way forward?
In the past, we have used real-life models within our campaigns. By this, we mean real customers who have tried and tested Become for themselves — but even then, it’s not always easy to persuade women to be photographed in their underwear, or to take them away from their busy lives to be in our shoots.
When it comes down to it though, we’d really love to know your thoughts. Would you prefer to see real customers in our clothing, or do you already like the kinds of models you see in our campaigns? In a similar vein, if you’re a model and would love to represent us, or an agent who has somebody in mind, we’d be glad to hear from you.
Ultimately, we want to say thank you for being so vocal with your thoughts and always challenging us to be the best we can for all women — slowly, we are getting there.
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