The XX Factor

Jaclyn Smith, Airbrushed Angel

Dear Jaclyn Smith: We know aging is difficult, especially for women celebrated for their beauty and pinned up on the walls of teenaged boys in an iconic image of an era. But it’s time to face facts. Even people who don’t actually remember you from the original Charlie’s Angels know you were one of the ‘70s trio-so even without the help of the handy Wikipedia entry, we can date you pretty easily into your 60s. (Ms. Smith is 62 .) Lauren Hutton is 66, and she’s been rocking her natural beauty for decades. At 61, she posed naked for Big magazine. I don’t ask that you bare all in the name of silver pride, but only that your media presence reflect the fact that while your brand may be only in its third decade, you yourself bring rather more age and experience to bear on your work.

Until technology enables us to apply the magic of airbrushing to our day-to-day existence, one still somewhat-depressing truth remains: We will all grow old, and the vast majority of us will look every day of our age. So while there may indeed be a need for a line of tastefully designed, inexpensive clothing, sheets, and accessories, there is an even greater need for proud role models moving into their sixth decades and beyond. So why not let a wrinkle or two slip onto your advertising pages? Give women everywhere something worth more than a classic, easy-care tunic: a picture of a beautiful 62-year-old woman wearing it.