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Are Leading Ladies Defying Age Barriers to Conquer Fashion Titles?

Female celebrities over 40 are starting to get the spotlight they deserve on the front pages of fashion magazines, according to recent research by B-Cure Laser.

However, there’s still work to be done!

B-Cure Laser by Good Energies, producers of a low-level laser therapy device which aids pain relief, tapped into the fashion market to understand the average age of cover stars since 2000.

The B-Cure research paired the stars’ birth dates with GQ and Vogue’s publication dates through the last two decades. These were chosen to compare female-oriented and male-oriented magazines to reveal progress on both sides of the industry.

And after sifting through leading magazines – GQ and Vogue – to explore cover stars’ ages at publication date, the team has revealed that just 2% of Vogue cover stars between 2001–2005 were aged 40 and above. By 2016–2020, that figure jumped to 26.1% as 26 of the 104 stars featured were over 40.

However, the same level of progress has not been seen in men’s fashion magazine GQ, where statistics shows that between 2016-2020, just 2.17% of the women featuring on the front page were aged over 40, compared to 4.2% between 2001-2005.

In 2000, the average of Vogue cover stars was 25.05, which has risen just over 6 years, to 31.69 for 2021.

Itay Avni, UK Manager at B-Cure Laser, said: “It is great to see that fashion magazines are showcasing females for their talent and not for their age.

“Age is only a number and if you feel good, that’s all that matters. There has been a clear movement in society around the perception of women over 40 and it is great to see this shift being mirrored in the film and entertainment industries too.”

“We found that in 2020, for instance, Vogue featured a wide range of female personalities on their front page, from 24-year-olds to women well into their 70s and 80s. Dame Judi Dench, at the age of 85, was the oldest cover star of the past 20 years – male front-page celebrities included.”

Men have often been positioned as distinguished and have coined the ‘silver fox’ phrase as they age.

Between 2000 and 2011 just five women aged 40 and above made it onto Vogue’s front page. In the same period in GQ, 34 men above 40 featured on the front cover. By 2017–2021, no fewer than 25 female cover stars on Vogue were aged 40 plus.

The cover star to feature most in Vogue has been revealed as Kate Moss, who appeared on the front page no fewer than 31 times since 2000, almost three times more than the next most featured woman, Gisele Bündchen who appeared 12 times in the same period.

By comparison the most featured male in GQ, is Ryan Gosling with five front covers, with stars including Ryan Reynolds, LeBron James, and Channing Tatum all appearing four times.

British model Cara Delevingne has starred six times in her young career and could be poised to be the Kate Moss of the millennial generation. Will she be Vogue’s leading lady when she enters her 50s and 60s?