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Sun Sep 21 20:07:14 SAST 2014

Over-40 actresses dominate September magazine covers

Reuters | 11 August, 2010 14:190 Comments
Actress Halle Berry accepts the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at the Hollywood Reporter's annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast in Los Angeles December 4, 2009. REUTERS/Phil McCarten (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT)
Image by: PHIL McCARTEN

When the September issues of fashion magazines -- typically their biggest of the year, ad-wise -- hit newsstands this month, the three most prestigious ones will feature actresses in their 40s on the cover.

Vogue has booked Halle Berry, who turns 44 on Saturday; Harper's Bazaar will have 41-year-old Jennifer Aniston, promoting "The Switch"; and Elle has landed 42-year-old Julia Roberts, promoting her new film, "Eat Pray Love."

Putting these actresses on the cover of arguably the most important issue of the year sends a message that though we live in a youth-obsessed culture, there's still something to be said for the enduring appeal of women who have been in the public eye for nearly 20 years.

Laura Brown, projects/features director at Harper's Bazaar, pointed out that the average reader of the magazine is in their late 30s -- and that the readers view women like Aniston as "aspirational."

"They're cool, fashionable, interesting, compelling -- they have something to say," Brown said. "I love that they've grown into their style. One of the things about getting older is you do grow into your sense of self. You don't look victim-y anymore."

Lesley Jane Seymour, editor of More magazine, which is targeted to women in their 40s and older, echoed that sentiment.

"They're the ones with real style, real staying power, real beauty," said Seymour, who previously edited Marie Claire. "As the American population continues to grow older, everyone can relate better to a woman with a little wear on her tires."

Plus, she added, "Who is there with any kind of real style or longevity in their 30s or 20s right now? Britney Spears? Kim Kardashian? These are flashes in the pan. Many are shallow reality stars like Snooki. Style icon? Um, talk to me in a year. Frankly, it's here today, gone tomorrow. Lindsay Lohan? What's to look up to?"

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