Mirror, mirror on the wall

julia zaltzman

It’s official, the ideal age for a person, according to the people of Britain, is 36. New research brought to us by a recent YouGov survey shows that the majority of the 1,700 people who took part in the poll view middle age as having the highest prestige, status and everything else deemed to be good and worthy.

I’m a little unsure, however, as to what this new-found information means for me, personally. Either it’s fantastic news due to the fact I am sprinting towards my now enlightened 36th birthday faster than I can shout “wrinkle at six o’clock!”, or it’s all downhill from here …

The survey goes on to reveal that 29 is the average ideal age for physical health (I’m definitely doomed there), and for wisdom, it is 51 (I’m working on it).

Yearless beauty
Now that I know I am soon to be experiencing the best year of my life, I feel inclined to make the most of it. Or best of all, I should pay no attention to it whatsoever. According to Fiona Klonarides, founder of The Beauty Shortlist, 2016 is in fact the age of ‘yearless beauty’ where age is irrelevant.

This alternative take on the zeitgeist is a reflection of the ever-expanding range of products and brands that have been entered into the 2016 Beauty Shortlist Awards that focus on nurturing skin health, embracing natural beauty ingredients and not pigeon-holing consumers into buying from limited categories. At the time this column was going to print, Klonarides was in the thick of the judging period, and stated that: “This year there are more products that got ranked ten by the judges than in the past five years; the standard has shot up and it’s a year of game-changers.”

Shifting categories
And Klonarides isn’t alone in her age-resistant stance. Newly emerging make-up brand Wild About Beauty, co-founded by make-up artist Kim Jacob and TV personality Louise Redknapp, has the mantras ‘wearable, affordable beauty’ and ‘ageless radiant skin’ at the forefront of its branding.

Even the larger players are changing the way consumers shop for their products, and ultimately view their brands. The Organic Pharmacy, for example, allows its online customers to choose whether they wish to shop by category or by concern, and breaks it down even further so they can shop by what’s new, types of treatments, the changing seasons and promotional campaigns.

The vast majority of shoppers will still want to stick with what they know, and search for the likes of anti-ageing skincare or sun protection, and we are a long way off retailers and brands alike doing away with this type of categorization. But recognizing the shifting sands of consumer shopping habits and adapting with them is the smart (and some may say only) way of moving forward and ultimately growing as a retailer.

If you fall short of the dream age of 36, fear not, however. Apparently, people aged between 18 and 24 said the ideal age was 27. It was 34 for the 25-49 bracket, 40 for those aged between 50 and 64, and 42 for the over 65s.

So what the survey really tells us is there is no dream age, just an ever-changing perception of utopia …

Julia Zaltzman is a freelance journalist and editor of Natural Beauty News.