If you remember the 80s or 90s, you might recall the supermodel Paulina Porizkova. She has recently made waves on the internet for posting a series of bikini photos. Many people have subjected her to ageism, a judgemental phenomenon that is currently a big issue in today’s society.
Paulina Porizkova in a Nutshell
Paulina Porizkova is not only a supermodel, but also an actress, and a woman of words. She was born on the 9th April 1965, in Prostejov, Czechoslovakia, which has now been renamed Czech Republic. She was discovered by a modeling scout in Prague, which helped her start her modeling career at the age of 15. Paulina quickly soared to the top model category, an achievement that got her onto the covers of many major fashion magazines, including Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar. Additionally, she was chosen as the face for many brands like Chanel and Estée Lauder.
Subjected to Ageism
Ageism is a form of discrimination or prejudice against individuals based on their age. This can come from people of any age who have a particular idea of what is acceptable for people to do or wear. People have decided, according to the norms of society, that some might be too old to wear short shorts. Or even too young to carry out certain roles. Some people, make jokes that are seemingly harmless. But, they create an air of discrimination that lowers the person’s self-esteem. This creates a great impact on the person, and enables more societal ageism to continue.
Then, in Paulina Porizkova’s case, she was slandered over the internet for posting a series of photos of her in a bikini. Being subjected to ageist remarks is not something new to Paulina, as many people have placed her under their opinions over the years. So, in a response to all the nasty comments she received, Paulina made a rather poignant post. The post was accompanied by a picture of Paulina dressed only in lengirie and a set of daring black heels. It was taken by photographer @adamkenworthy. “Did you know,” she wrote. “We are programmed, as humans, to compare ourselves to others? We can’t avoid comparing. But, we can control our reactions to the comparisons.”
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Paulina Poriskova Judged for Being Middle Aged
Paulina Porizkova continued on with her post, talking about how she feels judged for wearing a bikini. “I am a 57-year-old woman starting my life over.” she wrote in the caption. ” I compare myself to other women my age all the time. When I fit in- but somehow feel like I also stand out in a positive way, I feel good about myself. When I fail, I feel ashamed.”
“The antidote to shame, which is all inward and egocentric, is empathy. Facing out, with spiritual generosity. When I recognize my shame: “I don’t look as young, I’m not as rich, or pretty or successful or accomplished or as loved “ – as the woman I am comparing myself to, I can turn it around. I can allow her to inspire me instead. I can celebrate and admire, instead of throwing mud. And that’s a win for all.”
Next, she made a message to all her woman followers, highlighting her stomach which gave to two children. “(To all you, my fellow sisters, notice the crepeyness of my lower belly, which is what happens when you’ve borne two kids, are thin and 57, regardless of how good your abs are. I’ve decided to think of it as kinda sexy- like rumpled silk sheets instead of a smoothly made bed. It has a history of making love.)
Finally, she concluded her post by saying, “TRYING THIS ONE AGAIN. The only thing retouched in this photo is the painting in the back.“
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- “People Are Shaming This 58 Y.O. Supermodel’s Bikini Photos But She Stands Her Ground.” Bored Panda. Aura Vyšniauskaitė and Monika Pašukonytė. April 30, 2023.
- “At 57, Paulina Porizkova Poses Topless in Un-Retouched IG Pic About ‘Shame’” Yahoo. Ariella Weg. April 29, 2023.