AARP launched a research series in 2018 to give women of all ages the opportunity to share what wellness, beauty, and self-care means to them as they age and how those perceptions change over time. The Mirror/Mirror series has identified a gap between how women experience aging, how media and marketing portrays aging, and how the marketplace meets women’s needs for products and services.
According to the 2021 Mirror/Mirror study, under stress from the coronavirus pandemic, women have placed a renewed emphasis on inner health, well-being, and self-care.
Additional takeaways from the Mirror/Mirror series:
- Women do not age in the same ways. Life stage, culture, family, media, technology, and popular culture all play a role in shaping women’s outlook on aging, wellness, and self-care.
- Despite a wide range of experiences with aging, women tend to become more accepting of themselves as they age.
- Wellness and beauty brands are missing a market opportunity reaching women age 50+, who feel under- and misrepresented.
- Companies seeking to improve sales and connect with consumers should produce advertising campaigns that show people of all ages. Women of all ages like to see a mix of ages in advertising.
- Women want marketplace solutions that address their unique experiences, needs, and values. In particular, they want a greater range of solutions for perimenopause and menopause as well as more products tailored to people with different skin tones and hair types.
Thayer, Colette, and Angela Houghton. Mirror/Mirror: AARP Survey of Reflections on Age, Beauty, and Media. Washington, DC: AARP Research, May 2021. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00429.001
- Mirror/Mirror: AARP 2021 Survey of Women's Reflections on Beauty, Age, and Media (PDF)
- Mirror/Mirror: AARP 2021 Survey of Black Women's Reflections on Beauty, Age, and Media (Report, PDF)
- Latinas and Beauty as We Age 2021: A Cultural Reflection (Report, PDF)
- Las Latinas y la belleza con el paso del tiempo 2021: Una reflexión cultural (Report, Spanish, PDF)
- Mirror/Mirror: AARP 2021 Survey of Women's Reflections on Beauty, Age, and Media: Annotated Questionnaire (PDF)
- Mirror/Mirror: AARP 2021 Survey of Black Women's Reflections on Beauty, Age, and Media: Annotated Questionnaire (PDF)
- Latinas and Beauty as We Age 2021: A Cultural Reflection: Annotated Questionnaire (PDF)
- Mirror/Mirror: AARP 2019 Survey of Women's Reflections on Beauty, Age, and Media (Report, PDF)
- Consumers Seek More Age Diversity in Advertising (Fact Sheet, PDF)
- Annotated Questionnaire (PDF)
- Latinos and Beauty as We Age: A Cultural Reflection (Report, 2019)
- Los latinos y la belleza a medida que envejecemos: una reflexión cultural (2019)
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