What do the people in charge of magazines think we really want to see when it comes to images of women in their 40’s and beyond! Recently I caught up with editor of ‘YOU’ magazine Jo Elvin who previously edited Glamour magazine for the last 17 years for my milesyounger podcast series. Jo launched Glamour which defined an age and a generation of young women and sold more copies in its sector than any other in Europe, with a new format and its own voice.

Stuart Miles

Stuart Miles

She knows what it takes to stay at the top in the world of celebrity and has featured many stars on her front covers over the years,

“When I was at glamour magazine I noticed an emerging market of younger people being obsessed with ageing and being more obsessed with looking into anti-ageing techniques and products.”

Does she think women of all ages are featured enough in magazines these days?

“Now I’m at at ‘You’ magazine I am aware now we can feature women from a slightly older demographic which I’m really enjoying!

I love putting people like Helen Mirren on the cover but most people know as they age they’re not going to look like Helen Mirren, I didn’t look like Helen Mirren does now when I was 20!”

Jo recently featured Lorraine Kelly at 58 years old on her cover,

“She’s somebody who came late to confidence, she’s always been good looking but she admits herself that she looks better now than she did in her 20’ or 30’s.

If you can crack that code it doesn’t matter whether you have a few wrinkles and put on weight it’s about confidence and being comfortable in your own skin!”

I wondered who else Jo is inspired by?

“I am inspired by women like Davina McCall who are just trying to be the best version of themselves, it’s not just about vanity.”

I ask her about re-touching photos and why it is so prevalent now amongst celebrities?

“I have seen retouched pics from photographers and they look like a piece of art and I’ve said we need to dial it back a bit for the magazine but the photographer says if you do that the client’s publicist will never employ me to work again!”

So, are we at a stage where this is leading the agenda then as to what goes into our magazines?

“I think what’s going on with everybody is that you have to make a big thing of it if you are looking natural with less make-up and no re-touching and everyone applauds it. But if you put a pic out and it didn’t explain that to people then there’s this social media backlash! The public has to have some accountability in all this, sometimes it does feel like if you don’t retouch a photo you’ll get a backlash!”

But what of the future, does Jo see our obsession with looking younger for our age continuing at a pace?

“When it comes to being good for our age, let’s not see it as vanity.

My two things are simple, don’t eat rubbish and move!

Yes, people are becoming more and more obsessed for the practical reason we are living longer and working longer so it’s more of a necessity”

“What I don’t like is that people are made to feel guilty about the effort they make and it’s a no-win situation.

If they don’t make the effort they get criticized for letting themselves go and if you look too great they all whisper about it, saying what’s she had done etc”

“I always remind my daughter that for people in the public eye it is their job to look great all the time but it’s not real and thankfully we all don’t have to aspire to such high standards.”

You can hear more from Jo in conversation with me by clicking Here,