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Oct 16, 2019
Boomer and Gen-X Women Feel Ignored by Beauty and Grooming Product Makers, AARP Survey Finds
Mirror/Mirror: AARP Survey of Women’s Reflections on Beauty, Age and Media™ Finds Women Want to See a Variety of Ages (and More Realism) in Product Ads

WASHINGTONA national survey of nearly 2,000 U.S. women finds a significant number of respondents in their 50s and above feel ignored by the beauty and personal grooming products industries, AARP reported, upon the release of Mirror/Mirror: AARP Survey of Women’s Reflections on Beauty, Age and Media™. 

Forty percent of Gen-X women (ages 39-54) and 53 percent of Boomer women (ages 55-73) disagreed with the statement “the beauty and personal grooming product industry creates products with people my age in mind.” Seventy percent of women age 40 and older want to see more perimenopausal and menopausal beauty and personal grooming products.

The survey, key elements of which will appear in the November issue of Allure, also reveals dissatisfaction with how women are portrayed in advertising, with 64 percent of Gen X women and 74 percent of Boomer women reporting they feel older adults are underrepresented in product advertising, and over 7 in 10 women in both age groups stating they are more likely to purchase products from brands that depict people of a variety of ages in their ads. Interestingly, 76 percent of Millennial women (ages 22-38) reported they, too, are most likely to purchase products whose ads feature people of a variety of ages. 

Elsewhere, 85 percent of women of all ages reported they wish ads had more realistic images of people, and 75% of women said that seeing beauty and personal grooming ads with real people makes them feel better about themselves.

Women age 50 and older spend an average of $29 monthly on beauty and personal grooming products, representing nearly $22 billion in annual sales.

Mirror/Mirror: AARP Survey of Women’s Reflections on Beauty, Age and Mediawas conducted in July 2019 and polled 1,992 U.S. women.  The complete results are available online here:

AARP conducted this study as part of a longer-term effort by AARP to shape a new image of aging in advertising, marketing and media. Later this month, AARP will issue a related study, Latinos and Beauty as We Age: A Cultural Reflection. To learn more, contact

­­About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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