Baby Boomers targeted with older models

Demand for models, actors in their 40s, 50s rising

SAN ANTONIO - Those in the business of advertising and show business have no doubts that the rise in demand of the older model and actor goes hand in hand with the aging baby boomer generation.

The trend is apparent in any magazine that targets a customer who may already have a little money saved up for luxury items.

Professional fashion photographer Liz Garza Williams is among those in the industry who notices the trend and likes it.

“Even though we have a little gray in our hair, our money is green,” she says referring to her generation.

Working with models in their 40s and 50s is not uncommon any more.

As she shot photographs for a glossy high end advertising spread for the Alteza Condominiums in downtown San Antonio, her models ranged in age from mid-20s to mid-50s.

She says it make her job easy.

“The are generally just more confident, and they are more natural in front of the camera. They are experienced and they know what to do,” she said.

The models themselves say they can’t believe their luck to still be earning money in front of the camera.

“When you are 16 (or) 17 (and) starting out in this business, you think a 40-year-old is ancient. I could never imaging doing mother-of-the-bride dresses instead of the wedding dress,” said Tara Staglilk.

Part of it is her fitness routine, she said, but landing the job can also be attributed to an acceptance that an older model can help target a more financially secure customer.

One of the trends can be applied to Patrick MacLeod, a 53-year-old athlete who is surprised to find himself back in front of the lens after a long break.

“It’s not what I expected. When you see your first gray hair, you think it’s over. This is kind of a surprise,” he said.

Another example is Tesa Gonzalez, who turned 50 this year and still is a model of choice for Julian Gold.

She’s never taken a break from modeling since her teens.

On a recent job wearing expensive evening wear, she said, “The woman who typically is going to buy a dress like this is my age or older, so it just makes sense to have a model that is a contemporary of the client.”

Model and acting casting agent Kristy Martin says her most-booked client is in her 40s and she takes jobs away from much younger actresses.

She says now that Hollywood is no longer the epicenter of show business, folks in other parts of the country are getting a fair shake at jobs, especially given that the audition process is now digital and on the internet.

Access to an entire country of talented people has been made easier.

“Now that so much production is being done across the country, you have actors who are afforded the opportunity to guest star and star in roles that allow them to build a resume and be more competitive with actors who formerly go to LA,” Martin explained.

For a list of recent stories Ursula Pari has done, click here.


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