A 76-year-old grandmother, Candace Cima, recently found herself at the center of a social media controversy after sharing a video of her fashion choice, igniting a debate on age-appropriate style and beauty norms.
Candace Cima, a 76-year-old grandmother and burgeoning style influencer, recently encountered an unexpected wave of criticism after sharing a video on various platforms, including Facebook, where she modeled a sleeveless midi dress. In the video, Cima, who has 11 grandchildren, elegantly showcased a brown knit dress, later pairing it with a boxy sweater. Surprisingly, the clip, which was intended to be a simple Amazon try-on, sparked a significant amount of outrage.
Some viewers expressed their views quite bluntly in the comments section. One person remarked, “Great color and style; however, you must wear the sweater over it. The dress is not attractive on you without the sweater over it.”
Others echoed similar sentiments, with comments like, “Not suitable for the arms after a certain age,” and “For the sake of men who have to see you in public, know what dresses compliment you and which ones don’t. Body-hugging form-fitting dresses on a woman over… 50, is not visually appealing in any form.”
The remarks ranged from patronizing to outright disrespectful. “Wat too bare for your age,” one comment read. Another advised, “No, it’s too young for you. No disrespect.” Some comments were more specific about the fit and style: “Looks much better with the top on. It is not flattering on an older body otherwise,” and “No, older women should not wear form-fitting dresses like that. It shows off a sagging butt. Looser fitting would be much better. You’re very attractive but that dress is not for a sagging body or skin.”
Despite this deluge of negative feedback, Cima remained unaffected and did not give the remarks much thought. She shared with TODAY.com, “It’s perfectly appropriate to have wrinkled skin at 76, and I’m not ashamed of it,” showcasing her strong stance against ageism in fashion. She humorously added, “Sometimes I want to respond, ‘Should I cover my face too, because I have wrinkles there?’”
Cima’s response to the criticism was underpinned by her broader mission, which she began in 2019 with the launch of her style blog, “Life in My 70s.” She saw the need for pro-aging influencers and has since amassed over 400,000 followers across various social media platforms. Cima is driven by the desire to reshape the conversation around aging and fashion, challenging the outdated notion that women should hide their bodies as they grow older.
In her conversations with TODAY.com, Cima reflected on the impact of her work. She receives numerous messages from followers who express relief and gratitude for her positive portrayal of aging. She often encourages them, saying,
“Aging is great. Everything you have learned your entire life is now there for you. You are now the wisest that you are ever going to be. Embrace it and be proud.”
Cima’s experience sheds light on the persistent issue of body shaming and ageism, especially in the world of fashion and social media. Her story is a powerful reminder of the need for more inclusive and diverse representations of beauty and style, encouraging women of all ages to wear what makes them feel confident and beautiful.