Move over Baddie Winkle. This 95-year-old fashion grandma just took over Instagram
We're obsessed with the beauty of youth. They've done studies that prove it. We perceive younger people as more attractive, even when they aren't and we perceive older people as being younger, if they're attractive. But there's an interesting and welcome global disconnect happening that may suggest that science got some facts wrong.
We no longer look to the young, taught, slender and flawless as our sole influencers and style icons. They no longer hold the monopoly over what captivates us aesthetically. Social media, oddly driven by the young, has blown the doors of opportunity and fandom off their hinges and broadened the concept of beauty proving (sorry science) that beauty is far more inclusive than it's ever been. Even on the runways.
Case in point: Ernestine "Erni" Stollberg. When the 95-year-old popped into Park, a Vienna clothing boutique, the store's owners Markus Strasser and Helmut Ruthner, saw what the rest of us now can't ignore. That there's no expiration date on allure.
Erni might never have been discovered had she not gone into the boutique to pet Strasser and Ruthner's new shop puppy (could we love her more?). They had her model a few things, snapped some pics and found a muse. And Instagram got a new star.
Like most 95 year olds, Erni had little social media presence before getting discovered, but she's now a staple of Park's IG account. Which is rapidly approaching 15k followers thanks to Erni's timeless star quality, grace (and we suspect, rebel heart). She's currently the one and only fashion model they employ and has recently graced the web pages of Vogue. If you're feeling long in the tooth, or unattractive in any conventional sense, we're happy to offer these images of Erni to inspire you to tell your brain to hush. Chances are, you're fabulous.
The pics speak for themselves (although we might add that she's fierce AF):
Go forth and channel your inner Erni. And should you need more inspiration or just an excuse to peruse ageless beauty on IG, we suggest these other grand goddesses: Iris Apfel (also 95), Carmen Dell'Orifice (she's 85), and of course, Baddie Winkle (Baddie's 88, and aptly named).
Take that, science.