60-Year-Old Bikini Model, It’s hard to stand out in the modeling industry. When you consider the vast majority of fashion shows, most of the models are tall, thin teenagers and twenty-somethings. It’s in no way reflective of the real U.S. population, especially given that the average woman lives to be 84 years old.
This is what makes Yazemeenah Rossi so exceptional: She’s a 60-year-old woman with a successful modeling career, and she can rock a swimsuit campaign just as well as (if not better than) Kendall Jenner.
After successful campaigns with the fashion label The Dreslyn and the lingerie brand Land of Women, the France native has been making headlines left and right. Upon meeting Rossi myself, I quickly understood why she’s become so popular: She is just as magnetic in person as she is in her photos.
Rossi is tall and ethereal with striking white hair. “I kept my hair natural because I found it very beautiful, and I couldn’t stand the idea of putting chemicals on my head,” she explains. “I’ve always found it ridiculous to hide the truth, to ‘fake’ it.”
If you’re wondering how difficult the look is to maintain, Rossi says it’s as easy as leaving your hair alone. “I never blow dry [my hair] and use very simple, natural products,” she says. (She doesn’t even go to a hairdresser – she simply trims her hair herself.)
Rossi’s modeling career began in Paris at the age of 28, when she was hired to replace a model who canceled an appearance at the last minute. Since that initial gig, Rossi’s 30-year career has taken her all over the world – a perfect match considering her other occupation is photography. That’s right: She makes part of her living doing fine art photography, snapping portraits of people as well as landscapes.
But back to modeling: One thing many people find refreshing about Rossi is that she actually lookslike herself in photos, which are frequently posted to her popular Instagram account. “I use the natural light in specific ways to avoid retouching my photos,” she says. In most cases, she says clients only minimally retouch her pictures (such as in her campaigns for The Dreslyn and Land of Women).
Unfortunately; however, Rossi admits she has experienced companies that took the retouching a little too far. “Sometimes I barely recognize myself – my hair color is changed, my teeth are enlarged, I have zero wrinkles…it’s quite a weird feeling.”
As for keeping her complexion looking gorgeous, she’s got a few great (and inexpensive!) tricks up her sleeve. “I never buy skincare products,” she confesses, instead opting to scrub her skin with olive oil and sugar or salt. She also says she applies organic natural oils or essential oils.
Overall, Rossi says she likes to focus on things other than how old she is. “We have no power over aging and, ultimately, on death, so it is better to embrace every single day,” she says. To do so, she says she maintains a healthy number of hobbies, including ceramics, cooking, designing clothes, and doing yoga, the last of which she’s done for more than 30 years.
While Rossi prefers not to give advice, per se (“I never give advice, just information about my own experiences”), she does have some words of wisdom for us. “I regard aging in the same way as my hair – I never think, ‘I am having a bad hair day’; in hard times, I never forget that I am alive,” she says, adding, “I never forget that the sun is always shining above the clouds.”