YOKO NOW - THE SURPRISINGLY SEXY SEPTUAGENARIAN
in its Saturday edition of March 26 2005 ( link found below), the Globe and Mail ran a very interesting article on ageism in the fashion world by Canadian pionneer of video fashion journalism Jeanne Beker.
In it, Ms Beker answers some mail from readers, one of which concerns the recent fashion spread in New York Magazine that featured Yoko wearing some very cool fashion, her famous Porsche glasses, and hot pants!
Yoko saw the article today, and wanted to share her thoughts with you.
Find the comments she asked me to help distribute below
here is the full link to Jeanne Beker article:
You can read the original New York Mag issue at :
where the photo session originally ran.
I recently saw a fashion spread in New York magazine featuring Yoko Ono, a septuagenarian, in denim short shorts. What kind of message is this giving older women? And does anyone seriously expect a seventysomething to follow suit? I thought the concept was downright scary. -- Bewildered Bette
Dear Bette: While I doubt that Yoko Ono would actually run around New York dressed like that, she's telling us she's mighty proud of the way she looks, and isn't ashamed to show off. She looked great, if you ask me. Also remember: Fashion imagery in magazines must rarely be taken literally. This is fantasy time, folks. Seventy-one-year-old Yoko is simply trying to show us that "age" is often much more a frame of mind than chronological number. Besides, she's an artist -- and often, when you've earned that title, anything goes.
the Toronto Globe and Mail is running the complete & sligthly revised text of Yoko'S AGEISM in today's edition (Saturday March 02, '05), page L4
the 1/2p article layout includes a very LARGE photo of Y, the infamous hot pants one
"A letter from Yoko" : http://tinyurl.com/4bktf
March 29th, '05
Recently I had great fun being photographed by Albert Watson for the Spring Fashion issue of New York Magazine. Yet, some people seem to be offended by my personal style.
This is reflected in the following letter to a columnist at a magazine:
"I recently saw a fashion spread in New York magazine featuring Yoko Ono, a septuagenarian, in denim short shorts. What kind of message is this giving older women? And does anyone seriously expect a seventy something to follow suit? I thought the concept was downright scary. -- Bewildered Bett
I'm totally flaggerbasted by the reaction my hot pants outfit has created. Why do females and males of our species want to look good? Because we want to feel good ourselves, make other people feel good about us, and make our family feel good about us. My two kids are happy the way I am. They don't want to see me depressed, unkempt, and feeling not good about myself.
You might say, that I am being too superficial. The beauty of the spirit and the mind is all we need. Really? Then I must be a different species from you. I like dressing up and looking nice. I like having fun with clothes. Why not? What is this... it's scary that she is wearing hot pants at her age? The columnist replied to Bewilldered Bette: "She probably will not go out on the street like that."
Well, I don't know about that. I will, if I felt like it one day! If I did, why would it be scary for you? Scary, is a very strange word to use to express your feeling of the possibility of seeing me on the street with hot pants, isn't it? She could be concerned that I will be vulnerable to physical attackers...but somehow I don't think that's her reason.
I was brought up by a mother who thought I should not dress too sharply because people may get the wrong idea. Nice woman don't wear sharp dresses. My father wore a tweed jacket until he died. My mother wore a skirt which was always long enough to hide her beautiful knees! Well, a bit less tragic than the nuns who never took off their clothes to go in the shower.
So. Is there some uniform that a person over 50 should wear, or 60 or 70? People used to openly express their disdain to see me come into restaurants having a big tummy when I was pregnant with Sean. I looked around, and discovered that there was no pregnant women in any public places in those days. That one it seems is over now.
This time, it's old people, is it? We cannot wear what we use to wear when we were 18? Why?
People over 50. There are so many of us on our planet. In fact, statistically, there are more of us than people under 50 now. We are the ones who toiled, held up the sky, and waited for you to appear on the scene to join us. We are the ones who have some knowledge acquired through our experience to give you, so you don't have to make the same mistakes we made. I think you still need us, darlings!
Just know that we want to feel good, as well. Just like you do. There is no difference between us except you will get where we are after us and not before. Give us the respect and freedom you expect to get when you are at our stage of life. yoko
P.S. A friend who read my writing came back with this: Some thought - It`s interesting that for someone like Clint Eastwood, when they talk about him it`s how great and buffed and in shape he is and of course "still sexy at his age", and it`s "normal" that as a man he is sexy. It`s about time that *everyone* can be "still sexy after 50"
Toronto Globe and Mail journalist Jeanne Becker shared her readers's response to last Saturday AGEISM. Reproduced with permission from the authors.
From: Julia Gak
Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2005 2:27 PM
Subject: Your Article: A letter from Yoko
My name is Julia, I'm 15, and I recently just read your article : A letter from Yoko. I don't normally read the paper that often, but I decided to just look through the styles today. I was shocked to see a picture of Yoko Ono, and how well she looked! I could not believe it. I love her style, and would wear that any day. (if I had the clothes) But even more shocking, I could not believe she was 71. I would love to look that young when I was in my 70s. A lot of people give up by the time they hit 60, and live in an old age home by the time they are 70 or 80. While Yoko looks like that! She looked wonderful, and I hope she continues to wear things like that, and not listen to what other people think.
I am a big beatles fan right now and that is why the article caught my eye. I think that they were an amazing band. I also really feel sorry for Yoko, because of John Lennon dying at such an early age. I don't know if the letter from her was personally towards you, but I was wondering if you knew an address I could mail her at, or an email address I could email her at. I wouldn't mind saying a comment about this to her.
I don't know if you read alot of your emails. But I would really appreciate it, if you emailed me back. My email is : juliagak@ And let me know your thoughts.
Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2005 5:49 PM
Subject: Yoko Ono
I cannot believe this is even an issue . . .
She looks, in a word - stunning. When one adds to that fact that she is 71
it merely makes it that much more of something to celebrate.
What can be bad about a mature, highly intelligent, creative woman that is
also drop dead hot and has great style to boot?
Hats off to her and a big rasperry to the petty, envious people that wrote
in saying anything to the contrary . . .
From: Beth Alaksa
Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2005 11:17 AM
Subject: Yeah Yoko!
Thanks for passing on Yoko's letter in your column yesterday. I missed the original column, but think I have caught up ....and, YEAH YOKO! Not only for doing the photo in the first place, but for the words in her letter as well. I agree with almost everything Yoko said and feels, and yes, I'm closing in on the fifty-something age group myself. But, the part I don't agree with is...."that there is no difference between us,..." There is a lot of difference between us....we know that life has many ups and downs; we know that love doesn't last forever sometimes, so you have to enjoy it and live it while you have it; we know that dreams get you up in the morning, but that working towards them is never a straight obvious path; we know that people dissappoint us, and that we can still go on; we know that death comes when we least expect it and when we're not ready, but we quickly feel the warmth of memories; we know that life is full, full of sadness, despair, pain and beautiful, beautiful moments, fun moments, moments of truth and love and joy and just plain sillyness and given that we know all this, we also know to take those moments, live in them and enjoy every second of them and celebrate them....Yes, we are different, and yes, the twentysomethings will be here sometime soon as well and we your sisters, will welcome you with a hug and a knowing smile...because we know also that it isn't a selective club, that the journey is similar for all of us and knowing that, makes it easier to handle almost anything.
Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2005 2:32 PM
I composed a letter in my head to you all last week following your column about the photo of Yoko Ono in hot pants. I never did get it out but was very excited to see your column in yesterday's paper about all the responses that you did get, especially the one from Yoko herself.
I am 58. I was born in 1946. I have a theory about women born in that year but that is another story. I think Yoko looked just wonderful. She has the body to dress that way. I have never understood what it is about some women that when reaching a certain age, they start wearing sweatshirts with cartoon characters on them, or "world's best gramma". I have always loved fashion. Picking up a new issue of Vogue makes me salivate. I so agree with you about the rarity of magazines for women of our age. I recently visited a wonderful magazine store in North Vancouver with a like-aged friend of mine. I was scouring the shelves of fashion mags, looking for one that fit. When I commented to her that there were not any magazines for fifty year olds; she picked up one of the "craft" magazines that she had in her hot little hand and said "these are for women our age". No, no, no. I am a working visual artist and see the merit in skimming through some of these myself, but where is the "Flaunt" magazine for my generation?
Love "Fashion Television". Keep up the good work.
From: Diana Waldie
Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2005 4:19 PM
Subject: A letter from Yoko
I am sure you will have a flood of mail from the 'older ladies' who really enjoyed your article in Saturday's Globe & Mail. I am one ... I will be turning 70 in June and can't believe it ... now it doesn't seem as bad!!!!!
I have already emailed the article to several friends but I would really like a copy of Yoko's letter on its own, so that I can keep it in my file. Would it be possible to have it forwarded?
I always enjoy reading your column and have picked up many good ideas. Thanks!
From: Lynne Woods
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2005 3:35 PM
Subject: re: Yoko Ono's picture
When I saw Yoko Ono's picture, my reaction was Wow, you go girl, she looks fabulous. I am turning 50 this year and I should be so lucky to live that long and look that good. She shouldn't have to explain herself to anyone. Her short hair looks great, she is slim and has gorgeous legs. That outfit looks great on her. I think she looks amazing and she should keep doing whatever it is she is doing. Thanks Jeanne for all your excellant articles (I have teenage daughters as well and we have a really special bond which I treasure) Regards. Lynne Woods
From: Pat Hiatt
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2005 1:23 PM
Subject: Yoko Ono; New York Magazine
What's the fuss about? For those who wish to see an 'older woman' dressed 'appropriately oldish' . . . she is! She's wearing her stockings and gloves isn't she?!