Age is just a number. The struggle with aging is a struggle with change and change is a good thing.It is how we grow and get better.
Antony Fitzgerald, left his life of teaching to embark on a new career in modelling and acting, at the age of fifty. The absence of older models of colour on the pages of magazines, in campaigns and on the catwalk, inspired him to challenge the stereotypes about mature models, especially of colour, to create a forum to advise, support and promote them. His initiative is already creating greater opportunity for exposure and employment.
Photos by Kaja Gwincinska and Jeff Marano
Antony told So50 that his biggest challenge since turning fifty is to show casting directors that his unique look and attitude are not eccentric, but just an expression of who he is. He describes himself as “ethnically ambiguous” and, like the clients he promotes, represents a growing group of people of all ages who defy the usual marketing archetypes. He turned these challenges into his own positives by taking the opportunity to become self-employed, to be on the cutting edge of change, at a time when he did not even know any black models his age.
When asked about the advice he’d give his 25-year-old self, Antony would say “Believe in yourself. Do not let self-doubt stop you from pursuing your dreams”, and his incredibly wise words, “Being a people pleaser does not make people love you”, so “take better care of yourself”. Great advice to carry into later life, along with being true to yourself and being surrounded by those whom you love and trust.
Photos by Kaja Gwincinska and Ronan McKenzie
As for the here and now, Antony is excited by the challenge of how far he’ll go within his industry, and by the number of models of colour he is beginning to see in major campaigns. He is most enthusiastic about his latest project, New Silver Generation, “a resource for models of colour over fifty”. You can see some of his incredible photoshoots at @new.silver.generation.
“I have always felt that having a great body over 50 is much more impressive than having a good body in your 20s”.
Antony also inspires his many younger followers to plan for an amazing life after fifty, challenging the ageist narratives around us. He also cites @moosealikhan as an example of a model who looks more beautiful at an older age. We agree!
Photos by Kaja Gwincinska and Sami Swar
When asked about his most memorable trip, Antony revealed it was a trip to Paris, to walk for the Watanabe show during Paris Fashion Week. As soon as we can travel again, he dreams of going to New York to further his career in modelling and acting.
Antony Fitzgerald is helping to redefine what beauty is, challenging those who are used to an outdated standard of beauty. He is also an intelligent man, determined to continue exploring the superpowers he is discovering in midlife. We will keep an eye on Antony’s beautiful photoshoots and can’t wait to see him rocking New York in the near future.
Follow Antony on @antonyfitzgerald1964