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The lingerie model who's fighting ageism in fashion industry

Mumbai's Geeta J. is pushing e-commerce firms to hire older women for their advertising campaigns

Lingerie model Geeta J. hopes to inspire inclusivity and change in the fashion world. (Instagram/just_geet)

Geeta J., 52, decided to start modelling two years ago.

"It was my childhood dream," the Mumbai resident, a former teacher, told Mint. But soon she realized there weren't many modelling offers for people above the age of 40. "Why are older people only seen in ads for medicines, or crying at their daughter's wedding?"

She then decided to bring a change in the industry, pushing e-commerce firms to hire older women for their advertising campaigns.

In an online petition on Change.org, Geeta says, "Are women no more fit to become a lingerie model past a certain age?" The petition, which she started this year, is captioned with the hashtags #AgenotCage and #LingerieHasNoAge.

Her job is unusual in an society where religious and cultural norms limit women's freedom to dress the way they want.

Such norms are even more restrictive for women over the age of 40, Geeta told Reuters in an interview.

More than 11,000 people have signed up to support her petition, which is addressed to the chief executive of the popular innerwear company Zivame.

"This will lead to a change in the mindset of people in our country who think that after 40, women should dress and behave in a certain way," Geeta said in the petition, adding that she hoped it would lead to more companies following suit.

Geeta began her career after winning a runners-up prize in a beauty pageant for older women. While her family and friends had been supportive of her switch in careers at 50, however, she said she was aware many Indian women her age would find it hard to do so.

"I want to tell this to all women that they should care about the dreams of their husbands and loved ones and support them, but they should never think that their own life is not important or their wishes are not important," Geeta said.



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