I “met” 53-year-old fashion model Hillary Bitar when she commented on one of my Facebook posts. I visited her Facebook and Instagram pages and was blown away by her photos. All models are gorgeous, but few are gorgeous in ways that defy conventional standards of beauty. I love that Hillary has found career success as a silver-haired midlife woman who eschews cosmetic surgery. Her insistence on being who she is, and loving who she is, is inspiring. Read on for her story.
I have always remained true to me. The very long silver hair, perhaps my trademark, is one of the obvious signs of independence/rebellion I chose over typical beauty norms. I started going gray in my 30s and never dyed it. I always liked being unique despite enormous societal pressure on all things young.
I live in Miami and I started modeling at 50 — I’m now 53. I did some modeling as a teenager in New York City but my look was too exotic back then in the 70s when Christie Brinkley and Cheryl Tiegs were the All-American icons. I haven’t had any plastic surgery or Botox/fillers so I believe I represent what natural in your 50s looks like. I exercise daily and eat well. No diets: proper balance and portion control is key for me.
Modeling is an extraordinarily difficult business but advertisers and clients alike are slowly recognizing the importance of featuring baby boomers and their buying power.
To feature a silver-haired woman in a role other than “grandma” is still edgy, but it’s happening! I’ve done ads for everything from fitness, fashion magazines, healthcare, and even runway shows — but it’s limited, for sure. Ironically, the big trend now is for young women to dye their hair gray, so there’s hope!
My greatest compliment is to be told I’m an inspiration: for women to see it’s okay to be themselves and embrace their uniqueness. People admire my bravery in choosing what pleases me, not others. Confidence is truly sexy and very, very powerful. It’s something I try to portray in all my work images. I have no desire to look “younger,” or “perfect.” Energetic, vital, naturally sexy, and most of all secure in who I am is “me” and I think that’s ageless.