Yazemeenah Rossi is a model and visual artist living in a guesthouse by the sea in Malibu, California. Although she was born in mainland France, she grew up on the Mediterranean island of Corsica.
Her beauty is of course striking, and hard though it is to believe, Rossi is actually 61 years old. She’s still modeling, and she plans to remain in the business for the rest of her life. Given her strength of character, too, we have little doubt that she will achieve this.
For instance, though Rossi’s hair color suits her perfectly now, it first started to turn gray when she was just ten years old. Later, she met resistance from model agencies when she told them that she didn’t want to dye it.
When asked about her idiosyncratic looks, it’s clear Rossi has little time for convention. “I always thought it was a gift, I thought why dye this. I’m always someone who likes to be simple,” she told the Daily Mail in 2016.
In fact, Rossi seems content with the way most aspects of her life have gone. “Every morning I wake up, I have no agenda, I’m happy… It’s a game for me, it’s playing for me,” she said. “It’s not about me. My ego was satisfied a long, long time ago.”
However, she recently told Metro that her body no longer has quite the amount of energy it used to and “couldn’t be pushed so much after the menopause.” But that certainly doesn’t seem to have hindered her modeling career.
Indeed, a recent campaign of hers caused a real stir online. While the photoshoot might have seemed straightforward, one simple aspect of it caused Rossi to become an overnight sensation…
Yes, she was wearing a swimsuit. And not just any swimsuit – a tight white swimsuit that was daring by any woman’s standards. But she looked amazing – and the internet went crazy for the results.
The photoshoot was part of a collaboration between lingerie brand Land of Women and online fashion store The Dreslyn. And the message behind their campaign was a strong one.
For one thing, the plain white swimsuit was designed to switch up the way we normally see women in “hyper-sexualized” swimwear campaigns, according to Dreslyn’s CEO, Brooke Taylor Corcia. In contrast, she said, it shifted the focus more onto questions of female identity.
Moreover, through the use of 61-year-old Rossi as a model, the images certainly challenged the constant use of younger models in such campaigns. “She makes it perfectly clear a company doesn’t need young models to draw attention,” said Corcia.
“[This line is] all about being a person who’s well-lived and well-traveled and has intelligence and confidence, and letting that shine through,” Corcia added. Which, of course, is exactly why the designers selected Rossi to head up the campaign.
Indeed, in the resulting collection of elegant photographs, Rossi appears happy and assured. “This is a woman who radiates health and vitality,” Corcia said.
The images show a woman who is confident in her own skin, with Rossi looking svelte as she adopts a variety of poses. Nonetheless, she still has some negative things to say about aging.
“It’s not fun to see your skin going down and becoming less toned,” Rossi admitted. “But the nice, fascinating side of aging gives you a strong feeling of inner power totally unknown before.”
Still, Rossi told the Daily Mail that she is not a fan of retouching her photographs, going on to express her amazement at the amount of iPhone apps in existence for that very purpose. “It blows my mind, this is not in my world,” she said.
Meanwhile, despite her extraordinary youthfulness, Rossi has said that there’s “no big secret” to maintaining your looks into your 60s. “All I have ever done is eat organic food – long before it became trendy,” she told The Sunday Times.
In addition, Rossi has also talked about the benefits of yoga on her Instagram page. “It is such a wonderful way of being intimate with our bodies that are our best friends,” she wrote, alongside a photograph of herself in a classic yoga pose.
Of course, Rossi isn’t the first older model to cause a stir in the fashion world. Last year, 56-year-old British model Nicola Griffin became the oldest woman ever to appear in the Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated.
Griffin told the Daily Mail, “It’s not all about being 20… We’re bored of that. We are all different ages and sizes and that’s the beauty of it. We’re real women.” Yes, it’s hard not to applaud any campaign that spreads the important and positive message that women can be sexy at any age.