Refinery29 launches anti-ageism focus and changes to 'Refinery59'

The publisher has partnered with AARP to create a cross-channel platform about society's view of aging.

Refinery29 has launched a cross-platform initiative that aims to shift attitudes and shape a new image around aging to combat redundant perceptions.

"Life Begins At," a year-long drive including co-branded content with sponsor AARP, kicks off today with a site takeover in which the female-focused publisher changed its name to "Refinery59."

"Young or old, we are all affected by age and the perception that women have an expiration date on their looks, their value and their influence on the world," said Amy Emmerich, chief content officer at Refinery29.com.

"Aging is not a linear, predictable path, but our culture is riddled with ageism that tries to put us in a box according to a number. This powerful platform will push ourselves and our audience to shift how we speak about age, acknowledge our own biases, and begin to demand a fuller representation of women over the age of 40."

According to research from AARP, 73 percent of women say they like ads that feature and celebrate women of various ages, but 61 percent do not feel represented by images of women in media.

The platform will examine what aging really looks like for women with honest and intimate stories that celebrate all the complexities and nuances that come along with age. This includes custom, data-driven features and videos with cultural icons, personal essays on topics like being fired at 50, as well as service content such as breaking outdated rules around fashion and beauty and embracing solo travel later in life.

Refinery29 has created a dedicated feedback loop with its audience, inviting them to share personal stories around age and ageism that will inform its editorial content moving forward.

"Combating ageism and ageist attitudes is core to AARP’s mission, and we’re heartened to encounter more and more organizations that want to join in our efforts," said AARP Vice President, Enterprise Initiatives Kamili Wilson.  

"This collaboration with Refinery29 is reflective of an increasing desire amongst people of all ages to challenge ageism and make it as socially unacceptable as other forms of bias and discrimination."

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