Kyrgyzstan’s older women redefining beauty and fashion

Celebrating age and challenging stereotypes on a runway

In a world where fashion is fixated on youth and older people are marginalised, a group of older women from Kyrgyzstan is challenging stereotypes and redefining beauty.

Meet the stars of a recent fashion show that took place in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, where women showcased that they are #OlderNotOver. They became part of the worldwide campaign that champions a fuller, more authentic portrayal of what life really looks like after 60.

Ranging from 60 to 80 years old, the women walked the runway for the first time. The fashion show wasn’t just about wearing stylish outfits, it was a statement — a declaration of their beauty and strength. Outfits ranging from flowing dresses to tailored suits not only reflected their unique style but also empowered them with a sense of liberation.

Each woman brought her unique story and perspective to the runway, highlighting the diversity of experiences among older women in today’s world. From leading self-help groups to embarking on adventurous travels, these women are rewriting the narrative of what it means to grow older.

Take a moment to admire them and hear what they have to say.

Svetlana, 71

“I like to look unusual and modern. I work as a restorer of architectural monuments, this is creative work, and my image corresponds to my inner feeling.”

Maripa, 72

“Why sit at home, watch TV? I lead an active lifestyle. I am a tour guide; I once travelled throughout the entire Central Asian region.”

Zuhra, 69

“I love my age. When I was young, I was more self-conscious. Now I feel free.”

Tatiana, 69

“At my age I am full of love. I like being a modern woman.”

Zinaida, 73

“I’ve never been shy of my age. When I retired, I became a volunteer. I’m taking care of 77 people with disabilities, visit them regularly and bring them food and essential items.”

Ainura, 60

“If you love yourself, people around you will love you too.”

Zinaida, 80

“I’m the oldest one here. I’m the leader of a self-help group for older people and I like to participate in creative activities.”


Older women are often marginalised and excluded in mainstream media and fashion. Society’s obsession with youth perpetuates a narrow definition of beauty, leaving little room for representation, reinforcing unrealistic beauty standards, and creating a sense of invisibility for older women. This systemic marginalisation fuels ageism, undermining older people’s value and potential.

It’s time to stand up against ageism, show the world that older women are #OlderNotOver and celebrate the beauty that comes with age.



The event was organised by Resource Centre for Elderly and AgeNet Network with support from HelpAge International as a contribution to #OlderNotOver — a campaign for a fuller, more authentic portrayal of what life really looks like after 60, from America to Zimbabwe.

Learn more about #OlderNotOver and get involved.


Photography by Maxim Nogai