Shireen Jamil Stars In Unairbrushed Photo Shoot In Collaboration With Lumen

Shireen Jamil has taken part has taken part in an anti-airbrushing photo shoot to celebrate the natural beauty of growing older. Shireen, aged 63 from London, took part in the photo shoot, for over 50s dating app Lumen, following her daughter Jameela’s comments that Photoshop is being ‘weaponised’ against women in their 50s, who are forced to fear getting older. The tweet has had more than 10K retweets and 45K likes. 

In the photos, Shireen is wearing a gold evening gown surrounded by sunlight to emphasise her natural beauty. The photos feature no Photoshopping and no airbrushing, and in some of the images the camera equipment has been left visible in the background to emphasise the ‘stripped back’ and organic feel. 

Lumen, an over 50s dating app, organised the shoot to push back on ageism in popular culture, namely the underrepresentation of the over 50s and the use of Photoshop and airbrushing, particularly on female models. The aim was to show how growing older doesn’t make you any less attractive by celebrating Shireen’s unairbrushed beauty. 

Shireen was once a model, yet taking part in the campaign was no small feat. She has not posed for a photo shoot for more than forty years and still has a number of scars from years of domestic abuse at the hands of her former husband, which also shattered her confidence. She left her husband in the mid 1990s but only felt strong enough to report the crime to police in 2013. Yet in doing so, she found out that domestic abuse fell under common assault and that the crime needed to be reported within six months of taking place to be acted upon. 

Shireen campaigned to have the law changed and in 2015 ‘Shireen’s Law’ came into force, ending the time limit on reporting cases of domestic abuse. It also established a new offence of coercive control, criminalising controlling and emotionally abusive behaviour.

Shireen Jamil said: 

“When I was contacted about the photo shoot, I was initially shocked, but also very grateful to be afforded an opportunity to empower others, especially women of a similar age, and victims of domestic abuse. I’m immensely proud of my daughter’s achievements and her campaigning to ban Photoshop and embrace one’s true self by pushing back on ageism and sexism. The body should be celebrated for its natural beauty, whatever its age the scars it may carry.” 

“I found it immensely challenging to face a camera, but the team put me completely at ease. I’m hoping these images will help to inspire confidence in other older people, of all genders, whose sense of self-worth has, for whatever reason, been dented. I believe in ageing gracefully rather than trying to hold back time. In the words of Keats, ‘a thing of beauty is a joy forever, it’s loveliness increases.” 

Charly Lester, co-founder and CMO of Lumen, commented: 

“We’re on a mission to push back on ageism and thought what better way to express that than doing our very own unairbrushed photoshoot with Shireen, who is a remarkable women. We’re thrilled with the results and hope other companies will follow suit in celebrating growing older.” 

Lumen is a free mobile app (iOS and Android) tailored to the needs and habits of the over-50s that makes it as easy as possible to meet genuine, like-minded singles in a safe community.

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