Friday, March 15, 2013

Tina Turner: Vogue Cover Girl at 73

"Simply The Best" album, 1991                                           German Vogue cover, 2013

Second Look:  Tina Turner

Tina Turner has shattered the glass ceiling, at least in publishing terms.  This April, German Vogue has put the rock and roll legend on its cover with some splashy fashion spreads inside.  To date, the oldest cover ‘girl’ was Meryl Streep featured on the American edition in January 2012 when she was 62.  Even More magazine favors celebs in their 40s and 50s as its cover subjects.

Kicking out Racism, Sexism and Ageism

Tina (born Anna Mae Bullock) started her musical career in l957 as Little Anna with her husband, Ike Turner.  After ending the abusive marriage, she began a solo career in her second life.  She was known for her musical talent as well as those fabulous legs.  Maybe she kicked out the ceiling.

Anna Mae Bullock .  .  .

Here’s hoping American Vogue-- it currently has the "Queen Bee" as in Beyonce, 32, on its April edition --recognizes like its European counterpart that beauty and talent knows no number.  As Caryl learned all too well from her InStyle days, the real determinant in any magazine cover subject is “Will it sell?” (By the way, there was a time when editors and publishers believed women of color couldn’t move magazines but that barrier’s been broken.) By voting at the newsstand, the box office and the concert hall, we can tell marketers that older is still relevant and age doesn't matter. Or, as Tina herself might have said it (paraphrasing her first solo hit single):  “What's age got to do with it?”

. . .first performed as Litte Anna before changing her name to Tina after marrying Ike Turner.

In Their Prime of Life

And speaking of Vogue USA, Anna Wintour was just promoted to artistic director of Conde Nast.  At 63, she will maintain her magazine responsibilities as editor of Vogue and editorial director of Teen Vogue but also oversee all the other titles.  Wintour tweeted that her new position’s “almost like being a one person consulting-firm” advising the other editors about their brands.  In this role, she can personally change the magazine landscape by putting women of any age on the front page.  And why shouldn’t she?  She herself is breaking down the glass ceiling as is Martha Nelson, the newly-appointed—and first female—editor in chief at Time Inc. There had been some speculation that Wintour, who was a big Obama supporter, was angling for an ambassador post in her native England and might leave Vogue after 25 years on the job.  Charles H. Townsend, the chief of Conde Nast, said: “I would go to great distances to avoid losing Anna, particularly in the prime of her career.” Love that word prime.  Now that term has legs.

See more photos of Tina over her 50 year career and watch her perform "Simply The Best".  


  1. I think this is pretty fantastic.

    Assuming they Photoshop (hard to imagine any magazine doesn't do so, even on the 15-year olds), I do hope they don't overdo it. In my opinion, that would undermine the real significance of celebrating this woman's talent, vibrancy, and gutsiness.

  2. I agree, the term 'Photoshop' came to mind. She's gorgeous without it, so it's a real shame.

  3. I wish/hope/pray I look as good as she does when I'm in my 60's let alone my 70's!!

  4. Ok, but Tina does NOT look like Tina. AT all....just sayin'

  5. It gets tougher and tougher to meet "today's beauty standards" as Photoshop distorts what we consider normal. Phenomenal women in teens, 20s and 30s are reworked to non-human perfection. So can you imagine what they'd do with women in their 60s and 70s? Maybe it's better for our self image that we're NOT on magazine covers ... ;-)

  6. Even if they did a bit of Photoshop, I'm just delighted that a woman over 40 is in the spotlight. It seems as though more and more mature women are receiving attention for their beauty and power where women over 40 (and even more so women over 50) have been ignored by the popular media. Go, Tina!

  7. Tian is a beast and a survivor. I know the owner of the house where she lives in Switzerland. He says she is fun and riot to be around!

  8. I love that Tina is on the cover. However I've seen other recent photos of her and, unfortunately, the photos of her face look very PhotoShopped (is that a word?) Despite that I'm thrilled she is Vogue's cover girl. There are so many other 70ish year olds who could grace the cover - Jane Fonda comes to mind. We collectively have to help push that glass ceiling - again and again and again. Great post!

  9. Photoshop seems to be synonymous with fashion photography these days no matter what age. Keep in mind Tina admits to having some plastic surgery. As is pointed out, at least she made the cover. And she seems like a riot to be around. I'd love to be her neighbor.