October 22, 2010

Aging Gracefully With Photojournalism

This week’s beauty is Robbie Kaye. Robbie is a photojournalist and is currently working on a book and exhibit called Beauty & Wisdom from her travels around the country photographing and interviewing women in their 70s,80s, and 90s in beauty parlors.

The women in Beauty & Wisdom live in a culture where the beauty of youth is hugely valued but the beauty of age is often ignored. In the beauty parlors across America, this fading generation of women share their humor and wisdom, as Robbie learned in New Orleans when Mrs. Guste, 88, who lost every piece of her jewelry when her house was looted during Hurricane Katrina, reminded her, "everything is borrowed and when it goes away, it's time to give it back."

Here is what Robbie has to say about growing older:

The older I get, the more privileged I feel about living each day and having the opportunity to learn and work on mastering this thing called life.  I spent over 20 years as a musician and songwriter and when I was 43, I fell in love with photography so much that I decided to study it.  That was 8 years ago…when I went back to school for English and photography.  I was twice the age of my fellow classmates but I wanted to learn so much that it didn’t bother me and because it was fine with me, it was also fine with them and it was one of the best experiences of my life.  I learned that instead of being afraid of something, like academics or failing, that I actually thrived in it and enjoyed being in school, learning, reading and relating to others in literature and art. At age 44 I had the honor of being on the Dean’s List, an accomplishment I never even dreamed of.

The universe is a tricky one, with lots of goodness in store, and now I find myself combining the two subjects I studied and love to do, photography and English. As I work on my photojournalism project, “Beauty & Wisdom,” I am grateful for the opportunity and the learning from such great professors on my path. I tell you this because I want others to know that they can start a new career at any time, at any age…it’s never too late, to discover your dream and then follow it.

Congratulations Robbie on creating such an exciting and important story.

Below is an interesting clip of Robbie's project in the making.