Yazemeenah Rossi isn’t your typical bikini model. She’s a 61-year-old grandmother of two who received a swimsuit modeling contract at the age of 61! Rossi is the face of a swimwear line that is a collaboration between lingerie company, Land of Women and online retailer, The Dreslyn. The founder of The Dreslyn, Taylor Corcia, says they wanted Rossi to represent the line because the 61-year-old “radiates health and vitality.”
Although Rossi has the body of any 20-something bikini model and a shockingly youthful appearance, the founder says Rossi was chosen because of her “grace and elegance in front of a camera” and hopes to remove the hypersexuality often associated with swimwear campaigns. Instead, their line intends to promote a more positive body image. “She’s confident, she’s a visual artist, she takes care of herself. [This line is] all about being a person who’s well-lived and well-traveled and has intelligence and confidence, and letting that shine through,” Corcia said, calling Rossi an easy decision.
Born in France, Rossi decided to start modeling at what was already considered a late age in the industry – 28. But the stunning grandmother didn’t get her big break in modeling until she was 45 with her signature white hair and flawless skin. Rossi has since been featured in major campaigns. She is the face of online fashion retailer JD Williams’ current spring/summer campaign, has landed covers of magazines all over the world and was even featured in a prominent role in a Marks & Spencer advertising campaign.
Rossi admits aging is not always easy: “It’s not fun to see your skin going down and becoming less toned but the nice, fascinating side of aging gives you a strong feeling of inner power totally unknown before.” Rossi, however, doesn’t seem to have much to worry about as her youthful appearance clearly hasn’t left her quite yet while her positive outlook on aging has inspired others to look at age as a challenge to keep pushing to find the best version of yourself no matter how old.
Rossi says it’s important to understand you’re not twenty anymore and to also understand that there’s nothing wrong with that. Although the bikini model promotes a healthy lifestyle, she also says you need to accept your body can’t do the same things it used to do when you were in your twenties. She also advised people not to push it too hard. Rossi says “When I was in my twenties, thirties, and forties I was pushing my body into lots of excessive and extreme exercises. I had the energy for it, but since my forties, I don’t have the same energy.”
The grandmother of two says reaching 60 made her realize she was still not fully living and proves we can still have these revelations and discover more about ourselves no matter what age. Rossi admits, “I don’t like the physical side of aging – I wonder if anybody likes that part?” but that “some years ago I realized the benefits of letting go. In my logic, I am living what billions of humans have lived before me and all I can do is just follow the flow of time.”
Still, many wondered what is this 61-year-old model’s secret to remaining youthful and Rossi has no problem revealing her secrets. One secret to Rossi maintaining her radiant appearance is even an ordinary, everyday product that many people already have in their houses!
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Rossi attributes her eating habits as playing a huge role in her youthful appearance, as well as olive oil! Rossi calls olive oil her fountain of youth, not only cooking with it but also using it on her skin and hair every day. Rossi says she’s always stuck with traditional beauty secrets and remedies. “I come from a very simple background where we used olive oil to cook with. Olive oil was used on our hair and skin – nothing else,” she says.
Rossi says she doesn’t believe in many products promoted in media campaigns and advertisements. “The media makes us believe that we need this or that to have a great skin so that products can be sold,” says Rossi. Rossi recommends using a natural facial scrub using a mix of sugar and olive oil once a week and says rapeseed oil is her holy grail hair product to keep her locks looking luxurious.
However, Rossi says it’s not just about what you put on your skin and hair that matters, but your diet is also a huge factor in maintaining a youthful appearance. While she now lives in Malibu, she was born in France and raised in Corsica and her Mediterranean upbringing has influenced her diet. Her diet also involves more olive oil because according to the grandmother of two, there’s no such thing as too much olive oil.
“The best thing for the skin is to eat enough healthy fats on a daily basis and to oxygenate well while exercising. I never eat processed, frozen, microwaved or low-fat food.” Rossi recommends getting healthy fats from olive oil and avocados and consumes both daily. Rossi also says she was eating organic food long before it became a popular trend, including meat and fish, and doesn’t believe in what she refers to as “frustrating” diets. Instead, she believes balance and discipline are the keys to staying healthy and happy.
“Most of the time, I eat organic food and cook it fresh every day. I eat mostly vegetables, fruits, nuts and some good-quality fish and meats,” shares Rossi. “I always lived a more or less healthy lifestyle. Year after year I’ve refined my awareness of what’s good for me and what’s not. But happiness is what makes you glow, not just the healthy food you put in your body.”
Last but not least, exercise. “I do a little bit of exercise every day. I’ve practiced yoga for more than 30 years and I’ll spend between 30 minutes and an hour doing it each day.” The bikini model also tries to walk between 15 to 45 minutes a day: “In the summer I like to walk in the water on the beach, and I hike in nature all year round.” But Rossi says to take exercise day-by-day and never allow yourself to feel guilty on days where you feel your body is struggling. “I never feel guilty if I don’t exercise for a few days, and when I go back to it I always discover something new. I respect the rhythm of my body.”
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