Designer Kiran Uttam Ghosh, Age 55, Now Finds Beauty in Her “Crooked” Imperfection

The Word. Magazine presents ‘The Ageless Series’—a pioneering photo-essay that celebrates ageing and the joys that come with it.

Designer Kiran Uttam Ghosh, age 55, for The Word. Magazine’s ‘The Ageless Series’

The Word.: How does fashion perceive a woman over 50?

Kiran Uttam Ghosh: “Fashion, today, perceives a woman over 50 as slightly ‘over the hill’, and I absolutely don’t agree with that. If you look around us, there are women and even 85-year-old grandmothers who are looking absolutely gorgeous.”

TW: How old are you and how old do you feel? 

KUG: “I am 55 and I feel 55. I am happy to be 55, and I am loving it!”

TW: Does society expect women to stay young forever? 

KUG: “Society may expect women to stay young forever, but that’s Utopian, that’s unreal. I come from a family where we celebrate the fact that people are going to age. Hardly anyone colours their hair and they are happy the way they are. That is the reality of it, why not love it and embrace it?”

TW: How has your perception of beauty changed over the years?

KUG: “My perception of beauty has changed gradually. For instance, I used to obsess about the fact that I have a crooked nose, today, I say that it has character. So, one just has to learn to celebrate our imperfections.” 

TW: What Is the best thing about growing older?

KUG: “The best thing about growing older is that you just become more comfortable in your own skin, you understand that it’s not important to please anyone else…it’s just ‘you’ that you have to please, and that’s what I love about it.”

Kiran Uttam Ghosh is wearing all jewellery by Shri Hari Ram Jewellers, and a sari by her own label.

TW: How has your personal style evolved over the years? 

KUG: “Over the years my personal style has gone from being hesitant and worried about whether everyone is looking at or thinking about me, to actually being happy in my own skin. I now wear styles and pieces that I love, that I feel comfortable in, and that work for my body.” 

TW: Do you think that the world is doing enough to celebrate women above a certain age?

KUG: “The world is doing a lot to celebrate women above a certain age, we see it in our daily lives… We look at women looking beautiful whatever their ages may be—60, 65, 70, 75. Look at the women of The Ageless Series by The Word.…they are just all stunning! 

The media, on the whole, isn’t doing that much, though, but I think they will come around. I mean, you’ve to just look around and realise that women of all ages are looking their absolutely fabulous best.” 

TW: What brings you joy?

KUG: “My life brings me joy, my family, and my work. I love my work and I don’t suffer from Monday morning blues. Sunday is a great rest day, but Monday is fab. I think I am blessed to have a gorgeous life.” 

TW: What makes you feel utterly sexy?

KUG: “I think sexiness is in the mind, it is not in the body. And that is why, sexiness is about a thought, about a look, about something someone says and how they say it, and about the nuances rather than something that’s loud or overt.” 

Kiran considers society's expectations on women to stay young forever to be Utopian.

TW: What hopes and ambitions do you have for your life?

KUG: “I am living my dream life. I love the work I do, and I love the holidays, the friendships, the relationships… I can’t hope for a better life than this. Thank God!”

TW: What does timeless mean to you?

KUG: “Timeless, to me, means grace, elegance, and something that is perennial.” 

TW: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?

KUG: “If I could go back in time I’d tell my younger self to celebrate my imperfections, don’t rue them, don’t worry so much. You are going to fail, and that’s fine…I call it failing forward! Learn from it, keep walking, and enjoy the ride.”

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