"Diversity is one thing. Inclusion is something completely different"



Fotograf @petra_kleis

Dorrit Bøilerehauge is a researcher in the branding of fashion on social media, focusing on middle-aged models, at Aarhus University. Dorrit also works as a model and influencer on Instagram. She works out and practices Ashtanga yoga in her spare time. The ocean means a lot to Dorrit, and she swims all year round.


Dorrit focuses on social media and the aesthetics surrounding middle-aged models as well as diversity and inclusion in her research. Her research has always been digital, which is why it was a natural next step to focus on social media. Dorrit has done research on fashion for years, and she began modelling last year. She likes to work as a model and says that it is both educational and provides her with even more knowledge in her research. Dorrit thinks her modelling job is interesting because of the collaboration and the focus on a shared goal.

Dorrit has always loved fashion and style. She has lived in London and Italy, where she was inspired by art, fashion, aesthetics, handcraft, and high quality. Fashion has been a lifelong passion for Dorrit and a way of living that makes her happy. Dorrit cares about her clothes and appreciates her beautiful things.

“I have always taken good care of my things. I have polished my shoes, hand-washed my clothing, folded and airdried it. For me, it is a way to live out my interest in fashion. Not trend-based fashion, but fashion in owning beautiful things that you are grateful for. It is also more sustainable when your clothing lasts longer. Like people who are cool for longer. Much longer.“


We ask Dorrit about diversity and inclusivity in the fashion industry:

“Parts of the fashion industry are
slowly beginning to include more middle-aged models in their marketing. They are very wise to do so because middle-aged women are far from being ashamed of or sad about their appearance. They would love to see other women like themselves in fashion campaigns. Someone, they can reflect themselves in.”

Dorrit thinks that bureaucracy in fulfilling a marketing strategy can be long when it comes to including more middle-aged women in the fashion industry. She thinks that it is difficult for models of different ages to have the same appearance or coolness in a campaign.

“To show diversity is one thing. To show inclusivity is something completely different. If a middle-aged model only appears as the guest of the day, we are getting nowhere.”

”One day, I thought to myself: I guess I must do it myself. And that is why I founded the Silver Starter Initiative.”

Silver Starter Initiative

During her research, Dorrit became aware of the great development in middle-aged people who are more dynamic, curious and express their kind of coolness, much more than others might think. Dorrit is constantly surprised by how little middle-aged people are represented in media and that the media’s reflection of them is way too dull and old-fashioned. She decided to take matters into her own hands and established the Silver Starter Initiative. Here she interviews middle-aged people that are starting new careers, start-ups, getting a PhD and much more, to express an updated depiction of the lives of middle-aged people. The vision behind this initiative is to create a network for this demography. Instagram is Dorrit’s biggest source of inspiration when it comes to fashion.

Right now, the focus is on Dorrit and her Instagram profile, where she daily expresses her opinions about what it means to be cool in this part of life. She expresses this, by focusing on fashion and creating awareness about age.

You can follow Dorrit @dorritboilerehauge