For well over a year, Queerty has been dinging the dingbats with our esteemed Douche of the Week award. We thought it was only fair to honor those who do right by the LGBT community.
Introducing the Queerty Bad-Ass of the Week.
Gay-male culture is pretty much obsessed with youth (not that mainstream culture isn’t, mind you) so we really went gaga for Ilona Royce Smithkin, the 93-years-young muse of Advanced Style, a blog dedicated to uniquely glamorous women of a certain age.
Advanced Style is the brainchild of blogger Ari Seth Cohen, who has captured many gorgeous ladies in his blog and soon-to-be-published coffee-table book. But it’s Smithkin who really captured our heart: Not just for her brilliant approach to style, but for her refusal to stay in the mothball-scented closet most seniors are pushed into.
“Sometimes older people are really put into a very hidden spot,” she recently told NPR. “They exist and people know they exist, but they have to fight for themselves instead of being still part of the world, which we are.”
Thanks in part to the attention she’s gotten from Cohen’s blog, Smithkin has scored modeling jobs, kikied with Dita Von Teese and even appeared on billboards.
And she did it all by being herself—not by contorting herself into society’s definition of what’s attractive or youthful. That’s a lesson many of us can take to heart.
All together now: Good on you!