At this late stage in life, Adams has found herself sought after by major brands (she’s recently been crowned a Sally Hansen Self-Made Super Woman), attracted by her exotic sense of style and major point of difference: her age. In a world that all too often denigrates getting older, Adams is all about celebrating it.
“I think folks are intrigued as I’m older than your average Joe, travel a bit and I guess take a few more risks and have more adventures than most,” Adams admits. “My Instagram is raw, visually direct but also laden with messages that take thought and sensitivity to work out.”
Just scroll through her feed: in some images, Adams is all attitude in head-to-toe Adidas athleisure, in others, she’s resplendent in multi-hued Romance Was Born, or perhaps a richly embellished Indian sari teamed with timeworn leather. Each post bursts with vibrant colour (of the real life, unfiltered variety) and each demonstrates how Adams has taken her look and her life into her own hands: the true mark of a Sally Hansen self-made super woman.
Adams has always fiercely carved her own path. The jewellery-designer-turned-icon-of-ageing-fabulously names “aloneness, singularity, irreverence and rebellion” as her driving forces and makes a point of never seeking anyone’s approval but her own. “As a youngster, my life choices were never what was expected of me, and were never approved of,” she explains. “As a 62-year-old woman, who I guess would be considered to be ‘self-made’, I realise that most importantly we all have to make time to really get to know ourselves and understand who we are. Only then can we be truly strong and effective in this world.”
The story behind her signature hashtag, #MyWrinklesAreMyStripes, encapsulates Adams’ approach to life. “In 2015 I was whisked into a store, where a delightful young lady approached me and put a blob of something onto the back of her hand,” she recalls. “‘I’m just going to apply this to your eyes’ she told me. ‘It will completely remove all your wrinkles for approximately one week.’ At this point I grab my bag and politely tell her that actually I love my wrinkles and have no desire to get rid of them.” And the hashtag #MyWrinklesAreMyStripes was born.
It’s a refreshing message in a world where anti-ageing is one of the beauty industry’s biggest buzzwords. “My wrinkles do not scare me; they show me and therefore my experience,” Adams says, explaining that in the military, the more stripes a soldier is decorated with, the higher his rank. “I see them as a badge of honour and a mark of roads travelled – why would I not be proud of them?”
As a single parent of twin daughters, Adams cites “working in what was very much a man’s world” as one of her biggest challenges. “I have faced the various forms of unwanted approaches of men, and – worse – the jealousy of women,” she reflects. Her vision of Sally Hansen’s Shetopia – an ideal world made by and for women – is one that embraces the individual’s journey towards self-discovery.
“As a young woman I followed my heart, my passion for antique jewellery and exploration,” she says. “As a parent, I did my best, reviewing constantly. I have been my own judge and jury.”
Her advice for young women seeking to make their mark in the world? “Only by knowing who you truly are, and by owning that, will you find the power to make your mark,” she says. “Keep focused, keep resolute, be your own judge and constantly re-assess your goals, motives and behaviour.” Adams is living proof that the results can be pure magic.