The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Mirror Mirror: Women's Reflections on Beauty, Age and Media

Entered in Social Good Campaign


The objective of the social media influencer campaign was to amplify findings from AARP's annual Mirror Mirror: Reflections on Beauty, Age and Mediaand engage new audiences with topics of age discrimination and age inclusion. 

The three-part campaign consisted of an advertorial in Allure magazine, a live panel discussion with ColorComm and Michaela Angela-Davis, as well as a social media-influencer campaign.

In 2022, the survey revealed that 81% of women feel pressure from social media to change some aspect of their appearance. Younger women are more likely than older women to feel this pressure (87% of women 18-49 vs. 73% of women 50+.) This pressures women in three ways: 1) to appear more youthful; 2) to cover the gray; and 3) to adhere to more traditional beauty norms. 

Understanding that social media is a huge driver of self-perception and validation, we engaged 10 influencers of all ages, races, abilities, and backgrounds to create user generated content that engaged their followers with this message. 

AARP is not usually at the tops of the minds of Millennial and Gen Z women in the beauty space, but we know that these engrained messages of conformity and can snowball into our later years in life where we are now faced with feelings of inadequacy and ostracization based on appearance and age. With AARP being a known advocate for the concerns of women 50+, we feel it is imperative to have cross generational conversations on topics such as age, beauty, media, and discrimination.

Strategy and Execution

Though this seems to be a typical social media influencer campaign, we had to overcome several obstacles. Namely, AARP is most known to be “that company for old people.” And some top influencers did not immediately understand how our cause would resonate with their followers. We had to lead with AARP’s storied history of social justice, and activism. We shared with them the successes of #disruptaging, our campaign to challenge the way the world views aging, and the necessity for women all ages to support these causes. We got rejected by some influencers that were at the top of our list, but we kept sourcing women who we knew that once we told our story, they would support our cause.

From October 5 – November 8, 2022 ten influencers shared findings from the Survey to facilitate conversations with social media audiences.

The goal of the campaign is to:

The project came to life via video- heavily leaning on Instagram Reels. This was a true departure from past campaign productions the relied on static posts and thus did not garner significant engagement. The user generated content was truly authentic and not overly produced thus hitting home the points of the campaign- self-acceptance, and confidence regardless of age.

Micro-influencers also proved to be key for this campaign @shesheshow and @consciouslylisa and @jessicaturner proved the receptivity of this message to a diverse group of followers. Coincidentally, they all did a version of a #GRWM (get ready with me video). Larger influencers like @aarayoffaces @tingmystle also performed well and our influencers who represented the disability space (@blindishlatina and @iamtiffanyyu) shined a new light on these topics. 

Our call to action linked viewers to the robust components of the campaign that were sponsored by Allure Magazine and the full results of the survey on 

In 2023, we plan to capitalize on this momentum by sourcing 20-30 more influencers and conducting cross platform activations via podcasts, and longer form video.


The campaign generated 24 social media posts, 13K+ engagements (also known as “content interactions” on IG, which include likes, comments, shares, saves, and replies) and 182.7K+ video views.    

This is significant for our team because it expresses multigenerational receptivity to messages from AARP. This is one of the few times that AARP has engaged Gen Z and younger Millennials and prioritized video content- versus press-releases and static social media content. Engagement from each group, all the way through Boomers, surpassed expectations.

Our year over year KPI improvement goal was to increase engagement by 15%, and we shattered that expectation with a 288% increase in engagement (likes, comments, saves, shares, not including views).

Recruiting for diversity conveys brand inclusivity and authenticity, and reaches broader audiences. Tapping a diverse cohort of influencers as brand ambassadors – representing various races/ethnicities, ages, abilities, occupations/specialties and geographic locations – projected AARP’s inclusivity as a brand, and ensured that the messaging reached a wide variety of audiences in an authentic way.

Including disability influencers in the conversation brought important, often excluded, perspectives to the campaign.

This campaign is also a testament to the organization's growing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Leading with pay equity and elements of diversity, we were able to change and challenge the industry's sometimes outdated and biased approach to influencer marketing. 


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Alicia Wallace- Director of Audience Strategy at AARP


Entry Credits