Daphne Selfe: If I ruled the world

Daphne Selfe: If I ruled the world

Daphne Selfe is the world’s oldest supermodel. Since appearing in Vogue aged 70, Daphne has worked all over the globe, including campaigns for Dolce and Gabbana, Nivea and Olay. What would happen if Daphne ruled the world?

More ads would feature the elderly…

People become invisible as they grow older, and advertising, with its focus on youth, has a lot to answer for. As long as you’ve kept yourself fit, wouldn’t people like to see more of our society represented in the media?


I’d reduce packaging…

Why is everything wrapped in plastic and cardboard? It’s such a terrible waste of resources and an environmental scandal. And I can’t open any of it without breaking my nails! Last time I tried to unwrap a new toothbrush, I had to take a knife to the packaging.

Daphne Selfe
 Image via Lilly Richardson


People would pick up the phone…

I’ve had to keep up with technology because that’s the way of things now, but I want to speak to people too. I love chatting with my friends on the phone. I’m sure if more people used their phones actually to call each other and took the time to talk, it would help with the sense of isolation many people feel as they grow older.


We’d all eat healthily and get out in the fresh air more…

I was brought up during the war, so we learned to value and respect food. We never threw anything away. I eat fish, chicken and vegetables, and drink lots of water.

I love going for walks and gardening. I’m sure it’s one of the main reasons I’m still so fit and active. Parents should take their children out into the country and show them how our food is bred and grown.

I was buying fresh peas in their pods the other day, and a woman asked me what they were!

Daphne Selfe
Image via The Clothes Maiden


I’d tell women not to change their natural beauty…

I’ve never had any cosmetic surgery—it seems like a terrible waste of money. Who wants a young face on an old body?

Spend your money on something that makes you feel better in body and mind. I love going to the theatre and cinema with my friends, it’s an invigorating way to spend time.


I’d ban background music during TV programmes…

I find it hard to hear the dialogue, especially during nature programmes. I watched the wonderful docudrama The Story of the Weeping Camel recently and it was such a delight, with no music to distract or annoy the viewer.


No one would eat in public…

Then the amount of fast-food litter would be a thing of the past. And, on trains, it’s horrible sitting next to someone eating—it’s so smelly and messy.People should try to be more considerate of those around them.

Daphne Selfe
Image via Lilly Richardson


I’d like all programmes to be printed black on white…

When I go to the theatre, where the lighting is bad at the best of times and my eyesight isn’t what it was, I can’t read the programme if it’s printed on a colour background.


Women would be equal to men…

We’ve come a long way in my lifetime, but in some countries women still don’t have a voice. Everyone should be able to have their say. It comes down to education of both men and women. I’d like to see women take their place alongside men throughout the entire world.


Everyone would be curious and stay positive…

I know someone who’s never left Baldock, the town where I live in Hertfordshire. The world is a fabulous place and should be seen! And staying positive is one of the keys to a happy life.

I know it’s not always easy, but the attitude people had in the war was a good one. We were taught to get on with things, however hard life was, and pulled together. Life’s too short to sit around feeling sorry for yourself.