I am sick. Possibly dying. Or maybe something died in my chest. Yet here I am, plugging away and sitting on these thoughts that have been driving me mad the last little while. It all started a few weeks ago when my friend Arianne and I were talking about all the gorgeous dads in La-la-land in prep for my Father's Day post. So many hot men. Bruce Willis came up, and we mentioned that his younger wife recently had a baby. A new (and handsome) Dad at 57. He even tweeted a lovely photo:
But where are all the sexy older Hollywood actresses? When I see these women (I'm thinking Sophia Loren, Jerri Hall, etc. etc.) they are often given the descriptor "former" Hollywood Siren. FORMER. Why is it that women turn, I dunno? 45? 50? And suddenly they were once a sex symbol but now "formerly" sexy. I know a LOT of very attractive, sexy women in their 40s, 50s and 60s.
Yet somehow, even WHEN they are sexual, sexy beings, the machine works very hard at keeping them un-sexy. Case in point?
Helen Goddamned Mirren.
This is a VERY sexy woman with an outstanding resume...but in the last few years, has she played a sexy lead? Not really. She played Queen Elizabeth II INCREDIBLY well, but HRH is, let's face it, not quite an every-woman sex symbol. And when Dame Mirren goes to awards or events and looks this damned good, people are shocked! How can such a distinguished OLDER lady look so great?
We age. I get it. None of us are getting any younger. But why the difference? Why is it that women feel this intense, soul-crushing pressure to be perfect when men (like Brucey up there) can lose some hair and put on 20 pounds and STILL be deemed uber-handsome? Part of this trend that I've also noticed lately is that many (not all) but many Hollywood women are getting thinner as they age. My mum always told me that as we aged, we needed a bit of extra weight (not a lot, but there is a natural body process) to fill in where our lost collagen stores have gone. But look at someone like Demi Moore or Angelina Jolie. As they approach and surpass 40, they get more and more skeletal.
Demi is a crazy example of how terribly we treat aging women in Hollywood. She was a true leader for female actors—being the first woman to be paid over $10 million dollars for a film (which is a HUGE deal...she broke the glass ceiling in Hollywood! SHE DID!). But when her younger husband was busted cheating and they separated and divorced, which caused her enough emotional distress to end in drugs, alcohol and rehab, her charm, her ability and her prowess went out the window and she became a pathetic cougar clinging to her youth.
This isn't something that's being force fed to us either. We buy the magazines, we read Perez. We consume this crap. That means our kids consume it somehow too. We are forcing all women into an unattainable goal search where we somehow end up younger and thinner as we age. This is not how life works, we all graduated from elementary school, right? Even by verbalizing something as trivial as, "Oh god, Demi looks AWFUL." we're openly buying into this system. And for what? It makes us feel bad about ourselves and it teaches our children—both the boys and the girls—that female self worth is rooted in youth and beauty.
So this is my call to you. As parents. As the educators of the next generation. Let's keep up with the weird and wacky in Hollywood and let's keep laughing and being silly, but for the love all things that are good, let's try and stop with the subconscious negativity. Let's not put pity on women because they are doing the most natural thing in life. Let's not put older handsome men on a pedestal higher than high. Let's try a little balance...for our kid's sake. But more importantly for ours.
Spill it! What do you think about aging in Hollywood?
There’s just something about television that draws me in all the time. In my busy working-mom-life, it’s a nice end-of-day distraction where I get to meet up with some of my favourite personas and not think too hard about the millions of things I have to accomplish at work AND at home. By extension, it’s also quite fun to follow the celebs on my favourite shows too. I mean, they’re in my house at least once a week, right?
Some of my living room’s most regular guests also happen to be some of the most stylish celebs around. Here are a few of my faves.
Her new show The New Girl has been a pretty instant hit for FOX TV, and it’s not hard to see why. Zooey Deschanel is cute, sweet, and so easy on the eyes. Her real-life-fashion is pretty close to her on-screen quirky persona, and it’s easy to see why. Zooey knows what she likes and knows what looks cute on her. She’s got a passion for vintage and it shows in her modern-cum-vintage style.
Amy Poehler & Will Arnett
Funny couple (and parents to two sweet boys) Amy Poehler and her Canadian husband Will Arnett are always fashion-forward. Stylish, easy-going and fun, the couple even posed for some very cute Gap ads a few years ago. They look effortless, stylish, and never too over-done. With two boys under the age of 6, I don’t know how they do it, but they always look awesome!
Who says all late night talk show hosts have to look like David Letterman? Jimmy spent years on SNL as the guy who’d always ruin a skit (or make it better!) by laughing hysterically and throwing everyone off, so I never thought his late night show would do well. But Jimmy’s grown up, gotten funnier and his wardrobe is amazing! Even standing next to US President Barack Obama recently, Jimmy held his own.
The Entire Cast of Mad Men (but particularly the men!)
ZZ Top said it best: “Every girl’s crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man.”
But let’s not forget Christina Hendricks, who looks amazing both on and off screen—especially because she embraces her curves like so many of us should!
Matt and I have made a decision recently. We are going to go out twice a month. Hopefully, one of those outings will always be to the movies...and then I can tell you if said movies are worth getting the sitter for. You see, dating your partner is really important and getting out, even if it's only once a month, should be something sacred, right?
We decided to splurge and go see Ridley Scott's Prometheus in "UltraAVX." It cost us a small fortune, but that extra five bucks per ticket was worth it. Big comfy seats, lots of leg room and 7.1 surround sound! I was happy before the movie even started.
So, the movie. Well, everyone has been SUPER gung-ho about it since the studio started an intense viral campaign (more on that in a minute) and everyone's been talking about how superb and perfect the first Alien movie was (Ridley Scott didn't direct the second one, Aliens, James Cameron did)...and I think the combination of the nostalgia plus intense campaign may have disappointed a lot of people.
I'm a big sci-fi nerd (have we been over that yet?), and Matt loves horror so a movie like Alien or Prometheus is right up our collective alley. Both of us made an effort to NOT watch viral stuff or read too much about the movie because we know that like all Ridley Scott films, there will be a lot of stuff that people will generally dislike. So we went in with a rough idea of the plot and the fact that it was somehow a "prequel" to Alien.
We were not disappointed. I don't really want to give anything away with the movie by delving too much into the plot, but the overall idea of finding our makers is central to the story. There's still loads of gore and monsters and crazy gross out stuff, but at it's heart, this giant-space-themed movie is very personal and claustrophobic at times. The colours and shots were excellent and Michael Fassbender as David 8 will, in my opinion, go down as one of the greatest characters in sci-fi.
Some of the dialogue was not-great, and some of the acting was just OK (except Fassbender), but we were able to put that aside to really enjoy this movie. There are a lot of really neat subtle references to Alien as well as HP Lovecraft, Greek mythology (my university major!) Christianity, modern science, philosophy and even some very clever bits with Lawrence of Arabia (Ridley Scott's favourite film). One line from Lawrence of Arabia that is quoted in Prometheus fits perfectly with the story, "Big things have small beginnings." And I think this sums up the movie perfectly.
Where Alien was big, dramatic and action-packed, Prometheus is insular, quiet and slow.
Should you get a sitter? Yes, especially if you like sci-fi or are a fan of the earlier movies in the franchise. But don't go in expecting an over-the-top Hollywood blockbuster. It may have a lot of the same moving parts, but this machine works much differently.