Blogger, ACTRESS,award-winning socio-political satirist, Cynthia Adler LOOKS AT THE MYTHS OF aging in Hollywood
We are a country obsessed with youth...
How many times did we catch ourselves in a mirror and go, “who are you?!”
And that’s only when we hit twelve years old after we got so used to our eleven-year an old face which still had some baby fat left on it.
We are told over and over again through our culture that it is not a sin to age, but it is a sin to look older. And if you do, better find some process to stop it in its tracks... And that is why in this culture, we cannot bear to see our movie stars age. They are our idols... mirrors of who we are...and mirrors, of where we are going. And this is why so many film stars undergo some painful and complicated procedures to try to fend off those passing years. Some, have wonderful results. And some... fairly devastating ones. Those, unfortunately, find it hard to get cast in front of a camera anymore.
And often, many of those procedures are not reversible.
So, why is it so unacceptable to see our film stars age? Simply because it forces us to see our own progression in years. And in this country, it isn’t fun to do. So, what kind of a society would make it a crime for our movie stars to be human, to have a certain lifespan, and to change with the years as they progress, with humor, dignity and a sense of acceptance?
Take a look at France, Italy, and England for instance. As their stars age, they are revered, given many good parts and are never judged by a TMZ or Star magazine for an uneven jawline or some creases in the skin. What would Anna Magnani, an iconic Italian movie star, have done if she were thrown off the cinema map because she never had plastic surgery? Magnani remained a star in Italy until the end of her life. (With some hot and sexy roles even in her 70’s...)
George Clooney put it so beautifully when he wrote an article about plastic surgery on male movie stars in this country today, saying that some of them were “frighteningly unrecognizable”... and what if Maggie Smith were born in this country? Would she remain in the public’s eye as brilliantly revered as she is today all over the world? Does anyone talk about her physical appearance or that she needs plastic surgery to be accepted on a screen? How about
Helen Mirren and Charlotte Rampling? These women have aged beautifully without the full knife, without being judged or ending up on the cover of a rag magazine, or worse, the butt end of a bad joke.
But it seems here, it’s a bit of a wicked double standard... and women in this country suffer from it the most. It’s no wonder that so many girls are getting surgery at younger and younger ages. They are getting the message fast...” you must not age here...it’s a crime”...and if you do, “no one will want to look at you.” So, what are we telling these girls? And what are we telling ourselves?
Movie stars who are no longer with us, having gone at an early age, have the best advantage. Marilyn Monroe is one of the most adored sex symbols of our time. But what if she had lived. Where would she be now? In her 80’s and wrinkled but perhaps enhanced? And let's face it...would tons of men be drooling over her body parts, looking at her old movies or publicity shots? Nuh uh...I don’t think so.
The beauty of accepting ourselves and the process we call life, might change a lot of things...There’s nothing wrong with a bit of a tuck here and there, but an unrecognizable face can kill more than a career...Just ask some of the movie stars who did it and lost.
Life is inevitable. Moving time is inevitable. But loving yourself and accepting yourself wherever you happen to be in this journey...if enough of us did it, it might just give Hollywood a message...”Wake up, America...time for a new look at aging!”
Talent gets even stronger as the years move on. Talent doesn’t age...the inner spirit and lust for life doesn’t age...it’s just the outer cover that does.
And that is the inevitable... for everyone.