Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Hollywood Double Standard

Maggie Gyllenhaal
Maggie Gyllenhaal was recently told that she was too old to play the lover of a 55 year old man. She's 37. It's a never ending trend in Hollywood that men get lead rolls well into their *cough* senior years, while as women age, their choice of rolls get smaller and smaller.

A quote by Lillian Gish, "Lionel Barrymore first played my grandfather, later my father, and finally he played my husband. If he'd lived I'm sure I'd have played his mother. That's the way it is in Hollywood. The men get younger, the women get older."

The following was detailed in Vulture.com, but I'll do a little summary of their findings.

Denzel Washington: Ages were fairly close in Mo' Better Blues (35), Malcolm X (37) and The Preacher's Wife (41), then as he ages, his love interests get younger. He Got Game, he was 43, his love interest Milla Jovovich was 22. Training Day, 46 to Eva Mendez's 27. Deja vu, 51 to Paula Patton's 30. That's just naming a few, but the trend is the same.

Harrison Ford: The difference in age for Mr. Ford starts as early back as Empire Strikes Back with him at age 37 and Carrie Fisher 23. From there his onscreen love life ranges from Sean Young at 22 (to his 39 in Bladrunner) to Virginia Madsen at 44 (63, Firewall).

Now Richard Gere has had an older love interest. Once. In 2004 with Susan Sarandon. The rest of his love interests range from 5 years younger (Debra Winger, 27, An Officer and a Gentleman) to 29 (Laetitia Casta, 34, Arbitrage).

Liam Neeson by Karen Seto
Ok, one more. Liam Neeson. He actually  had two older love interests. Jessica Lange and Meryl Streep, I mean, hello. Of course, that last one was back in 1996 and those two were still lead actresses at the time. Other than that, his onscreen love interests range from 5 years (Frances McDormand, 33, Darkman) to a whopping 32 years (Olivia Wilde, 29 Third Person).

The site also runs through Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Steve Carell, George Clooney, Tom Cruise. Some of them don't have huge differences and have dated older women in films, but for the most part, the trend is the opposite.

What is this teaching us about society? What is this teaching our children? Girls, you better land a man before you hit 40 because after that you'll be lucky to find someone your own age. Boys, don't worry about your age, there will always be a woman out there for you, probably 20-30 years your junior, if you know what I mean.

Um, really?

Seriously, I think this translates to real life sometimes. When I was doing the online dating thing, most men my age were looking for women at least 10 years younger than them. Wow. Does that mean I have to go up 10 years to find someone to date?

There are plenty of actresses over 40 who can still carry a lead  and realistically get a younger guy.
  1. Monica Belluci
    Monica Belucci by Tsui
  2. Cameron Diaz
  3. Gwyneth Paltrow
  4. Julianne Moore
  5. Sandra Bullock
  6. Catherine Zeta Jones
  7. Framke Janssen
  8. Halle Berry
  9. Jennifer Aniston
  10. Jennifer Connelly
  11. Julia Roberts
  12. Meryl Streep
  13. Helen Mirren
  14. Naomi Watts
  15. Nicole Kidman
  16. Salma Hayak
  17. Cate Blanchett
  18. Jane Lynch
  19. Diane Lane
  20. Jodie Foster
There are SO many more.

Lara Flynn Boyle before & after plastic surgery
It's no wonder these already beautiful women get plastic surgery to keep up with Hollywood standards. Some of them in their 20s and 30s!  And some of these ladies look much worse for wear or totally unrecognizable. Go look up before and after pics of Daryl Hannah, Lindsey Lohan, Lara Flynn Boyle, Rene Zellwegger, Melanie Griffith, Kim Novack, Goldie Hawn...unfortunately, this list could go on and on too.

So, Hollywood is telling women that natural beauty is not enough. You need big boobs, and artificial beauty to be taken seriously. Looking at these photos, all I see is a bunch of beautiful women that now look like some semblance of the Joker - high cheeked, fat lipped clones of each other.

This trend is a complete double standard. Hollywood needs to stop being a bunch of mysoginistic sexists and let the ladies have some fun with a younger lover. What do they think is going to happen? Armageddon? Do they really think they're going to kill sales? Wrong. Women will eat this shit up.

Hmmm, maybe there's a book in there somewhere.
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John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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