Why are some of the most successful and powerful business women and personalities in the world so afraid of a number?
In an industry where youth and beauty mean everything, it's not surprising that Hollywood women are sensitive about aging. But flat out refusing to reveal their age and fabricating birth dates even when being honoured for their careers?
"Cut that shit, guys!" says everyone's favourite foul-mouthed funny woman Kathy Griffin.
Griffin, 51 and proud, is calling out not only Hollywood women who refuse to reveal their true ages, but also the business that routinely passes over seasoned actresses for younger women.
"The ageism situation in Hollywood overall is only getting worse for everyone. At this rate, women are going to be considered over-the-hill if they're not a fetus," says Griffin.
Her advice to age-conscious women? "Own that shit!"
"Stand tall and proud and fight for what you deserve. Talent transcends age. And if you don't believe me, I have three words for you: Meryl. F--ing. Streep. She's as hot as ever!"
When The Hollywood Reporter was putting together their annual Women in Entertainment Power 100, which lists females who've made it big as CEOs, producers and entertainers, many of the honourees refused to reveal their ages, "some saying their careers would be irreversibly harmed if their ages were made public."
An anonymous actress is even trying to sue IMDB for showing her true age on her profile. The judge wants the woman to use her real name before the complaint can go forward, but of course that would mean revealing the dreaded truth.
"If one is perceived to be 'over-the-hill', i.e. approaching 40, it is nearly impossible for an up-and-coming actress, such as the plaintiff, to get work," says the complaint.
"I guess a lot of women just feel like if they reveal their age, they're going to be viewed as past their prime or unsexy or some bullshit like that," says Griffin.
Griffin certainly understands the pressure to stay forever young. She started her career in Hollywood at 30. As she describes it, "There was always someone younger, with perkier tits. Every f--ing time."
But wait, hasn't Griffin had "everything done except the tits?" Griffin's never kept her heaps of plastic surgery a secret, but for her, nipping and tucking for a youthful look and actual age are separate issues.
"Yes, you can go to a plastic surgeon and have your eyebrows pulled back to the top of your head, but that isn't necessarily youthful. I'd be lying if I said I've never stressed over how age impacts my appearance. I've been very open about having plastic surgery, or "dental work" as it's known in certain Beverly Hills circles," she says.
"As many of us know, plastic surgery doesn't change your age."
SEE: Celebrities who have lied about their ages:
Under the advice of her record label, Nicki Minaj was keeping her age vague, usually saying she was born in 1984. That is until she got into an incident and a police report revealing her birth year to be 1982, making her the ripe age of 29.
Riley Weston's age scandal shook her career and brought Hollywood ageism into the spotlight. In 1998, as an actress and screenwriter, Weston was praised as a child prodigy and given writing contracts for her incredible talent for a 19-year-old. Only problem? She was actually 32.
Mila actually lied to say she's older, claiming to be 18 instead of 14 to nab her role on That '70s Show in 1998.
Pussycat Doll and F Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger tried to make her 20s last by claiming to be 28 when she had really turned 30.
English singer James Blunt and his record label were claiming he was three years younger than reality.
Nelly made the Teen People Hottest Stars Under 25... when he was 28. Awkward!
Back in 1999, Slim Shady told radio host Howard Stern he was 24 when he was really 27.
For some reason J. Lo shaved off one year from her age, claiming to be born in 1970 instead of her real birth year 1969.