In Hollywood, there used to be an unwritten rule: once a woman was over 40, the roles she could play were as somebody's mother or somebody's wife — "and then you can come back when you're Betty White," as actress Jenica Bergere put it to HuffPost in 2013.
But in the past few years, there's been a shift. The generation of stars that has become famous alongside the fight for equal billing and equal pay is hitting that well-over-40 mark, and they're not adhering to the norms.
In a profile for InStyle this month, Julianne Moore, 56, got very real about why she refuses to worry about aging out of her job, or at all.
"I mean, let's not talk about this idea of, 'Oh no! I'm going to be 40!' You could be dead. So enjoy it. It's a privilege to age," she told the publication.
You could be dead. So enjoy it.
"In literature and in movies, when people try to stop the process, it always ends in disaster. I think it's really important to be where you are."
And to that we say a whole-hearted "Amen." With all the focus on trying to stay younger — reports now have women using anti-aging products before their mid-twenties — it seems we've forgotten how precious it is just to be alive.
Jennifer Aniston, in a recent interview with Glamour, talked about having a similar attitude.
"For some reason, we don't honour or pay respect to aging. It's something that we look at as a negative, and yet every single person on this planet does it," she said. "I don't understand why it's not something that's celebrated, why there's some sort of an expiration date on who you are as a person worth watching and a story being told about you."
For some reason, we don't honour or pay respect to aging.
Of course, these women have the benefit of plenty of access to all sorts of health innovations, and yes, beauty regimens if they so choose.
But more to the point, they're women who have the benefit of experience, of having been under the spotlight and being judged on their appearance for years. And what they've apparently discovered is that those years of living far surpass any superficial achievements.
If this is the direction Hollywood is headed in, we're happy to be along for the ride.
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