Media Shows the Fear of Women Aging

Some of the most popular magazines for women are fashion and tabloid magazines. Many of them have an emphasis on beauty. Those targeted specifically for older women mainly focus on how to look younger. There are articles about how to look younger and they set examples on how to act younger.

This makes it very apparent that the media industry show that the generation today has an apparent problem with aging.

The issue with aging is both societal and physical. If you are physically attractive and youthful, society will welcome you warmly; according to society, you must look attractive and youthful – the mentality goes both ways.

Especially media advertisements today, it generates a computer generated and modified version of what the archetypical older women is supposed to look and act like – and it hits the hardest against older women because “there’s a bias against women, particularly older women. Every time we take a step forward in our cultural power, they (advertisers) make us smaller, thinner, and younger in media. And it’s all really run by a handful of older white men” (Ollivier).

Actress Demi Moore is going through significant changes in her life that epitomize the fact that her youthful years are quickly slipping away. She is an example of a women coined to be struggling with a “battle” against Mother Nature, and it’s simply disappointing the aging has to be a “battle” against the natural process.

Compare the sentiment with Demi Moore to the kind of attention TV star Kate Walsh is receiving. She bears naked on the cover of Shape magazine – the response is positive awe for a 40 year old women to look this good (Schreffler)

But again, this is all based on the physical and outer appearances. Kate Walsh looks and feels young, again setting impossibly high standard of achieving youth at her age.

Especially in the media industry, the pressure to stay young increases as age increases. Kate Walsh says it herself that “we live in a strange time when getting plastic surgery is as common as dyeing your hair” (Schreffler).

Other women, and society in general, will continue to just feel bad about women who have to phase themselves out of Hollywood as they get older, as they get kids, as they can no longer sustain themselves in the media industry, “that is until we break the cycle, redefine what society tells us is beautiful, and embrace the fact that aging is a fact of life” (Hossain)

Instead, the media must make an effort to focus on the kind of intangible, nonphysical, and incredibly necessary value that women add to the home, the family, and to society. True gerontology studies, “women over 50 need to recognize how much they really know and recognize the value in all the care they’ve given to their families. They also need to recognize that society should be compensating us for the care we give our families. If caregivers were recognized for the true value they offer society, then women would not be 65 percent of our poorest seniors” (Ollivier).

References:
No Country for Old Women: Demi Moore And Our Fear of Aging
The naked truth! Kate Walsh reveals her secrets to staying beautiful while posing in the buff
Susan Hess Logeais: Filmmaker Tackles Issues Of Aging In Her Second Act
Their So-Called Journalism, or What I Saw at the Women’s Mags
Kate Walsh Proves Women Get Sexier With Age

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