Friday, January 1, 2016

Body shaming, misogynism, and other cheerful topics to start off the New Year

The S.O. and I have not yet seen the latest episode in the Star Wars franchise. Odds are that we're not going to see it for awhile -- the closest theater is almost an hour's drive away, it's Winter, we hate night driving, and there's no way we're going to a weekend matinee to sit through a movie in a theater filled with screaming rug rats -- so I can't comment on the film itself. I have, however, been intrigued by all the fuss being made over that fact that in the eyes of some male asshats Carrie Fisher has failed to "age well." Thirty-some years have passed since George Lucas put Carrie Fisher on a leash, and, holy wah, she's had the nerve to get old. Princess Leia no longer is a candidate for the slave bikini.

What the hell does that phrase even mean? Age well?! Is this a case of testosterone poisoning causing such serious brain damage that persons with penises don't realize that out here in the real world "aging well" consists of not dropping dead? Aging isn't a voluntary activity; it's not something where you get to have much say in the matter. You age or you die. And, as Ms. Fisher notes, what you look like as you get older is primarily a matter of genetics. Your future (at least as far as how you look) is driven by your family's past. Want to know what the future holds for you? Check out your grandparents. Was Granddad a fat old man with no hair? Congratulations. Odds are you, too, are going to be a fat old man with no hair. You can fight it -- put in many hours in the gym, watch what you eat, spend a fortune or two on plastic surgery -- but let's get real. There comes a time when it doesn't matter what you do, you're going to look (insert horrified gasp here) old.

Plus, of course, fighting the appearance of aging carries its own punishment. You go from being chastised for having the nerve to age naturally to being mocked for your botoxed wrinkle-free forehead or your obvious face lift. And if you're blessed with good genes and you manage to hit your 50s without obvious wrinkles or sagging body parts, you're treated to speculation about whether or not you've had a little work done. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. You can't win so why bother?

Of course, no one cares if men end up looking like old men, wizened close-to-mummified one foot in the grave types. At least almost no one does rants along the lines of "what the hell are they doing casting Ancient Actor as an action hero when he looks like he belongs in a nursing home?" Or, if they do, the rants don't go viral on the Internet. This bullshit about women not aging well is one of those teases that you see all the time lurking on web pages as click bait: "20 Famous Actors Who Have Not Aged Well!!" If you actually click, you find out it's not that they haven't aged well, it's that they have the nerve to look their age. Someone who was a hot James Bond girl 40 years ago is now (how dare she!) pushing 80 and looking it. The men who jacked off fantasizing about her based on her movie image are outraged that their fantasy has been shattered. She's actually human. She's gotten old. She's passed what Amy Schumer so aptly described as "The Last Fuckable Day." For actors, that day comes when they stop being cast as someone's love interest and start being cast as someone's mother or grandmother. That's also the day they start hearing "she's not aging well" or "OMG she's not a size zero anymore!"

And why should she? Everyone ages, men and women, so why do men get a pass on growing old and women get harassed? Why do women have an obligation to stay in shape, take good care of themselves, remain looking decorative, while men can "let themselves go" and no one cares? If you're casting a movie where some of the major characters are supposed to be in leadership roles, the type of position you get through experience or seniority, why not cast actors who look like they actually match up with reality? One of my pet peeves with movies and television in general is the unrealistic casting. You have male actors cast in roles where they're patently too old to be playing that part -- Mark Harmon is 64 years old; the last time I checked the mandatory retirement age for federal law enforcement officers was 57. Why is LeRoy Jethro Gibbs still toting a gun and running around out in the field getting shot at? -- and female actors in roles where they're much too young. On a regular basis, we see women barely out of puberty being cast as senior government officials or some other role that's totally out of sync with where someone that age could hope to be out in the real world. Of course, no one bitches when someone young and hot gets cast in a role that could appropriately be filled by an older actor. It's when the casting turns realistic that people get annoyed.


  1. The thing that has always got me is the difference in approximate ages between husband and wife or man and love interest in TV shows and movies. Usually the guy looks to be old enough to be the father of the wife and/or girlfriend.


    I don't know how to embed a video in the comments section but this seems appropriate to your tirade

  3. I think the thing that pisses me off the most is a love interest on tv or the screen where the guy is 67 and his love interest is 29..fuckme..

  4. JackieSue, looks like you and the S.O. are on the same wavelength.

  5. I'm with you: aging well means staying healthy and not dropping dead.
    the Ol'Buzzard


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