Women Over 50—Hollywood Anyone?
When was the last time you turned on the TV to find a face looking back at you that resembled your own? Yes, there are a few, but the names of these actresses no longer appear at the top of the credits. Even if they are series regulars, they usually play supporting roles: mothers, grandmothers, or recurring guest stars. It seems that, just like Elvis, the Golden Girls have left the building—or, more accurately, the soundstage.
Movies aren’t much better. If it weren’t for Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep, you could barely find a woman of a certain age gracing the big screen.
Well, that’s all about to change and, once again, social norms are reacting to the boomers and our numerical clout. Our famous bulge (and I’m talking population—not waistline) has served us well over the years, ensuring that our wishes and demands were heard. And, as older women in menopause, we’re not getting any less outspoken or assertive. We want our due!
I came across an article in the Detroit Free Press that addressed how our generation is impacting Hollywood and the entertainment industry. They cite two current box office smashes: “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” with Harrison Ford, and the movie, “Sex in the City.” At 65, Ford is a bit older than the leading edge boomers and, other than Kim Cattrall, the “City” stars are in their early forties, a bit younger than our years. So, the stars of these movies straddle both ends of our generation—and, of course, men are allowed to be the older ones. Still, this is progress!
I’m waiting for more films starring actresses in their fifties and sixties that have story-lines showcasing the lives of women in their post-menopausal years. These will feature real-life tales of love, passion, challenge, and triumph, and will reflect, with some creative license, what it’s like to grow older as a woman in our culture.
We’ve waited a long time for this, yet hope springs eternal. So, show me a wrinkle or two, let me hear the heroine grunt when she rises from a sitting position, let’s see her forget where she left her bifocals. I’m waiting to see myself, in all my wrinkled glory, reflected on the silver screen and so are 76 million of my peer group. Wake up Hollywood and smell the Geritol!