Harrison Ford, Robert de Niro, Alan Rickman, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Willis, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford.
What do they all have in common? They are all sex symbols. They have been sex symbols throughout their careers and continue to be so even though they’re all over 50, quite a bit over fifty in some cases, (I’m looking at you, Redford). It seems the older they get, the more we like them, with their crinkly eyes and inappropriate flirting on chat shows. They can do no wrong as they continue to be wheeled out, looking increasingly dazed and confused but hey, they are silver foxes, they are foxy over-fifty’s, they just get better with age. It’s like they’ve never even heard of saga holidays and Shackleton high seat chairs.
Look at Tom Jones for example, who seems to have turned into some kind of demi-god. He sits there grunting at young women, but bless him, that’s allowed, he’s from a different era when it was considered normal to leer at young women, they should be honoured! Or even Cliff Richard, who despite allegations of child sex abuse, still has millions of loyal female fans. But never mind all that stuff, just look at how good he looks! What an inspiration! Yeah, sure they have a few liver spots now and not much hair but that rugged look is so sexy, right?
Meanwhile, some woman, Madonna or somebody, seems she thinks she can still be in the public eye, being all successful and talented, even though she’s passed the cut-off point of 40. What was she thinking? Hasn’t she even read the rule book?
I think the thing with Madonna is that she probably did read the rule book, saw it for the nonsense it so clearly is and ripped it to shreds on the points of her shiny, metal bra.
She’s never behaved how she’s supposed to. She’s always lived by her own rules. From the minute she appeared in a music video wearing a slutty wedding dress and singing about being a virgin accompanied by the sound of my dad tutting, I knew she was someone different. She’s always done what she wanted, and looked great doing it. And when she got to the age that women are normally expected to disappear, she kept on going, still pushing boundaries, still making dads tut, constantly reinventing herself.
I watched the clip of her falling over at the Brit awards through my fingers. I didn’t like it, it looked hurty. Now if it this had happened to me I’d have run off crying, my default reaction to hurting myself. I’d probably have flounced my cape a bit on the way out. But she barely missed a beat, she got up and carried on singing, like nothing had happened.
The media reaction was horrible. It was like You’ve Been Framed on steroids. We saw the clip of it from every angle and with every possible pun and you couldn’t post a retweet of a puppy on a skateboard on Twitter for all the hilarious jokes about how Grandma could have broken her hip. Suddenly, Woman Falls Over was big news, but in actual fact I read it more as Woman Dares to Behave Inappropriately for her Age, because we were constantly reminded that she is 56. Like it matters.
But it does. She is constantly criticised for being outspoken, (even about sex! Sex! Imagine!) and bossy (Women, know your place!). And whereas ambition in a man is seen as a positive trait; a sexy, powerful trait even, an ambitious woman is seen as ugly. It’s not natural for a woman to be ambitious. What does she need ambition for? Her only ambition should be to serve her man and produce children, and then once she has done her duty and her ovaries have retired and settled back with their Werthers originals and their knitting, she should quietly fade into the background, away from the public eye. I need to check that rule book again because ageism seems to be allowed, while most of the other isms aren’t. It’s so hard to keep up.
So I refuse to be part of the sheer glee that people felt at her finally getting her comeuppance. I don’t want to be one of those women who are manipulated into sneering at other women because I hope Madonna continues to be a badass until she’s in her 90s.
Meanwhile, the vlogger, Zoella, was photographed a gabillion times this week because she dared to leave her house without make-up. She was virtually unrecognisable apparently. Not that this is a big deal, the papers hastened to add, but hey, here’s another close-up anyway.
These women are going wild, if they’re not flouncing around in capes being fabulous and successful and independent, they’re actually showing impressionable young girls that you don’t need to plaster your face in make-up all the time. It’s anarchy. Save yourselves.