herald

Thursday 29 September 2016

Men and women turn 40 every single day, but not in the same way

Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer

There's a brilliant sketch by Amy Schumer (my new favourite comedian) in which she is out walking in a park and comes across three women having a picnic at a table.

The three are Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. They are gathered to celebrate the end of an era for Julia. She has reached the age where Hollywood sees her as "un-f***able" and so they toast her and send her off on a boat.

It's funny, but not funny. Women over a certain age are not allowed to be sexy on the big screen. If they are, its usually a comedy (Meryl Streep in It's Complicated) or she's a psycho (Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction).

But a romantic film about a new relationship with a woman in her 40s or 50s is unlikely.

So it's no wonder that men and women feel differently about reaching the milestone ages. This week we had two celebs talking about stepping out of their 30s and hitting the big Four O.

MESSAGES

David Beckham and Kate Winslet, are both in the limelight and the messages we are getting is sadly predictable. David is supposedly planning the party of a lifetime - flying Tom Cruise over to Marrakesh, and inviting others such as Gordan Ramsay, Gary Neville, Liv Tyler.

On the other hand, reports about Kate Winslet's upcoming 40th state that she has "never felt more confident and happy". It would be unthinkable that a report on a successful male celeb would state that he's never felt more confident. We would presume that. He wouldn't have to justify getting older.

So who puts this pressure on women? Is it women themselves? Is it the fashion industry? Is it men? I don't know. Society doesn't take kindly to nature taking its course on the female body. While men can have grey hair and lines galore, women dye their locks and paint their faces. Sad but true.

See Features: pAGES 28-29

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