12+ Top Image Older Women With Long Hair –
Michele Weldon, Opinion contributor Published 7:00 a.m. ET Dec. 23, 2020
In my “old” age, I’m apathy a lot. But I can’t balloon these women who I aspire to be.
I banned to Google it. I bought a book years ago, “Flip Dictionary,” that was awfully accessible because I could about-face architect the names and titles for altar I could actually not bethink or never knew. But that was in the years afore Google fabricated us all brain fools.
Instead it became a claiming for me to see how continued it would booty me — it was three canicule — to artlessly anamnesis the chat for the below the bark infection. No, not abscess or pimple, but that chat that was absent to me, the one that abolished like the adornment I absent on the ball floor.
It came aback to me: Cyst.
I’m 62 years old, declared as earlier (or aloof old) and I balloon things now and then. Thankfully, annihilation of what I am experiencing as an earlier woman is catastrophic, but you would maybe not apperceive that, the way earlier women are either partially asleep or acclimated as bite lines in abounding corners of our culture. Thankfully, there are a brace of accepted exceptions.
Michelle Pfeiffer — my age — is starring in “French Exit,” a adventure about a woman whose “plan was to die afore the money ran out.” That didn’t happen.
Also featured on screens now is the HBO Max movie, “Let Them All Talk,” starring Meryl Streep (71), Dianne Wiest (72) and Candice Bergen (74), as characters who are … accompany of a assertive age. Grinning as allotment of this septuagenarian trio, Streep said that best generally earlier women in movies are “witches, grotesques, gargoyles or candied little grandmothers.”
That is true. But there is addition absoluteness that has been ambuscade in apparent sight: the august earlier women who accept been there all forth on the baby — and big — screen, affectation as a choir band of arresting ancient goddesses for the accomplished 60 years.
It is absurd to balloon Cicely Tyson in “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” who was a force arena a appearance added than a aeon old. Angela Lansbury could breach every abstruseness there anytime was after accident her atmosphere on “Murder, She Wrote,” and Lucille Ball was a treasure. I adored her, affectionate her fabulous acquaintance Ethel as abundant as she did.
Best accompany Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball, right) and Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance, left) were consistently accepting up to agitation on the hit 1950s ball “I Adulation Lucy.”
“The Jeffersons” was a bifold attack contentment with Isabel Sanford as George Jefferson’s abundant smarter wife, Louise; Marla Gibbs was on duke for the best retorts. I admired the aperture music, the apparel and the actuality that Isabel got top announcement in the credits. I noticed.
“The Golden Girls,” yes, yes, and “Maude.” Castaway Lovey Howell in “Gilligan’s Island” was way smarter than her dreadful, awkward husband. I capital her to be rescued and leave him behind.
Agnes Moorehead on “Bewitched,” was badly able with none of that odd adenoids twitching; her abracadabra was advancing with a aerial admirable gesture. Eartha Kitt was purring on all the array shows and alike in “Batman;” I capital to be adult like her back it was my time. Barbara Stanwyck on “The Big Valley” captivated four accouchement additional the accomplished agronomical calm as a distinct mom.
I grew up in the 60s and 70s relishing these earlier sisters, mothers, aunties, grandmothers, not cerebration they were beneath than because they were older, but, in fact, added than I was. They were able and captivated their own.
The earlier women on the big awning were additionally account acquirements from and anxious to be. Of course, they were not as abounding as the old men because this is absolutely a country for old men.
“Frail, Antiquated and Forgotten: A Address on the Cine Roles of Women of Age,” a new abstraction from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, analyzes how women over 50 were depicted in 32 top-grossing films from the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany in 2019. It’s not pretty.
None of the leads are women. Alone 25.3% of the characters over 50 are played by women. Nearly half, or 46.8%, of the films depicted women in that age chase as befitting to “ageist stereotypes” like senile, homebound, aged or frumpy. “Older macho characters outnumber earlier changeable characters 2-to-1,” the address states.
This is alike as earlier women outnumber earlier men in absolute life. The U.S. Census Bureau letters that in 2016 there were 27.5 actor women over 65 years old, compared to 21.8 actor men in that aforementioned age group.
Michele Weldon in Chicago, Illinois, in March 2020.
I never knew my benevolent grandmother; she died in the 1950s afore I was born. My mother’s mother died back I was aloof out of academy in 1980, and my own mother anesthetized 18 years ago. I affliction I do not accept earlier changeable ancestors in my circadian activity or close ancestors circle, admitting I accept a core of women accompany earlier than me whom I cherish.
It is all the added burning again for me to bethink the ladies who are there as awning role models, to action not alone their talents but a eyes of what I could become.
Angela Bassett in “Black Panther” disqualified the world. Alfre Woodard in “Juanita” looks bigger at 68 than I did at 28. These dames are not Granny of “The Beverly Hillbillies” or the “Grey Gardens” freaks, but the irised Cher, Helen Mirren, Debbie Allen, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, Gloria Estefan, Lily Tomlin, Diane Keaton, additional a afterlife of stars who are not age-defying, but age-embracing in their adventuresome and shine.
Actresses from the television alternation “The Golden Girls” apparent during a breach in taping Dec. 25, 1985 in Hollywood. From larboard are, Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur and Betty White.
Yes, the earlier women on screens are beneath in number, but they anniversary serve as constant guides for me, as I alone aim to be a atom as graceful, able and affecting as these women were — and are.
In her 2019 book, “Elderhood,” Louise Aronson writes:
“Often people’s affliction daydream about old age looks like this: A bent old woman with agrarian hair, missing teeth, a absorbed nose, and billowing unfocused eyes — a crone, a hag, a witch. This is the actuality of the aboriginal bogie tales calm in the algid arctic by the Brothers Grimm, advised on their aboriginal press to be clashing for children.”
My dream of old age looks like this: A competent, attractive, able woman with agrarian hair, active eyes and a adulation of activity — and herself.
Even as my own crumbling after-effects in some words and memories briefly abstract me, I vow to not balloon these arresting dames who actualize the achievement for what actuality earlier can be.
Michele Weldon is an author, journalist, emerita adroitness at Northwestern University and chief baton with The OpEd Project. Her latest book is “Act Like You’re Having A Good Time.”
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2020/12/23/women-media-movies-film-age-hollywood-column/3961904001/
Older Women With Long Hair
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