Hollywood has a problem with women who dare to age. We’ve seen it (in what world is Hello, My Name is Doris, a film about a woman who sacrificed her social life to care for an ailing mother, reclaims her life in the wake of her mother’s passing and gets her heart broken because she had the audacity to set her sights on a younger coworker a comedy?). We’ve read about it (in Amanda Peet’s essay for Lenny Letter, in Tina Fey’s Bossypants). We’ve even laughed about it (Amy Schumer’s skit Last F**kable Day sums up the issue perfectly). Now, actress and social activist Rose McGowan is taking Hollywood — or more specifically, Variety film critic Owen Gleiberman — to task for its ageism and sexism.
Gleiberman recently penned a piece centered around the upcoming film Bridget Jones’s Baby, entitled “Renée Zellweger: If She No Longer Looks Like Herself Has She Become a Different Actress?” In it, Gleiberman lamented “something indescribably sad about our culture” — the pressure movie stars feel to conform to certain “standards,” which compels them to get cosmetic surgery. He used Renée Zellweger — once “beautiful in the way an ordinary person is” — and several other actresses as examples of those who have fallen prey to the bug. Of course, he failed to mention any altered male actors.
“She doesn’t look like Renée Zellweger,” Gleiberman protested. “I thought: She doesn’t look like Bridget Jones! Oddly, that made it matter more. Celebrities, like anyone else, have the right to look however they want, but the characters they play become part of us. I suddenly felt like something had been taken away.”
He went on to express his hope that the third Bridget Jones installation “turns out to be a movie that stars Renée Zellweger rather than a victim of ‘Invasion of the Face Snatchers.’ I hope it turns out to be a movie about a gloriously ordinary person rather than someone who looks like she no longer wants to be who she is.” (more…)