By MIA FREEDMAN
I am a woman in my 40s with a face and right now, I feel like a target has been slapped right on it.
Last week, I watched with growing astonishment as Renee Zellweger’s 45-year-old face and the obsessive global speculation about it blasted all other news stories out of the way.
Ebola and ISIS? Meh. All we want to know is WHAT HAPPENED TO RENEE’S FACE?
And this week, 46-year-old Julia Roberts confessed that she’d “taken a big risk” ” in her career by not having a facelift in her 40s. Her 40s.
And here is my take away from more than a week’s worth of obsessive media coverage about 40s faces like mine: Whatever you do, don’t get old. Because old is ugly.
BUT if you get surgery and have Botox or fillers injected in your face, you will look visibly different and be mocked and ridiculed for it.
Looking your age is not OK because to look old or even ‘your age’ (whatever that means) is the worst thing that can happen to you. Having work isn’t OK either because it’s try-hard and who are you trying to kid, Old Lady?
Your face cannot win and neither can you.
It feels to me like the scrutiny of women growing older in the public eye has ramped up to impossible and brutal levels. And for those of us fortunate enough not to have our incomes indexed to our faces? We’re all watching this scrutiny and wondering what it means for us.
Last month, 40-year-old, Penelope Cruz had the title of “Sexiest Woman Alive 2014” bestowed upon her, which involved the privilege of being photographed for the cover of Esquire magazine with her boobs squeezed together. This was followed by the media breathlessly declaring that women in their 40s (Sofia Vergara! J-Lo!) are The Hot New Things.
I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that part of me was grateful. Part of me was relieved that as a woman in her 40s I was still in the game. Part of me was irritated with myself for caring. And part of me wanted to say ‘get stuffed’.