All week the country’s been talking about one woman’s age.
One little number.
How many candles there should rightfully be on the birthday cake of one of Australia’s biggest stars. Rebel Wilson.
A post on this website that explored the pressures that would make a celebrity fib about her ‘number’, as well as a story published in this week’s Woman’s Day magazine, has seen the story blow up to its inevitable conclusion:
Yes, the world now knows that Rebel Wilson is 35. And that yes, she has been lying about her age.
There has been outrage levelled at both publications for touching this story. They have been accusations of tall poppy syndrome – including from Rebel herself – and of un-sisterly conduct, and of trying to tear down and embarrass a talented performer at the top of her game.
But that’s not it. Of course it doesn’t matter whether Rebel Wilson is 29 or 35. Whether she uses a stage name, or has embellished her “bogan” credentials. None of that matters. She can do whatever the hell she likes with her own story.
But mostly, the focus has been on her age. And while yes, age is just a number and doesn’t really matter, the pressures that made her lie in the first place do matter. They should be talked about. They deserve to be.
Because what matters is this – Rebel, an intensely smart and ambitious woman – felt she needed to lie about her age to make it in Hollywood.
Listen to Mia Freedman, Susan Carland and Monique Bowley talk about why Mamamia decided to publish a post about Rebel Wilson’s age. (Download the full episode here.)
Hollywood’s bullshit ageism – that’s what matters.