Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch

Women, Men and Aging

So, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, when the pinkifying of a disease I am at more than average odds of coming down with (family history)  reaches a fevered pitch and reminds me to start running in panic to the mammogram machine.

But this is not, primarily, what I want to talk about.

What I want to talk about is Liam Neeson appearing on the Ellen Show in a hot pink Speedo to raise money for Breast Cancer Research.


Now, I want to stress that I am in no way dissing Mr. Neeson’s appearance.  I still find him as sexy as I did when I first saw him in High Spirits (with Steve Guttenberg, Darryl Hannah, and Beverly D’Angelo) in the late 80s.  He’s an incredibly attractive guy, but as with most male actors in Hollywood, he’s allowed to look his age and is still considered attractive by the general public.

So, on Ellen, he strips down to a hot pink Speedo, and sits in a glass booth while Ellen and an audience member throw balls at a target to drench him with water.  All good.  But I encourage  you to watch that clip, see how the audience goes wild, and then wonder if you would ever see an older actress do the same.  And if you did, what do you think the reaction, if not from a primarily male audience, but from the media would be?

Gods, I love this woman’s style.

Again, I am not saying anything against his appearance.  I would still not kick the man out of bed for eating crackers.  But then again, nor would I kick Helen Mirren or Dame Judi Dench (seriously, she was AMAZING in Mrs. Henderson Presents) out of bed for eating crackers.  (Ahhh, the joys of bisexuality.)  But lets face it, the media would probably turn themselves inside out criticizing Ms. Mirren if she appeared in a bikini.  I have seen some amazingly hot photos of Ms. Mirren, she’s wrapped in a British flag, holding a sword, but they do not bare her midriff.

Sexy nude, or nearly nude, photos of older women are still so rare, in a culture steeped in porn, that it’s comment worthy when you see one.  There’s one making the rounds of Facebook right now, of an older woman, with a noticeably lined face and silver hair, in a bikini showing off her tattoos.  It’s still common to find a picture of an older woman showing any amount of skin, and have it followed by loads of comments about how gross that is, because the internet IS the lowest common denominator.  Sigh.

What I would like to see is our culture learning to embrace the sexiness of older women, as well as of older men.  And I say this as someone who has ALWAYS had a thing for older women, even before I found myself slowly turning into one.  I grew up with a list of rules, things that you had to quit doing, clothes you had to quit wearing, as you got older (and/or gained weight).  No more short skirts, funky tights, cleavage baring shirts, etc…  And I have been gleefully disdaining all of those rules.  And I see a lot more of that rejection of what we’re supposed to do/be/look like as we age in women of my generation or younger.

I mean, hell, my husband and I started a punk band the year I turned 40.  And apparently, we aren’t half bad, or so people tell us.  People are living longer, and are more active later in life, for example, I point you to my husband’s aunt who broke her hip falling off a horse at 94 (it was totally the horse’s fault), and who died at 102.

I’m hoping that society’s attitudes toward women and age will change, sooner rather than later.  And I think we are seeing a bit of it, like the sexy photos of Helen Mirren wrapped in the British flag in Esquire.  And I’m not saying that older women have to be seen as sexy, just not as sexless beings beyond desire, either themselves or as the objects of other people’s desires.

If you are at all interested in what a bunch of 30 and 40 somethings sound like playing punk rock, you can check out our first single/demo here.

UPDATE:  Someone sent me these tabloid bikini pics of Helen Mirren.  I stand corrected, to an extent.  The gist of the article is that her body doesn’t look like the body of a 63 year old woman.

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This entry was posted on October 4, 2012 by in Featured Articles, Media, Misogyny, Sexism.

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