“Yikes,” I thought. “I’ve got to check this out. I mean, just look at that one picture they had as a teaser. Whoever that is sure looks bad.”
As I suspected, it was all about ageism. I was totally engrossed in the side-by-side publicity photos of young, beautiful people (mostly women, of course, but some men too) juxtaposed with candid shots of these same people 10, 20, or 30 years later. The older women had no makeup and often grimaced. The men had paunches. My favorite disgusting side-by-side was a picture of Jennifer Lopez when she was about 18 or 20, next to one now (she’s about 45). What they showed in the “after” picture was a close-up of the skin fold under her arm. Really? J-Lo was beautiful, no doubt about it. And gorgeous now. But according to this article she’s not aged well because she now has a little fold under her arm?
I’m not surprised. I’m not upset. It’s par for the course. It’s what attracts people to these stories. People love lists and people love celebrities. Put the two together and you got a winner. Just imagine the ads you can sell on the site that shows an ugly picture of Jennifer Lopez, if there ever was one.
I’m reminded of the time almost 40 years ago when Gloria Steinem appeared on a talk show. I was actually watching that day. Someone in the audience asked her age and she replied, “42.” The audience gasped in disbelief. Ms. Steinem continued, “Folks, this is what 42 is!” BTW, some folks have said it took place when she was 40, not 42, but my memory of actually seeing it was that she said 42.
Either way, her point was made loud and clear. We age, we look different than what we did 20 or 30 years ago. We no longer fit the image of the young ingénue. We may still be beautiful in the classic sense, as Gloria Steinem certainly was at 42. But we may not. So what?
Ironically, I happened to notice another sidebar ad for a story that read, “10 Celebrities Who Have Aged Well,” likely from the same website. I decided I wouldn’t bother giving that website another click.