How Hollywood speaks to you if you're over 30

Photo by Frazer Harrison

Photo by Frazer Harrison

"When, in October, Liv Tyler revealed to More magazine that, at the age of 38, she isn't being offered the sort of juicy roles that tend to either go to women two decades younger or older than she is, I wasn't exactly shocked. I was, however, curious — did the ageism she described also extend to how female celebs of various ages are treated when they aren't being considered for a role? Specifically, do the questions they're asked by publications change depending on their age, even when there's no need?

Sure, a lot depends on the publication; some know their readers want the goods on a 20-something celeb's shiny hair or a 50-something's workout routine, and there isn't anything wrong with focusing on fun aspects of one's appearance. Yet you would hope that if these questions are asked, they're alongside weightier ones about a star's career, ambitions, etc. There's a reason why a movement like #AskHerMore, which prompts entertainment reporters to ask female celebrities questions far deeper the usual, 'Who are you wearing?', exists — women in Hollywood, whether they're 20 or 60, are often subjected to topics and inquiries not befitting of their talents and achievements.

Still, the age of a female star does affect the questions they're asked. After reading many interviews with celebrity women of all different ages, here's what I found about what kind of questions they're posed:

When Megan Fox was interviewed by Esquire in 2013, an interview that will go down in history for using the words 'bombshell,' 'gorgeous,' and 'perfectly symmetrical' to describe the actor more times than I can count, she was asked to liken herself and celebrity in general to an ancient, perfect-looking Aztec god who ultimately self-sacrificed. 'It's so similar. It totally is,' Fox said, and you can you picture her rolling her eyes. How do you answer that question?

...

According to journalists, Knightley basically went from ingénue to powerful grown woman with a robust life overnight — as if turning 30 and having a baby in the same year meant that she was now part of a different species, one that could be asked far different questions than their 20-something counterparts.

...

Hey, guess what? Jennifer Aniston is pretty sick and tired of hearing that she looks good 'for her age' and having her age glued beside her name in every publication, as if it is intrinsically linked to her identity. 'Your age always has to be mentioned and men don’t really get that for some reason. It’s not like you see Joe Schmo, 37,' Aniston told Women's Wear Daily.

...

Overall findings: Appearance seems to become an even bigger priority at 40 and 50 then it was at 30, and no actor in this age bracket is able to escape questions about age. But it's refreshing that some, like Louis-Dreyfus, are asked about their intellect, ambition, and talent, too. If only women of all ages were given the Julia Louis-Dreyfus interview treatment." - Lisa Fogarty via Bustle

Ageistageism, aging, ageing, over 50