I’ve been watching a whole lot of 30 Rock, Fangirls. I love Tina Fey’s humor and attitude, so I love Liz Lemon. The show has reminded me that there are different age stigmas with men than there are for women.
30 Rock is about Liz Lemon, a 40-something woman who writes a live comedy show starring Jenna Maroney (played by Jane Krakowski) and Tracy Jordan. Liz Lemon’s boss, Jack Donaghy is about ten years older than her, and likes to rub how “distinguished” his age makes him.
A lot of times, in media and real life, age makes a man more desirable. Grey hair can be a distinguishing feature, showing his maturity and thus becoming a good thing. With men, age=power. But not with women.
Older women are seen as a bad thing. They’re compared to horses, being called “old nags.” Grey hair is not attractive, it instead shows how dried up women must be.
I find this to be incredibly bothersome. As a woman, I know that I will face this stigma. I find it to be even worse as I am terrified of aging, so having a mockery of my age be the norm is so damn unappealing. I want nothing to do with it. But what can we do?
We can embrace age. I’m not entirely sure how, but if we, as women, show that aging doesn’t bother us and instead empowers us, we may be able to stomp out this stigma. So go forth, Fangirls, and own your age.
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