How old is too old?
This show biz season, some seemingly ageless stars have been getting flak from presumably less “well-preserved” sour grapes, who rap them for cheekily daring to perform in revealing outfits that their daughters would blanch at wearing. The principal targets include Madonna, Demi Moore, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, Uma Thurman and Cher.
Defenders of the daring “grandmothers” point out that traditional standards for age-appropriate appearance and behavior have been rendered moot and academic by advances in the beauty and cosmetic surgery industries, not to mention the phenomenal transformative powers of master stylists who get paid a lot for helping senior stars hold back the wages of age in the entertainment world, which worships youth, actual or reimagined, above all else!
A decade ago, the consoling mantra for nonteenagers was, “Sixty is the new 40!” Since life is supposed to begin (again) at 40, what a thrill it was to hear that!
But the situation has changed even more today in favor of what used to be known as the geriatric set. (Talk-show host David Letterman puckishly said on his late-night program recently, “Hey, I hear that 60 is the new 100!”—of course he was kidding!)
Barbara Eden (of “I Dream of Jeannie” fame) recently made a comeback on TV to promote her new book—and she looked like she was still in her 50s, even if in fact she had just celebrated her 78th birthday!
On the other hand, male stars like Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood and Warren Beatty look a lot the worse for wear, allowing all of their wrinkles, wattles and warts to hang out—and down—to prove that they have fully lived every week of all their multiple senior citizen years!
The “confessional” old-man look is particularly galling for Redford’s fans, who still remember the time when he was the Golden Boy of American Cinema! If he looks so used and abused at 70-plus, there’s no hope for the less-than divinely blessed fans like us, unless we’re prepared to live the rest of our lives with our offendingly ancient mugs hidden in paper bags!
So, it would really be a consolation if our male stars would emulate at least some of the time-retarding tricks that their leading ladies have mastered.
Yes, we agree that matronly Madonna trying to pass herself off as Britney Spears’ kid sister is more than a bit much, but why sarcastically savage JLo for still being able to turn many men on in her 40s?
Truth to tell, JLo doesn’t look much older now than she did way back in the 1990s, when she and Jim Carrey both got their start on TV on the edgy comedy show “In Living Color.”
Carrey now looks like JLo’s father or even grandfather (on a really bad day), but is that her fault? Being Latin-American, her skin is more age-resilient than the usual WASP complexion, so why penalize her for it?
She can rock it and love it until she’s as old as Betty White—as long as she can still get away with it! How old is too old? Betty White cavorting in a string bikini?—yeah, that could be it!