Warning: I’m in moody bitch mode, so filter my rant through a screen of tolerance and good will, if you don’t mind, and perky Steph will be back as soon as possible.
The ever-chic Sarah Jessica Parker is in Elle this month discussing, among other things, getting older.
On aging naturally: “I don’t know what I can do about the aging. Yes, I am aging. Oh my God, I’m aging all the time. It’s like those flowers that wilt in front of you in time-lapse films. But what can I possibly do? Look like a lunatic?”
Now, I’m a journalist, so I know you have to ask a question in a certain way to get any kind of a reasonable quote, especially from a celebrity (if you ask, “Is the sky blue?” you’ll get, “Yes.” But if you ask, “I understand many of your critics see the sky as blue, and I can sort of see their point. But what would you like the world to know about your more nuanced perception of various colors the sky could be seen as being?” you might get a more interesting answer.)
In any event, the article wasn’t written or edited in such a way that you could determine what exact question the writer asked, but I’m guessing it was something like, “It must be hard to be an actress in Hollywood who is…shall we say…not young. Do you feel terribly threatened by the Megan Foxes of the world? Do you think about aging at all? Do you even think of yourself as an ‘aging actress?'”
So what the hell is she supposed to say? That she’s not aging? Never mind the fact that, as Jezebel pointed out, “she has to talk about the kind of stuff that 47-year-old Johnny Depp rarely gets asked: How does it feel to be SO FUCKING OLD” ?
What gets me peeved (see: I’m a moody bitch, above) is that she and everyone else in the universe conflates aging with looking like you’re aging, and they’re simply not the same thing.
Of course she’s aging. We’re all aging. My seven-year-old twin girls are aging, and at the exact same rate as SJP, me, and the guy who mutters to himself outside the bodega on our corner, and Sasha’s new guinea pig, Hairdo, who unfortunately for her has a much shorter lifespan than we humans. SJP, who is 45, simply started aging before my girls, and two years before I did, because aging starts the moment you’re born. Time passes and we log birthdays. Hence, we age. Big whoop.
Looking as if you’re aging…that’s another thing entirely, and no one would choose to look older if they had the choice. But I agree with SJP that we kind of don’t. Sure, we can do this and that and look somewhat younger and after awhile, as SJP says, “like a lunatic” if we do too much.
But it doesn’t change the basic fact that the older we get, the fewer years any of us have left on earth to inject our faces with Botox or get “Lunchtime lifts” or whatever else we do to pretend that we’re not aging. All we’re really doing with all this silliness is running on a hamster wheel like Hairdo, chasing something that is as impossible to stop as rain or taxes or children jumping up during dinner or celebrities getting divorced or politicians getting caught in public restrooms doing embarrassing things. Is that why we are so focused on looking older? Is it some lifelong denial of death ritual that now involves expensive dermatological procedures?
It just seems so predictably female and American to pick the single most immutable fact of life–the passage of time–and make it the thing we are going to struggle against until the day our time runs out.
I’m not saying I am above it all, of course. I’m just getting a little tired of it. Or maybe I’m just a moody bitch.