Justice

Sandra Bullock Shares the Real Problem With How We Treat Older Women

July 2nd 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

Earlier this year, People magazine dubbed Academy Award winning actress Sandra Bullock the "World's Most Beautiful Woman" of 2015. Though the "Miss Congeniality" star was excited to accept the "generous" honor, her main priority was to use it as an opportunity to shed light on other beautiful women in her line of work.

Speaking to E! Online, Bullock said the current climate for women is unkind and discriminatory, which worries her as a mother to a young boy.

"I feel like it's become open hunting season in how women are attacked and it's not because of who we are as people, it's because of how we look or our age," Bullock said. "I'm shocked—and maybe I was just naive, but I'm embarrassed by it. My son is getting ready to grow up in this world and I'm trying to raise a good man who values and appreciates women, and here we have this attack on women in the media that I don't see a stop happening."

Bullock also noted the negative impact cyber bullying has on today's young people, particularly if they are female.

"Little girls are having the hardest time with bullying and the internet—somebody with a very large hand and big voice needs to put a stop to it," she said.

Bullock said the good news is that many women in Hollywood commiserate over the field's unfair treatment of aging women.

"The women have bonded together and have sort of become this tribe of trying to take care of each other and be there for each other in a way, because the minute you step out it's an onslaught," she said. "And I laughed when [People magazine] said they're gonna be generous and bestow me this wonderful privilege, but I said if I can talk about the amazing women who I find beautiful, which are these women who rise above and take care of business and do wonderful things, and take care of each other, then I'm more than honored to be on the cover of this."

Actress Parker Posey echoed similar feelings in a new interview with the New York Times. Though she portrayed a high school mean girl in the 90s hit "Dazed and Confused," Posey already feels like she's in her "old-lady stage" at 46. As The Times pointed out, this comes through in Woody Allen's upcoming film "Irrational Man," in which a mopey philosophy professor portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix starts seeing Posey and college student Emma Stone and seems to be more interested in the younger gal.

Allen did something similar in "Magic in the Moonlight," in which Colin Firth's character falls for Stone.

“We’re in very masculine times, and that’s affecting storytelling in general,” Posey said. “I think wit and camp have gone out of style.”

Comedy Central's Amy Schumer gets this message across in her recent "Last Fuckable Day" sketch featuring several highly successful actresses describing Hollywood's horrible treatment of older women.

Academy Award winner Meryl Streep recently launched a writing lab program for women screenwriters over 40, in a move that might just pave the way for more older female depictions on screen.

"I would say our culture is pretty youth-obsessed," she told People magazine last year. "Especially people that pass 40. When I was 40, I was offered three witch [roles]. I was not offered any female adventurers or love interests or heroes or demons," she recalls. "I was offered witches because I was 'old' at 40."