Why Beyoncé's Age Controversy is Sexist

October 22nd 2015

Omri Rolan

This Wednesday my social media feeds were cluttered with "news" concerning the age of Blue Ivy-creator Beyoncé Knowles.

Beyonce News Clip

Father of the Year, Matthew Knowles, stopped by Power 105.1’s "The Breakfast Club" to feel less irrelevant by talking about his very relevant daughter. Though Bey's dad's comments are frivolous, what he says does bring up an important point about the way we treat women of a certain age in Hollywood.

Real quick, here’s what happened:

  • Beyoncé’s dad said she was the same age as musicians P!nk and Usher.
  • Internet detectives noticed that both singers are 1-2 years older than Queen B.
  • This brought back old rumors that Beyoncé has been lying about her age to protect her image.
  • Media outlets fueled the fire by drudging up old interviews questioning Beyoncé’s real age.

Why Beyonce’s dad feels the need to bring his daughter down is none of our business. 

The real question is, why are we reporting this story at all?

Does it really matter if Beyoncé is 1, 2, 5, or 10 years older than she says she is? For one, the multi-talented singer says she’s 34. It’s not like she’s pretending to be a teen and hoping we don’t notice.

Secondly, even if Bey is lying about her age, it’s only because we live in a world where entire news stories are dedicated to catching her in a lie about her age. A male equivalent of Beyoncé (not that there is one) would not have to deal with this kind of sexist ageism.

This is the same world where:

  • Academy Award nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal (37) was told she was “too old” to play the love interest of a 55-year-old man by a Hollywood Producer.
  • Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence (25) is constantly paired as the love interest of Bradley Cooper (40). The man is hot, but he’s 15 years Lawrence’s senior!
  • Academy Award winner, Marisa Tomei (50) is set to play Peter Parker’s elderly, white haired (as depicted in the comics) adoptive aunt in the new "Spiderman." Have you seen how hot Marisa Tomei is?!

Oscar Actresses

In the music and movie industries, the media is ready to retire a woman when she no longer looks, acts, or gives the vibe of a teen.

The leading ladies of comedy said it best in Amy Schumer’s upsettingly accurate "Last Fuckable Day" skit.

Would the world feel any different about Beyoncé if she turned out to be older than 34?

Would her songs that make your face go all stanky at the club make your face go any less stanky if she was 35? Would her music videos that make you wish the bottom half of your body was able to move completely independently of the top of your body—ike an upside-down bobble head—inspire you to take the stairs any less if she was 37? Would you be any more forgiving of "The Pink Panther" if you thought Beyoncé filmed it while in her late age?