Reflection of the times: women over 50 years old gain space in audiovisual – Vogue

Ageism (Photo: Marcelo Calenda)

(Illustration: Marcelo Calenda)

In a recent interview with French magazine Dujour, Nicole Kidman revealed that she lost roles in Hollywood as soon as she turned 40. “There seems to be a consensus in the industry that actresses of that age are finished”, shot the actress, now 54. In fashion, ageism was also recurrent. By the 2000s, for example, 20-year-old models were advised to lie about their age at work, while 30-year-olds were already at the end of their careers and many brands refused to wear those over 40.

Research by anthropologist Mirian Goldenberg in 2018 revealed that aging begins much earlier for women, around age 30. According to the study – carried out with 5,000 Brazilian men and women aged between 18 and 96 – excessive concern with age exists because the female universe is much more charged for their appearance, in a way that our culture has always represented and valued. women by physical shape, while men are more associated with work, productivity, money and status.

Today, the situation is a little different. Older women are gaining more space in advertising, digital media and fashion, in a movement driven by racial and gender discussions, but also as a matter of longevity and market demand. “In the past, old age started at menopause, which was considered the final moment, as we died younger. Today it is already a fact that at 50 we are halfway through life and, thinking about the possibility of living to 100, we do not want to spend the next 50 without producing, having sex, shopping or traveling”, says Fê Guerreiro, one of the founders of the SHEt platform. , which discusses the nuances of female aging.

Ageism (Photo: Marcelo Calenda)

(Illustration: Marcelo Calenda)

For the 49-year-old publicist, we are in a narrative transition phase. “I don’t think we will be able to see the fruits that we are planting now, but it is possible that the next generations will have a different look not only for themselves, but for the other, which is what is most affected in this sexist society”. For this, it is important to have more age and racial representation on the screen. “TV is still the biggest means of communication, which reaches a huge amount of people and is able to open their minds, showing new movements and perspectives.”

With almost 74 million subscribers around the world, HBO Max has been investing in projects with different perspectives and experiences, such as the movie Invisibles, recently added to the platform’s catalog. streaming. Directed by Gracia Querejeta, the Spanish drama offers different views on topics such as the loss of youth and physical attractiveness, the fear of abandonment or heartbreak, but all from a female perspective, represented by three distinct characters. “Above all, it was important to show that the supposed social invisibility of these 50-year-old women will not make them disappear”, explains the director.

For Camila Faus, co-founder of SHEt, women in this age group are far from invisible. “They are potent, working and producing, but there is still a taboo in relation to menopause as the end of vitality and reproducibility that is directly linked to the role of women, and we did not come into the world just for that”, she defends. Hence the importance of expanding the range of narratives related to the theme. “There are productions with genius breaks of paradigms, with women over 70 and not stereotyped talking about sorority, embracing differences, without right or wrong”, she adds.

If aging still causes fear for some, for others it means a phase of more self-knowledge and confidence. “I think it’s kind of absurd to try to hide your age. Your life is your whole life, not just your youth, and as you get older, your vision becomes more complex, especially your understanding of your purpose in the world,” says 52-year-old American documentary filmmaker Andrea Nix Fine. “As a director, this experience is critical to the success of certain projects. Today I know how to direct a scene much better than when I was in my 20s.”

Ageism (Photo: Marcelo Calenda)

(Illustration: Marcelo Calenda)

Oscar winner for Best Documentary Short Film for InnocentIn 2013, Andrea also directed the recent documentary LFG: How Much Is Enough, about the US women’s soccer team’s struggle to achieve equal pay. “It was important to ensure that these women had a platform to express themselves and in a more direct way with the public, without filters,” she explains. “It’s these complex issues that interest me. I have no desire to get into a project that would be better done by someone younger, like a skateboarding movie for example.”

With over 15 years of experience in the film industry, Andrea sees positive changes in both race and gender and age diversity. “I feel that today there is greater respect for different stages of life, especially for women,” she says. Currently working in partnership with the celebrated studio A24 on a new documentary about the capitol invasion in 2021, Andrea also highlights the importance of female protagonism in audiovisual. “Women need to control their own narratives and not have these traditional barriers altering their stories. Thus, we will have a more interesting market, but also a better production quality.”

Despite all the achievements, we still have a long way to go, especially when it comes to the representation of black women over 50 years old. “She is totally null. When advertising campaigns feature an older woman, she is always white, thin and with straight hair, so we are still far from representation, despite appearing to be close”, says Egnalda Côrtes.

Founder and CEO of the first agency creators In Latin America, Côrtes Companhia, the 49-year-old businesswoman, says that, according to a survey presented at the UN in 2021, regarding the evolution of female representation in the media, despite the presence of black women having increased by 74%, the number means only 23% of advertising campaigns. “There is a gap in the story that is not being told and the media itself loses with it, not showing who these women are, where they were, what they did and who their children are”, she says.

“We need to look at these women who are behind the emerging youth in the current scene.” According to Côrtes, it is also important to show and inform the public that there is life after 50. “Older women have felt inadequate and this has to do with what they see,” he explains. “Each trait that age brings is a story that runs through our body, and we talk little about it. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in that process, so as they come out more, it won’t be as lethal as it gets older.” And no matter how slow this transformation is, it must continue. “I can’t stop, because these actions bring me the possibility of seeing my descendants enjoying the fight now.”

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