The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Posts Tagged ‘older women’

Dame Helen Mirren’s Red Bikini: It’s Okay To Be Old, So Long As You’re “Hot”

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 24, 2008

(Note: If you haven’t seen the photos of Dame Helen Mirren on holidays in her red bikini yet, have a look, lest the rest of this post make no sense.)

I’ve to’ed and fro’ed over the whole “OMG Helen Mirren in a bikini!” fuss for the past week – there’s no doubt that Mirren looks smashing in her swimsuit, but it’s the media and blogosphere’s reaction that bothers me, because the not-so-hidden undertones to the coverage essentially say, “See, we’ll put a 63-year-old woman in our paper! (Provided she looks ‘hot’.)”

If Mirren stepped out in a bikini with equal confidence but instead showed off varicose veins, a sagging bosom or crepey skin, you can bet your boots the papers would be howling, “Put some clothes on, nanna!”

And while much of the coverage purports to be batting for visibility on behalf of older women, I can’t help but feel as though all this does is exert yet more pressure on women – both older and younger – who don’t manage to fit into that small and unforgiving genre of appearance known as “hot”.

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