Ageing women on screen
DOI link for Ageing women on screen
Ageing women on screen book
For more than four decades, feminist media researchers have documented the ways in which women are ‘invisibilised’ and stereotyped across the popular media landscape, from news to advertising, from television to magazines, across different genres and formats. While there has been some improvement in the scale and even the content of women’s representation and inclusion in popular media over the past few years, older women still mostly remain at the margins of visibility, with a few notable celebrity exceptions. This chapter explores the routine tropes of older womanhood as manifest across a range of popular mainstream media, starting with a bit of history and then moving on to consider the contemporary scene. It considers the ways in which ageing for women is seen as something to be stalled or prevented – women get old and ugly, men mature gracefully – and they are criticised if they refuse the media’s blandishments and remain true to their happily ageing selves. Older women audiences are also considered in the chapter, with most believing that their diversity and experiences are rarely present in fiction or fact. Lastly, the chapter considers the pushback, especially by women actors and directors who call for more rounded roles for women and more support for projects that put them at the centre of their narratives, using their voices to advocate for change.