Demi Moore has been in the news a lot lately. Her picture is splashed across every tabloid, stories of her meltdown and her broken heart are everywhere.
On Facebook, I saw a post from a woman who appeared to be 40 years old or older. She was ranting that Demi is whining about getting older and this woman had no patience or empathy for Demi. Her message was to get over it, we all age and if we are alive, we have something to be thankful for.
I agreed with this woman on Facebook. But after having a conversation with someone about Demi and my lack of empathy, it was pointed out that Demi lives in the Hollywood bubble. Her reality is different than those of us who do not make a living based on how we look. Youth is King in Hollywood. Maybe I didn’t see things from Demi’s point of view because for the last two and a half years, I’ve been living in Northern California. I’m not in the acting biz anymore and even though I have not acted since 2002, living in Los Angeles has its own set of unique pressures when it comes to age and looks.
It’s very easy to criticize someone when you haven’t walked in their shoes. One of the comments on the woman’s post was that Demi has never been compared to or talked about like Meryl Streep; that all she has are her looks. To a degree, this is true. Demi is not known as one of the greats. But she does hold her own and has turned out some pretty decent performances, save for a few flops. But she has been known for her looks. She’s gone to extremes with her physical image when preparing for such roles as GI Jane and Striptease. She has breast implants, lived on a raw food diet and God knows what else in order to keep up a youthful appearance. It’s exhausting for me to think about. I can’t imagine what it must be like for her to live it.
The way she looks not only determines her income but how she values herself. This is true for all of us to a degree but for someone like Demi, it’s magnified. She’s almost 50. In Hollywood years, that’s 110. It’s death to those who’ve relied primarily on their physical appearance.
I worked on Days Of Our Lives for seven years. My part was small but I understand the pressure. The women on the show are tiny in stature as well as very thin. An impossibility for me. I am six feet tall. My bones and frame are big. I can get too skinny but I can never compete with a woman who is 5’5 and weighs 100 pounds. It’s an awful feeling when your value is based on looks and even though I never became a big time actress, I had wanted to for many years. I had to be prepared for my “big break.” I was always consumed with my looks. When I think of Demi, I really cannot imagine how she must be feeling now. It must be horrid.
Demi married Ashton Kutcher who happens to be sixteen years younger than she is. This young man has enormous charisma. Sexy, smart, hysterical and poised to be one of those Hollywood actors that has an extremely long shelf life. George Clooney, Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood had that charisma when they were young. Even in their 60′s, Eastwood and Newman pulled it off, sexually speaking. It’s common among men but not for women. It’s the rare woman who can still have sex appeal after 60 and more often than not, most of it is due to a LOT of plastic surgery. That’s the sad truth and trust me, I hate it. But it is what it is. I don’t blame Demi or feel she got what she deserves but she did set herself up for this to happen. It’s my theory that part of her attraction for him was that he was much younger. It validated her desire to appear younger. Madonna went through a similar situation with her younger ex-husband Guy Ritchie.
It is my personal belief that no woman should EVER marry a man sixteen years her junior. Yes, there are exceptions but they are EXCEPTIONS and they are few and far between. When women are in their 40′s they can look great. But as they approach 50, the hormones start freaking out. Our bodies change, perimenopause rears its ugly head and there’s not much we can do. The aging process takes away our youthful allure. It’s scary to let go but it’s what we all go through. And though it’s a bit easier for men, they still have to deal with losing youth and sex appeal as well. No one likes it but when you take a look at Europe, they seem to have a better grasp on reality than the US. Their actresses don’t have to be Barbie Dolls. They can be real women and still be respected.
Demi’s personal life affects millions of women who have insecurities with body image. It continues to promote the idea that when a woman ages, she loses her value. This statement is only true for those who buy into it.
I don’t blame Ashton. He’s 33!!!! She’s almost 50. As much as we all want to believe that it’s not about age, it is A LOT about age. It’s not negative or ageism. It’s human nature. It goes both ways. I am 43. I am not attracted to men who are 60. I’m just not.
Sadly, Demi has fallen victim to the message that youth and looks are the most important thing a woman can have. It’s what’s been reported on over and over. This message is poison and slowly seeps into the minds of many women who pick up the magazines while in line at the supermarket or reading the online articles. We read about her woes, her use of drugs and her inability to accept the most recent movie offer that has now gone to another actress because Demi is unable to cope with her break-up.
On one hand, I feel for her. She lives in the bubble and has since a very young age. On the other hand, as humans, we always have a choice. It’s easy to compare yourself to another. There will always be someone who has something you covet whether it’s material success, love or looks. We can and must choose to be healthy, to be fit and to look good for our age whether in our 20′s, 30′s, 40′s 50′s and up! But by defining ourselves only by age and looks, we lose.
Submit your story here: Guidelines
Copyright Ark Stories 2012