TIME Aging

How to Age When Your Celebrity Peers Don’t

Vintage Flapper Image
H. Armstrong Roberts—ClassicStoc/Getty Images

Susanna Schrobsdorff is an Assistant Managing Editor at TIME. Previously, she was the Editorial Director for Newsweek Digital. She is the winner of a New York Press Club award for Outstanding Web Coverage and three Front Page Awards for cultural commentary and interactive journalism.

In Hollywood, looking young forever is the ultimate prize. In real life, not so much

According to her birth certificate, Sandra Bullock turned 51 last month. But because she looks exactly the same as she did in Miss Congeniality, a movie filmed back in the 20th century, BuzzFeed deemed her “immortal” and everyone else routinely calls her “ageless.” Bullock is just one of a number of celebrities in their 40s and 50s who’ve had birthdays recently but have not gotten older, unlike the rest of us in their age bracket. Take Halle Berry. One website put a photo of her 20 years ago next to one of the newly 49-year-old Berry and dared us to choose which was which. “This Is What 49 Looks Like,” it said. If that’s what 49 looks like, I must be 71.

And how about Tom Cruise? You can click through slide after slide of him looking identical decade after decade, in Mission Impossible film after Mission Impossible film. It’s like Groundhog Day, but some of us are waking up older, while our cultural signposts don’t change. The other day, I walked out the door to find a totally nude 57-year-old Sharon Stone on the front page of the New York Post. Even accounting for Photoshop and Stone’s exceptional genetics, her body looks disconcertingly the way it did in Basic Instinct in 1992. My elder daughter wasn’t even a thought when that movie came out. This month she’s going to college, and she and Stone look a little like sisters. (Which would make me the mom in this scenario, but let’s not go there.)

This endless agelessness is particularly unnerving because middle age is a time of such change in your body, in your identity, in the way people see you. It actually feels a lot like another adolescence–a period when you’re hyperconscious of how you compare to your peers and how they’re aging. Like a teen, you even have a bit of an obsession with photos because you’re not sure exactly what you look like in the world. Is that really my neck–or is it just the light? Who is that woman? And yes, you look at the stars you grew up with, the ones you saw in films and on TV when you were all young. When they don’t seem to change, even as you do, it adds to the dissonance, the clanging disparity between your mind’s view of yourself and your new physical reality.

Of course, we know that the rich and well known have always looked more “rested” than the rest of us. Stylists of every kind, nutritionists, personal trainers and retouching can do that. But even a generation ago, famous faces evolved. Look at a picture of Grace Kelly at age 52 in the early 1980s. She looks like a beautiful, well-tended middle-aged woman. Today she’d look old for her age.

The goal now is to ward off aging while you are still young, using all the magical nonsurgical options medicine has to offer, like preventive Botox that starts in your 20s, or microneedling, in which tiny sterile needles pierce the skin and trick the body into initiating skin repair. Or how about the process whereby your own plasma is injected into your face, the “vampire facial.” Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, who is just 34, are already talking openly about using some of these techniques. Kardashian even went on camera while getting a vampire facial. It’s easy to imagine her and her famous friends looking the way they do now right into their late 50s.

Eventually these procedures will become less expensive, and ordinary people my daughter’s age will have these options and the dilemmas that go with them. Already anti-aging is starting to be considered maintenance, like coloring your hair. And it’s partly a survival tactic. In an era when 20-somethings start billion-dollar companies, youth is prized and looking older can have an economic cost. My friends and I find ourselves openly debating tactics that we used to make fun of. Is it too late for Botox? Does fat-freezing work? And how much time do you have to spend in the gym to keep the body of a 35-year-old after 50? It’s all so exhausting. But members of the next generation have it tougher. They’ll have to ask themselves whether they want to spend their youth trying not to get old. And when do they get to stop? I was kind of looking forward to getting off the maintenance treadmill someday. For my girls, that day might be never. I’ve already seen “Sexy at 70” headlines. Will everyone be expected to go to their graves looking hot?

I also have to wonder what else we are retarding along with age. How do you move on if you’re working so hard to stay the same? And besides, if you’ve known the ache of watching a daughter pack up for college, you know you can’t stop the clock. Nor would I switch places with her. My girl’s options are endless; her beauty is effortless. But she’s not convinced of that. Dizzy on a buffet of possibility, she and her peers believe they have to be, and do, everything at once. That’s the gift and the burden of youth. Like the rest of us, they’ll have to learn how to choose what’s worth holding on to and what to let go.

This appears in the August 31, 2015 issue of TIME.

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TIME celebrities

Jennifer Lawrence Has No Filter, and We Love It

"I can name a lot of things that taste better than skinny feels"

Jennifer Lawrence turns 25 on Saturday, and what better way to celebrate than with some of her most hilarious and insightful quotes? The Hunger Games star is known for saying it like it is, speaking her mind about body image, Hollywood and what makes her happy, like eating junk food and watching reality television. And also, that infamous fall at the 2013 Academy Awards.

“Anybody who makes fun of me [for falling], I’m just gonna go “Yeah, and then I got touched by Hugh Jackman,'” Lawrence said after she took a tumble as she climbed the stage to accept her Oscar for Best Actress in Silver Linings Playbook.

Enjoy more of Jennifer’s top 10 quotes in the video above.

TIME movies

Gang Officers Used as Security at Straight Outta Compton Premiere

Straight Outta Compton ice cube
Rebecca Cabage—Invision/AP Ice Cube poses for a portrait in promotion of the new film “Straight Outta Compton" at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles on Aug. 2, 2015.

The Los Angeles Police ramped up extra security at Monday night's premiere of 'Straight Outta Compton'

The Los Angeles Police Department ramped up extra security at Monday night’s premiere of Straight Outta Compton, a biopic about gangsta rap group N.W.A.

One security officer told the Hollywood Reporter that organizers “tripled security” for the premiere, and the LA Times reports that the LAPD deployed gang enforcement officers to the premiere along with event security.

“Better safe than sorry,” Officer Mike Lopez told the LA Times.

Straight Outta Compton opens widely on August 14.

Read Next: Ice Cube On Ghostwriting, Diss Tracks and Straight Outta Compton’s Timeliness

TIME movies

How to Solve Hollywood’s Woman Problem

Director Kathryn Bigelow poses for her new film 'Zero Dark Thirty' in New York
Andrew Kelly—Reuters Director Kathryn Bigelow poses for her new film 'Zero Dark Thirty' in New York December 4, 2012.

Only 16% of the writers, directors and producers of the top 100 films of 2014 were women

While it’s no secret that Hollywood isn’t a great place to be a woman looking for work, it’s hard not to be shocked by the latest report from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. The study finds that only 15.8% of the writers, directors and producers of the top 100 films of 2014 were women. Given that, it’s perhaps not so surprising that only 21 of those top-grossing movies featured a female lead or co-lead.

Typically, the industry’s response to these types of statistics has been to launch women-oriented training programs. In the past two years, Sony, Viacom, Warner Bros., HBO and Fox are have all rolled out training or fellowship programs for women and/or minorities. The Writers Guild West lists another fifteen programs aimed at nurturing diverse writers for TV and film on its website.

While these programs are clearly a step in the right direction, there’s not yet any hard evidence that they’re working. Indeed, the Annenberg report notes that the 2014 stats on women directors are essentially the same as they were in 2013 and even 2007.

So, if not training programs, what changes might actually start to increase the number of powerful women in Tinseltown? Here, three recent ideas that caught our eye:

A price cut for women. A Canadian film studio is offering a 50% discount in fees to female directors or showrunners. This offer comes from Peter Apostolopoulos, president of TriBro Studios, and his co-producer Greg White. Their motivation? “We have daughters and we want a world where their gender has no bearing on the potential for them to succeed,” said Apostolopoulos. Of course, it would be nice if men were also motivated by sisters, mothers, friends, spouses or even talented female strangers to improve gender parity in Hollywood, but we’ll take it.

This strategy goes after the bottom line. The entertainment industry is known for being particularly risk-averse, which often means that production companies just keep calling the same people to head up their new projects. Apostolopoulos and White hope their move will give producers a financial motivation to try putting women at the helm. It will be interesting to see if it moves the needle on the number of women directors in Canada (which has a similar record to the U.S.)

Make the plumber a woman. A few years ago, Geena Davis, who founded her own Institute on Gender and Media, offered two easy ways to immediately increase women’s onscreen representation. First, change a bunch of the names in scripts that are in production from men’s to women’s. “With one stroke you’ve created some colorful un-stereotypical female characters that might turn out to be even more interesting now that they’ve had a gender switch.” And second, describe any crowd scene as half female. The Institute reports that a recent poll of industry executives “familiar with [their] message” found that their ideas may be getting through. Of those polled, “over a quarter changed the aspirations/occupations of female characters or their dialogue. Close to one-fifth changed story development and 16% increased female characters as secondary characters.”

Give Hollywood a break. A tax break, that is. In New York, the Writers Guild East, has been lobbying for tax incentives to bring more writer’s rooms to New York, and included in the bill is a new approach: A credit for hiring a woman or minority. Lowell Peterson, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) explains, “We know the tax credit has been extraordinarily successful in attracting jobs to New York; producers most definitely calculate various aspects of their budgets with the tax credit in mind and make decisions accordingly. We anticipate the same thing would be true with this diversity tax credit.”

As with the TriBro Studios offer, the idea is to provide a financial motivation to get industry pros to try hiring fresh faces. “We believe there is a strong bench of writers who are women or people of color for whom this incentive would help open the door, to overcome the inertia in which people hire folks they already know,” says Peterson. While the bill didn’t make it all the way through the latest legislative session, it is expected to come up again—likely in the January-May 2016 session.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Hollywood

Hollywood Still Has a Major Diversity Problem


The report analyzed 30,835 speaking characters

Hollywood has a problem: it’s mostly all white men.

From 2007 to 2014, only 30.2% of 30,835 speaking characters were female. That means there was roughly one female for every 2.3 male actors in a film, according to a new study out of the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

That doesn’t even get into the issue of race or ethnicity. In 2014, 73.1% of characters in the top 100 films were white. Middle Easterners and Latinos had some of the worst showings, holding 2.9% and 4.9% of the roles, respectively.

The report looked at 700 popular films released over 7 years, examining the mix of gender and race on screen and behind the camera. All speaking characters were counted and assessed for demographics, domestic traits and hyper-sexualization.

Not only are women and minorities sidelined over their white male peers, but age matters, as well. (Even Amy Schumer has poked fun at this fact.) Last year, there wasn’t a single movie among the top 100 fictional films that starred a woman over 45 years of age.

Top older actresses that may come to mind didn’t hold the starring roles. Meryl Streep, who is 66-years-old and graced the screen in films such as “Into the Woods” and “The Giver” last year, held only supporting roles.

The findings aren’t new; diversity issues have plagued movies and television for years. But it’s a good reminder that even in a year that featured diverse leads in films such as “Selma,” “The Hunger Games,” and “Divergent,” American entertainment remains a homogeneous field.

TIME celebrities

James Woods Is Suing a Guy on Twitter for $10 Million

"Once Upon A Time In America" Photo Call - 52nd New York Film Festival
Slaven Vlasic—Getty Images "Once Upon A Time In America" cast member James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014 in New York City

Papers were reportedly filed at the Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday

Actor James Woods has sued a Twitter user for defamation after the user allegedly accused the actor of being a cocaine addict.

On July 15, the Hollywood Reporter says, the user known as @abelisted apparently responded to a tweet from the actor about Caitlyn Jenner and Planned Parenthood with “cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting.”

The user account @abelisted has since been deleted. However, Woods went to the Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, the Reporter says, to file his suit, claiming that the @abelisted’s “reckless and malicious behavior, through the worldwide reach of the internet, has now jeopardized Woods’ good name and reputation on an international scale.”

The suit continues: “In the past, [@abelisted] has referred to Woods with such derogatory terms as ‘prick,’ ‘joke,’ ‘ridiculous,’ ‘scum’ and ‘clown-boy.'”


TIME celebrities

Actress Valerie Harper Has Been Released From the Hospital

AARP The Magazine's 14th Annual Movies For Grownups Awards Gala - Arrivals
Gabriel Olsen—Getty Images Valerie Harper arrives for AARP the Magazine's 14th Annual Movies For Grownups Awards Gala in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 2, 2015

She was found unconscious before a theater performance

Actress Valerie Harper has been released from the hospital she was taken to in York, Maine, after being found unconscious backstage before a theater performance Wednesday, Deadline.com reports.

Harper, best known for playing Rhoda on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, revealed in 2013 that she has terminal brain cancer.

The 75-year-old has continued to work through her illness and is currently appearing along with Sally Struthers in the Gershwin musical Nice Work if You Can Get It. She spent Wednesday night receiving treatment and was discharged Thursday morning, Deadline.com says.

Harper has experience fighting cancer — she beat lung cancer in 2009 — and has endeavored to stay positive throughout her ordeal. “When I wake up in the morning, I don’t say, ‘Oh, I have cancer.’ I say ‘Another day. How you feeling? Good? Good,’” she told People in May.

TIME Jurassic World

Jurassic World Will Get a Sequel in 2018

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World.

It's already the third-highest grossing film of all-time

Jurassic World, the latest movie in Steven Spielberg’s popular Jurassic Park franchise, has already made Universal Pictures a tidy profit.

The film, with a budget of $150 million, has raked in a jaw-dropping $1.5 billion worldwide. That comes out to a neat 1,000% return, just six weeks into its run.

Unsurprisingly, Universal Pictures has decided that this sort of performance warrants another go, with the studio announcing that it has given the unnamed sequel a green light, the BBC reports. The movie, slated for 2018, will once again feature star Chris Pratt, Executive Producer Steven Spielberg, and writer/director Colin Trevorrow.

TIME Media

Top Hollywood Movie Studios Smacked With Antitrust Charges

Disney, Warner Bros., Fox and more are accused of violating European law

Is the European Union about to add Hollywood’s finest to its collection of antitrust scalps?

After 18 months gathering material, the European Commission’s Competition directorate has accused six of Hollywood’s largest movie-makers of sabotaging the E.U.’s single market by signing country-specific deals with pay-TV providers.

The first so-called “statement of objections” have been sent out to the studios because of their licensing contracts with Sky U.K., the main operating asset of Sky Plc, but investigations into pay-TV providers in France, Germany, Spain and Italy are still ongoing and may yield further accusations.

The pay-TV companies in Germany and Italy are now 100%-owned owned by Sky, although they weren’t at the time the investigation was launched. Vivendi SA’s Canal Plus is the company under investigation in France.

The Commission’s beef is a variation on a theme of the charges it has laid at the door of Russian gas monopoly PAO Gazprom, in that country-specific deals forbid the free flow of goods and services, denying consumers the freedom of choice and, ultimately, their pricing power.

The accusations could be one of the first serious blows struck by the regulators in a campaign to modernize the E.U.’s digital economy, an area where Europe is badly lagging. The new Commission earlier this year identified the breaking down of nationally-defined copyright and licensing laws as one of the key elements of that campaign.

A prime example of this is the phenomenon of ‘geo-blocking’: at present, a subscriber to an online pay-TV service in, for example, the U.K. can’t access that service in France or (more importantly for expatriated civil servants, lobbyists and politicians) Belgium because copyright and licensing law is still handled by national governments.

The Commission says it wants to ensure that users who buy online content such as films, music or articles at home can also access them while travelling across Europe.

The objections sent out this week by the E.U. don’t go as far as cutting that particular Gordian knot in one fell swoop. Instead, they zero in on contractual clauses which stop providers from selling outside a specific country. The regulators’ expectation is that if they pull on this loose end enough, the knot will unravel in time as the broader effort to modernize the Digital Single Market gains momentum.

In theory, if customers have the right to buy across borders, then the prices for products such as ESPN or Sky Atlantic will even themselves out across the E.U..

In practice, though, even after the contractual hurdle has been cleared away, companies will still be able to say ‘no’ on commercial grounds to customers who are trying to get a better deal than the one offered in their home countries (if, for example, the administrative cost would outweigh the benefits for the company).

The six studios to have received the so-called “Statement of Objections” are:

  • Walt Disney
  • 20th Century Fox
  • Warner Bros.
  • Paramount Pictures (a unit of Viacom Inc.)
  • Sony Pictures
  • NBCUniversal (Comcast Corp.)

Sky Thursday confirmed it had received the Commission’s objections and said: “We will consider this and respond in due course.”

Under the E.U.’s rules, it can fine companies up to 10% of their global annual revenue for antitrust violations.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

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