5 Female Celebrities Talk About Encountering Ageism

Posted by PZ on September 5th, 2020

There is always plenty of discussion about feminism, racism and other important issues that affect even those in the spotlight – but many people forget that ageism can be just as tough as other forms of discrimination. These 5 female celebrities have spoken on how age is especially hard on women when it comes to their careers, and they have seen attitudes towards them shift as the years have rolled by. Here is what they’ve said about encountering ageism.

Lisa Kudrow


Lisa reveals she has been taken more seriously as an actress now that she’s older because no one expects her to be sexy: “It’s an age thing, but that’s great. I’m thrilled! No one can be mad at me for not being sexy and cute anymore. That’s fantastic. People get mad at women for not trying to be sexy and cute. It’s terrible.”


Madonna is tired of being called out for her age and she says she encounters it frequently: “No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black or dare to say a degrading remark on Instagram about someone being gay. But my age — anybody and everybody would say something degrading to me. And I always think to myself, why is that accepted? What’s the difference between that and racism, or any discrimination? They’re judging me by my age. I don’t understand. I’m trying to get my head around it.”

Meryl Streep

Meryl believes people see women differently as they mature: “Once women passed childbearing age they could only be seen as grotesque on some level. Of course there is ageism in the film industry. There’s discrimination in every profession. We’re fighting that, and we’re making inroads against discrimination.”

Patricia Arquette

Patricia says Hollywood has unrealistic standards: “Aging is just normal! That is all there is to it. I don’t think the public is shocked by the fact that women get older. It is pathetic, and it looks pathetic, when I hear some 55-year-old actor won’t play opposite a 42-year-old woman because she is too old for him. People aren’t buying this anymore.”

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett thinks people see women negatively as they age: “Women kind of wilt as men sort of achieve as they get older, like wine or whatever. It’s like, ‘Oh, she’s past her prime and she can’t play a sex symbol. It’s just a preconceived notion about women in general and particularly in this industry. It’s a very vain, vain industry.”

Category: Lists, Madonna, Meryl Streep