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Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

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Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by Katiedot on Mon 24 Feb 2014, 10:45

Not sure if this really belongs here or in the this'n'that bit:

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Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

What’s wrong with Gravity and right with American Hustle.

By: Kathryn Laskaris Parenting, Published on Sun Feb 23 2014

There’s a moment in the movie Gravity when Sandra Bullock’s character Ryan Stone climbs out of her spacesuit and — look! — underneath she’s wearing what adds up to underpants and a tank top. Oh, I thought. Then: Really? Why is she wearing that? Is that what astronauts wear under their spacesuits? (Chris Hadfield told Conan O’Brien that the answer to this is, in short, no.)

Chicago Sun-Times movie critic Richard Roeper also took notice. “In theaters across the country,” he says, “moviegoers will be elbowing the person next to them and whispering, “What is she, 49? She’s in amazing shape.”

Roeper continues: “I call this the Aniston Effect, in which actresses hit 40 and find reasons to shed most of their clothes so we can see they look better than most women half their age. See Jennifer Aniston in We’re the Millers and Gwyneth Paltrow in Thanks For Sharing.”

The Aniston Effect may be Roeper’s name for this but it could perhaps just as easily be called the Fonda Effect. In 1981, when On Golden Pond — a film perfect in almost every way — came out, Jane Fonda was already in her 40s. Her character spends much of her time onscreen trying to prove something to her father, and a lot of that screen time features her, tanned and perfectly toned (her first workout video came out the following year) in a two-piece bathing suit.

Or it might be called the Moore affect; Demi Moore was 41 in 2003 when Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle arrived in theatres and Moore arrived on the beach, sporting a barely there bikini and postchildren abs almost as flat as her surfboard.
This time around, Bullock, who turns 50 this summer, is up for Best Actress at the Academy Awards on Sunday March 2.
Since the nominees were announced a while back, I’ve been trying to get to as many movies as possible, but I didn’t see Gravity until about a week ago (if you missed it, it comes out on DVD this week).

It’s a visually stunning movie, whether or not the science of it holds up, and I spent most of the time screeching quietly and holding my breath, hoping the lost-in-space adventure would all turn out OK.

Still, the fact that an obviously fit Bullock spent a good chunk of time floating around in a tank top and boy-cut shorts has since been giving me pause.

I’m not sure what bugged me, exactly.

Am I jealous of her body? Of course; I’m younger than she is and pretty much have no chance of ever looking like that, although given my hatred of exercise and love of potato chips that’s no one’s fault but my own. Am I annoyed? A bit; Bullock’s co-star George Clooney (my secret boyfriend), twice named the sexiest man alive, never seems to shed even a sock on film and the world remains just fine with his crinkly eyes and grey hair line.

Mostly, though, I think I’m just confused by what made anyone think it necessary to stick Bullock in her underwear. It weakens the movie and is irrelevant to the character.

There’s nothing new under the sun, of course, and Hollywood still has a hard time figuring out what to do with its women. Can a woman just be an astronaut? Nope. She’s got to be an astronaut with great legs. Can an “older” woman be sexy? Well maybe, but only if she looks like a younger one.

This year, the youngest of Bullock’s competition for Best Actress is American Hustle’s Amy Adams, and she turns 40 in August. The oldest is the star of Philomena, Judi Dench, at 79. The other two Best Actress nominees are Blue Jasmine’s Cate Blanchett, 44 and August: Osage County’s Meryl Streep, 64.

Adams, in American Hustle, plays a woman named Sydney Prosser, a former stripper and current con artist. The first thing you notice about her in every scene, pretty much, is her cleavage. It’s aggressive cleavage. It’s right there, in your face, no matter if the setting is the disco floor or in an office building. To pull it off, Adams told Vanity Fair, required confidence and “sort of a laissez-faire attitude about what your breasts are doing.”

But in this case the bare skin made sense to me. It’s part of the story; it’s who Sydney is or who she’d like to be. It’s the 1970s, and all of the men have terrible hair and all of the women are braless, in dresses cut down to there or up to who-knows-where (Adams’ co-star Jennifer Lawrence is up for Best Supporting actress, but perhaps the 23-year-old’s breasts should earn their own Oscar for Best Unsupported Role, bah-da-boom).

The other movie that gets the sexuality right is, oddly perhaps, Philomena. Flashbacks show us why Dench’s character got “in trouble” in the first place. Later, as an old woman and devout Catholic, she admits to the journalist trying to help her that she enjoyed the sex: “Oh, it was wonderful. I thought I was floating on air.”

Dench’s character, all sweetness and strength, is pretty much the polar opposite of Streep’s poisonous Violet who has more than a few ideas to impart to her sister and her three 40ish daughters:

“Women aren’t sexy when they’re old,” says Violet. “I can live with that. Can you live with that?”
Not really. Over to you, Hollywood.
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by LizzyNY on Mon 24 Feb 2014, 21:36

The latest installment of this absurdity was Christie Brinkley being paraded all over the media because she turned 60 and looks 25. Well, good for her, but most of us can't afford monthly trips to the dermatologist, personal trainers, private chefs, etc. like many of the celebs have access to. And don't forget the part that genetics plays, too.

It doesn't bother me that most of the women in media are in better shape or prettier than most of us - it's part of their job - and I wouldn't want to live like they do to get their looks. I do resent our society thinking that we ALL should look like movie stars or there's something wrong with us.
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by Katiedot on Mon 24 Feb 2014, 21:40

Have to be honest, I was bothered by that scene too and was sitting in the cinema thinking, "Why does Sandra Bullock have to take her clothes off in this film?".

Of course, I always think films could be improved by having a naked George Clooney in them, but that's a different story!
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by theminis on Mon 24 Feb 2014, 22:01

Exactly there should be way more movies where men are walking around in the buff or shirtless, or taking their clothes off for completely gratuitous reasons. Time to even things up I think.
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by LizzyNY on Tue 25 Feb 2014, 01:02

I'd love to agree with you guys, if only for fairness sake, but there are plenty of men in the movies who I would just as soon kept their clothes on. (George definitely not included).

Funny, but it didn't bother me that Sandy Bullock was wearing underwear under her spacesuit. It didn't occur to me that she would wear anything else. I would think the suits are hot and sweaty and uncomfortable. What do they actually wear? Maybe they go commando! Now that would have really caused a commotion.
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by silly girl on Tue 25 Feb 2014, 02:44

Here is a good explanation as to why she was wearing nice underwear...not the adult diapers that astronauts really wear.....

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Astronaut Chris Hadfield Explains Why The Underwear in Gravity was Unrealistic
Casey Chan -
It's not the visuals. Awesome astronaut Chris Hadfield told US talk show host Conan that Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity perfectly captured the spectacular beauty of space. This is a man who actually spacewalked, people! We gotta trust his opinion since we'll probably never see space. But one thing that wasn't realistic? Sandra Bullock's underwear.
You see, Hadfield said that after making a spacewalk his underwear would be this unsightly long white thing that would be completely drenched in sweat. His hair would look more like rat fur and he would actually be wearing these Depends-type adult diaper too. Yeah, that doesn't sound all that visually appealing.



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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by jd68 on Tue 25 Feb 2014, 06:34

I think this article is unfair. Sandra Bullock is hardly one to gratuitously show skin, although she has an incredible body. Most of the film she had a big, bulky astronaut suit on. My question would be why the writer fixated on her clothing when the movie about so much more.

Anyone that thinks Hollywood represents the average person is going to be disappointed. Most women 49 don't look as good as Sandy and most men at 52 don't look as good as George. They have been gifted in the looks department, and that's one (of many) reasons they command a large paycheck. Its also a lot easier for them to look good. Stars usually have chefs or can at least afford clean food and they don't have to work an office job and then try to fit in exercise. Their income is tied to how good they look.
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by Katiedot on Tue 25 Feb 2014, 06:38

Yes, but that's kind of not the point of the article. The writer is questioning why it is that Hollywood film makers insist that women have to get undressed in films.

In the example the writer chose, if Sandra Bullock had to take off her clothes for a meaningful reason, she would have been wearing 'long johns' kind of underwear (never mind the adult diapers!) and not such a revealing underwear set. Ergo, the scene was created only to show Sandra Bullock nearly undressed.
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by Nicky80 on Tue 25 Feb 2014, 08:32

Sex sells......

I saw a documentary few days ago where they asked the same questions but for magazines where you can look up the schedule for the TV ...Most of that magazines have women on the cover half naked. And they were arguing it just selling it better.......

But really I still question the sentence "sex sells"....just to have an excuse to get naked people .......Or it is really on our psyche and we don't realize it anymore.
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by Katiedot on Tue 25 Feb 2014, 11:41

Oh sex definitely sells, no doubt about that. The problem is, it's so overused as a technique that we're really not aware of it any more.
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by LizzyNY on Tue 25 Feb 2014, 15:20

The fact that we're having this conversation is proof that we are aware of it . I think most adults are resigned to seeing half-naked people (mostly women) plastered all over the media. I find it annoying, but I understand it isn't going to change because obviously it attracts attention and makes money.

What disturbs me about it is the way it influences kids' ideas about how they should present themselves to the world. Way too over-sexualized. It puts them in situations they don't have the emotional maturity to handle and creates feelings of inferiority in many perfectly fine young people. They feel there is something wrong with anyone who isn't movie-star perfect. Totally unrealistic, but they don't have the maturity to know that. I think it's sad.
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by Mazy on Wed 26 Feb 2014, 01:27

@Lizzy
What disturbs me about it is the way it influences kids' ideas about how they should present themselves to the world. Way too over-sexualized. It puts them in situations they don't have the emotional maturity to handle and creates feelings of inferiority in many perfectly fine young people. They feel there is something wrong with anyone who isn't movie-star perfect. Totally unrealistic, but they don't have the maturity to know that. I think it's sad.

This statement so true and how do you argue about what the rest of the world is doing. All kids want is to be popular, sad.
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by Katiedot on Wed 26 Feb 2014, 03:33

It's been going on for a long time. The sad thing is that those kids have long grown up and become adults now, bringing those poor attitudes with them into adulthood.

Look at how many people here in this very forum focus solely on a woman's looks. Look at how many feel compelled to state often that so-and-so ex girlfriend is plain or that so-and-so isn't beautiful enough to date George Clooney. How many pictures of cellulite have we seen on this site? How many comments about bow legs, high foreheads, crooked teeth etc?
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by LizzyNY on Wed 26 Feb 2014, 03:51

Katie - I don't think the feeling that those women aren't beautiful enough to be with George comes from the same place. IMO most of the fans here will never think anyone is good enough for him and since we really don't know them we focus on what we can see - mostly their looks and their appearance in the media - which focuses mostly on their looks. (If that makes sense)
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by Katiedot on Wed 26 Feb 2014, 04:08

I'll disagree with you there, LizzyNY, sorry. I think it has everything to do with putting another woman down because of her looks and that's because we've all been raised in the belief that looks are the most important thing about a woman.

While we may not know everything about every woman George has been associated, we know enough about enough of this girlfriends to make criticicing their looks unnecessary.

Take a look at the Amal thread - here's someone we already know is incredibly intelligent and accomplished, leads a career that's the envy of many in her profession (how many of us can say that about ourselves?) and oh look, already someone's considered it of the utmost importance to tell us that she's ugly. Because that's really all that matters about a woman.

It's shameful, it really is.
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by LizzyNY on Wed 26 Feb 2014, 04:44

Katie - You may very well be right. I haven't been on the forum long, and to be honest, I know very little about most of George's old girlfriends - I wasn't interested.

Even now I think more about the impact the women in his life have on him than about them as individuals. If he finds someone who enhances his life, then God bless - no matter what she looks like.
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by Mazy on Wed 26 Feb 2014, 08:59

I was always under impression that a woman does not trash another woman. We really never see good stories about them, because nice doesn't sell. This gives us a jaded opinion of their personality.As far as looks go most ladies when made up the right way can be attractive and also not so great. None of us are perfect here on earth, but you can always find a great focal point on any body. I look at some of these picture of the people in Darfur and even with all their suffering you can find some beauty. Some have such beautiful eyes or other features. Some you just see their soul for a lack of a better word. Everyone has beauty.

Off my soap box. xxx
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by Lighterside on Wed 26 Feb 2014, 12:09

LizzyNY wrote:Katie - You may very well be right. I haven't been on the forum long, and to be honest, I know very little about most of George's old girlfriends - I wasn't interested.

Even now I think more about the impact the women in his life have on him than about them as individuals. If he finds someone who enhances his life, then God bless - no matter what she looks like.

Lizzy....believe me when I say, that you're in the minority here!  I totally agree with Katie but we've both, in addition to a few of the other posters, have been around for a very long, long time...probably longer than we'd care to admit! LOL
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Re: Hollywood is still confused by sex and the middle-aged girl

Post by LizzyNY on Wed 26 Feb 2014, 14:36

@Katie and Lighterside - I guess I was just raised wrong! Laughing  I was always taught that beauty is as beauty does. If someone isn't a good person it doesn't matter what they look like, they're still ugly.

To be honest, I have to say that I do notice what these girls look like. Some I think are pretty, some not so much. But it really isn't that important to me. As I said, I'm more concerned about the impact they have on George.

P.S.  - Thanks for being around. I love this forum and most of the posters on it. I hope you're here for a long time to come.
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