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16th Dec 2021

Opinion: Comments about Kristin Davis’ appearance illustrate that ageism has gone nowhere in Hollywood

Sarah McKenna Barry

The misogynistic treatment of older actresses in Hollywood continues.

The highly-anticipated reboot of Sex and The City hit our screens last week, and we’re hungry for more.

The show, which is titled And Just Like That…, catches up with Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) as they navigate friendship, dating and life in New York all these years later.

While the show is a hit with fans, the recent criticism of its stars’ appearances illustrate the depth of misogyny and ageism in the entertainment industry.

Most recently, Kristin Davis has said that she is “angry” to see negative comments about her looks on social media.

In an interview with the Sunday Times Style Magazine, Davis said: “Everyone wants to comment, pro or nay or whatever on our hair and our faces and our this and our that. The level of intensity of it was a shock.”

She continued: “I feel angry and I don’t want to feel angry all the time, so I don’t look at it, I just know it’s there.”

This isn’t the first time the stars of And Just Like That… have had to address ageist, offensive comments about their appearances.

Before the show began, Sarah Jessica Parker described the comments about her appearance as “misogynist chatter”, and she was absolutely correct.

In an interview with Vogue, Parker said: “Everyone has something to say. ‘She has too many wrinkles, she doesn’t have enough wrinkles.’ It’s almost as if people don’t want us to be perfectly okay with where we are, as if they almost enjoy us being pained by who we are today, whether we choose to age naturally and not look perfect, or whether you do something if that makes you feel better.

“I know what I look like. I have no choice. What am I going to do about it? Stop ageing? Disappear?”

Davis and Parker shouldn’t have to defend themselves from ageism and sexism, but the abusive comments levelled at them meant they couldn’t stay silent. The truth of the matter is that women (and indeed men) are getting older, and looking older every single day. Ageing is not an anomaly, and we do society a disservice if we act like it is.

Despite vocal objections from stars themselves, the misogynistic treatment of older actresses in Hollywood continues. As long as we view getting older as unnatural or negative or worthy of comment, agesim will remain alive and well in the entertainment industry.

You can watch And Just Like That… with a NOW Entertainment Membership.