Why are older women invisible in advertising? Why are the shes in couples and families 20 or 30 years younger than the hes? Why do actresses over 60 no longer lead films?
Fourteen women of approximately 60 years have contended at a casting to costar with George Clooney in an upcoming Nespresso commercial. While they are the same age, he still enjoys plenty of visibility in the media. The females expressed their disappointment at being hired solely in “mother and grandmother” roles and never as “independent women” and much less for “seductive” parts. In their own words, they feel “fabulous” and mostly “alive, very alive.”
According to the “Women Over 50: The Right to be Seen on Screen” study published by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender Media, only 1 in 4 characters aged 50+ in film and television are women. The same is true in advertising and the media, where actors and presenters flaunt their gray hair, but women must conceal theirs. Most commercials featuring women are associated with health issues or have negative connotations. And in scenes depicting families and couples, they are always younger than the men.
The images we see have the power to normalize everything they depict and stigmatize everything they don’t.
We want to see more older women in cinema.
We want to see more older women in advertising.
We want to see more older women in the media.
We want stories that include and represent the diversity and richness of our world.
We want to see more women Clooney’s age alongside Clooney.
This casting is fictitious, but the women are real. Wouldn’t it be great if Nespresso took note and included some of them in their next commercial?