So now Esquire has named Penelope Cruz the Sexiest Woman Alive for 2014 (see here). She looks pretty good on the magazine’s cover, but it seems unlikely that on a planet containing more than seven billion people, a 40-year old would be the sexiest woman alive. After selecting young babes for years, perhaps Esquire is now going for the sexy older woman to make a point about Hollywood’s treatment of its older female stars (i.e., any female actor over 35).
Hollywood is mostly about looks, so actors’ ages naturally will skew young. There will always be legitimate movies about older characters, but the imbalance between older male and female actors doesn’t require Hollywood to feature more older females, but to control its obsession with older male actors who have simply gotten too old for the movies, sometimes embarrassingly so.
Current movies with actors that are too old are St. Vincent (Bill Murray, 64, but who looks at least ten years older), The Judge (Robert Duvall, 83), and Birdman (Michael Keaton, 63). And don’t forget the sequel to Dumb and Dumber starring two more aging, worn-out male actors (Jim Carrey, 52, and Jeff Daniels, 59). And let’s not even think about Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, please. Most of these actors are past retirement age and it would be nice, indeed, if they would retire.
In any event, if Esquire wanted to show its displeasure with Hollywood, Cruz was probably not the best choice or at least not at this time. After all, it was less than three months ago that Cruz and her husband, Javier Bardem, created a controversy by signing an anti-Israel open letter that called Israel’s efforts to defend itself against Hamas “genocide”(see here). Responding with a letter of his own, actor Jon Voight (not to mention others) angrily accused Cruz and Bardem of inciting anti-Semitism worldwide.
Esquire’s actions remind me of the old Seinfeld storyline where Seinfeld keeps waiting out the marriages of Beth (played by Debra Messing) for whom he pined over several seasons (see here). After Beth’s second marriage falls apart, Seinfeld finally gets the girl only to find out that she’s a racist and anti-Semite. Seinfeld dumps her and tells Elaine that Beth left “to get her head shaved.” Esquire got its girl, but it turns out that she too has gone to get her head shaved.