Age Ain't Nothing But a Number: In Praise of Adult Women

Monica Bellucci
Photo: Dave M. Benett/WireImage

The news that sexy 50-year old Monica Bellucci has been cast as the latest Bond "girl" and that she is actually older (gasp!) than Daniel Craig is something to celebrate! This comes on the heels of the announcement that Julia Roberts, 47, will be the face of Givenchy’s Spring 2015 campaign shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot. (She looks absolutely stunning.) Then there is gorgeous 60-year-old Rene Russo currently starring opposite Jake Gyllenhall in Nightcrawler.

Julia Roberts

There’s something in the air…

Perhaps it’s the realization that there are a lot of movie-goers who aren’t in the preferred 18-49 age demographic—or that the luxury fashion customer is more likely to be in her 50s and 60s than in her 30s! But I hope it’s more than just market research.

Women in their 40s, 50s, 60s are fitter, more active, more attractive than previous generations were at the same age. Some of this can be attributed to lifestyle (working out, healthy eating, not smoking, staying out of the sun), some to medical advances (we’re living a lot longer), some to societal shifts (women working more than men, having their own money to spend and the freedom to make their own choices). And, in some cases, there may be a little cosmetic surgery involved. I have no idea if that’s the case with any of these 3 beauties, and I don’t care.

Rene Russo
Startraks Photo

PHOTOS: See Rene Russo on the June 1997 Cover of InStyle

I do care about seeing women in inspiring roles and images that will give young women something to look forward to and older women something to relate to.

I remember being shocked when I read somewhere that Anne Bancroft was only 35 when she played the "older woman," Mrs. Robinson (below), in the Mike Nichols film The Graduate. (The director passed away last month.) Dustin Hoffman, who played a naive recent college graduate, was 29. The film was made fifty years ago. I suppose that 35 was almost middle-aged at that time, when members of the “youthquake” said, never to trust someone over 30, and the average life expectancy was around 70.

Rene Russo
Everett Collection

Well, like The Graduate, the youngest of the "youthquake" generation also turned 50 this year and they’re not ready to give up! Most of my peers have more in common with their college-age kids than differences. And I have to say, being 57, in this day and age is pretty great.

The times, they are a-changing…hallelujah!

PHOTOS: See Julia Roberts in Her Best Looks Ever

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