Looking for some fun distraction reading?? Here’s my latest piece for CNN — my 24th for them!! I wrote about the next Bachelorette Clare Crawley and how seeing a 38-year-old woman on the show is going to be a game-changer!!
A woman in her 30s looking for love is a first for the franchise and Crawley thinks her age will definitely be an asset in her search. Asset, indeed. After 16 seasons of women in their 20s, we’re finally seeing some diversity on The Bachelorette, and it’s such a win for us older Millennials, who enjoy the show, but are in a much different place than we were more than a decade ago. We live in a culture that prioritizes youth and vitality above all else, so when we constantly see young, young, young in everything from TVs to movies to even commercials, we get the message loud and clear: Getting older is the ultimate sin. It means the end.
Here’s an excerpt of the piece, in which I celebrate the wonderful awesomeness of us “cougars”!! We’re a mighty, mighty force, I tell you…
The reality is that women over 30 exist in this world, and they’re living and thriving. So why shouldn’t reality television reflect that? Perhaps Crawley signals a much-needed change for the franchise — one that will be a better reflection of how women date and marry in 2020.
Repeatedly seeing women primarily in their 20s just reinforces all those negative stereotypes about “older” women; society often says that women over 30 are “over the hill” or “past their prime,” or even worse — that those who are older and looking for love are somehow pathetic or desperate. And let’s not forget that little word “cougar,” made famous by Mrs. Robinson in 1967’s “The Graduate.” Spoiler alert: Anne Bancroft, who played Robinson, was only 35.
But how does most of our society view “older” men? Very differently. We use positive terms like “distinguished,” and a man with gray hair is often called a “silver fox.” Men, it seems, gain respect as they age — while women lose respect.
You can read the full piece here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so I see your tweet and we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo