Smoothing the wrinkles: Hollywood, old age femininity and the pathological gaze

Dolan, Josephine ORCID: 0000-0002-7669-9060 (2013) Smoothing the wrinkles: Hollywood, old age femininity and the pathological gaze. In: The Routledge Companion to Media and Gender. Routledge Media and Cultural Studies Companions . Routledge, London & New York, pp. 342-351. ISBN 9781138849129

5497 Dolan (2013) Smoothing the wrinkles.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (92kB) | Preview


This article highlights that the new visibility of older female Hollywood stars is fully bound up in the production, reproduction and embodiment of a complex nexus of feminised discourses of “successful aging” that incorporates and naturalises ideologies of deferred retirement, cosmeceutical enhancement, and chronological decorum into longstanding formations of normative whiteness. Weaving through this are those pathologized ruptures to “successful aging” occasioned by signifiers of mortality inscribed on the flesh of older female stars and/or reproduced in their performances of abject, cognitive failure and which point to the broader cultural anxieties that attend western demographics of aging. Whilst the dynamic of this nexus serves to protect older female stars from alignment with pathologized abjection, it does so in ways that effectively privilege the terms of “successful aging.” Effectively, the new visibility of older female stars is thus rendered conditional on conformity to The Beauty Myth’s extension into old age and the effacement of potential ruptures to the ideological hegemony of “successful aging.”

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: © 2014 – Routledge
Uncontrolled Keywords: Older female stars and hyper-visibility, Successful aging, rejuvenation and the Beauty Myth, chronological decorum, pathological gaze, Madonna, Helen Mirren.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Creative Practice and Theory
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2018 12:23
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2022 12:30

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.