Hollywood could learn a lot from Alec Baldwin. You see, Hollywood has a problem. They don’t know how to grow old.
How humans age is exceptionally predictable. As we get older our metabolism slows, our skin loses its firmness, the wear and tear from the sun and our life experiences begin to show on our bodies, our hair thins in some places and grows thicker in others, our lips thin, we burn less calories and retain more fat, and our muscle mass decreases.
None of this is new. Yet, like a dandelion facing the onslaught of a tsunami, Hollywood does its best to try and overcome the effects of Father Time.
And they look foolish doing it.
Being an actor is a brutal profession. You, your body and your talent ARE your product. You must care for it and, whenever possible, maintain it at its highest potential… by Hollywood’s standards. And that’s where they get into trouble.
Yet, so many actors and actresses try, and end up looking silly, attempting it.
This is especially true of actresses. Fair or not, the window of opportunity for an actress is much smaller than that of an actor. Most of the roles available are for young girls or healthy, vibrant young adults. There are very few roles for 30-50 something women. Sad, but true.
The end result is that, as they get older, they try to remain looking younger. This works for a period of time, but all of sudden all of their efforts begin to betray them. Just look at Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts or Angelina Jolie lately. They try to keep their bodies looking like a 20 year old, but it just doesn’t look right on a 40 year old. They look too thin, their faces look gaunt and their lips lose their pout.
At this point, they have two options; indulge in the latest fads in beauty care and diet regiments or plastic surgery.
What we are left with are people looking unnatural in the quest for eternal youth. They begin to look increasingly odd as the waves of age beat them down (see Joan Rivers). Sadly, they could solve the majority of their problems by happily putting on 10 pounds and letting their face fill out naturally.
There are a few actors that have decided to age gracefully, to accept the natural changes to their bodies and, because of this, they end up looking better and working more.
Alec Baldwin is one such actor. In his youth, he was a hunk in films like The Hunt for Red October. As he got older, he grew heavier, but still looked natural, using his comedic talents on guest stints on Saturday Night Live and, more recently, the TV show 30 Rock.
He never tried to stay looking 20. And he’s the better for it.
Not fair, you might say? He’s a man. Women have it tougher in Hollywood? True.
Then how about Kate Winslet. Here’s a woman who has openly accepted the aging process, stating that she’s looking forward to see how her face will change over time. You never hear about her going to the surgery or trying the latest fad diets. She’s growing older, gracefully. This confidence in herself emanates in her performances as well. There’s something to admire about a woman in Hollywood that continues to work AND doesn’t mind getting older doing it. Maybe that’s one of the things that makes her special.
Aging Hollywood would look so much better if they just accepted the process of getting older. It’s not bad. It’s not abnormal. It’s the way God intended us to grow.
Fighting it is a vain and monumental waste of time.