Age Ain’t Nothing But a Privilege
It was one of those random links you click even though you should be doing something else. I wound up on this interview with Susan Sarandon with Katie Couric (on her show, which I had never seen before and which barely permeated my consciousness) and a few things struck me about the clips.
It’s not that what Sarandon says is so shocking, especially for her. That she never wanted to get married, that she likes herself a lot better now than when she was young, that she encourages her daughter to show off her body because it’s now or never, gravity-wise.
What got me was the way she kept talking about mistakes. She made them, and they, in turn, made her. God, what a glorious way to talk. Everyone I know is panicky about mistakes. What might ruin their kids or their career or their marriage. Logic says we’re supposed to make them, but I still think a lot of people shake their heads with real regret, looking back on things they shouldn’t have done. Is that why Sarandon looks so good? Her mistakes aren’t still living on her face? Getting to that point, where mistakes are like lovable ruffian cousins? “Oh, you little scamp, you career stumble” – I want that. Is that a luxury, or a reasonable aspiration? How much of it is a function of wealth? Is that why women of a certain age look so gorgeous? Because they’re not worried?
Lainey and I couldn’t stop talking about this photo of Allison Janney from last week (see below) and while I know I’m going to be excoriated for putting these two women in the same age category when there’s 14 years between them, you see what I mean, right? They have that same smile: “I got this. Everything is as it should be, and I don’t really care if you agree or not.” Why aren’t we holding up Janney as the most glamorous woman going? I don’t get it.
I’m not saying that just getting to a certain age makes you automatically awesome – after all, Katie Couric still seems breathless and kind of confused by Sarandon’s laissez-faire, but aspiring to this level of comfortable and grown up and in control? Aspiring to possess that indefinable quality that has led millions (well, a few millions) to ask themselves with sincerity “What would Tami Taylor Do?” Can we start promoting this as the “celebrity style” to aspire to?
Frazer Harrison/ Stephen Lovekin/ Getty