Women Over Fifty Are Invisible, But Only To A Sexist Gaze

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Not many conversations about physical beauty include names of women well into the fifth decade of their lives. Which says so much about our perception of aesthetics, physical attraction and even love. Popular French author Yann Moix in a recent interview said that he was “incapable” of loving a woman aged over fifty. The prize-winning writer, who is 50 himself, further added that women in their 50s were “invisible” to him. “I prefer younger women’s bodies, that’s all. Full stop. The body of a 25-year-old woman is extraordinary. The body of a woman of 50 is not extraordinary at all,” he said.


  • French author Yann Moix is facing flak for saying that he is “incapable” of loving women over fifty.
  • The correlation between age and attractiveness exists for one gender.
  • Not many times do we hear people saying that men over forty or fifty are unattractive.
  • It’s not as if women over fifty aren’t appealing or beautiful, it’s that people refuse to see them that way.

Pop culture often romanticised middle age among men.

Perhaps, Moix, is himself suffering from a mid-life crisis, desperately trying to validate his manhood, by “scoring” with younger women. But then is it a rarity in our society to think on those lines? Numerous people across genders, age groups and even known to be erudite, let it slip that women over a certain age are not attractive. Curiously, the correlation between age and attractiveness exists just for one gender. Not many times do we hear people saying that men over forty or fifty are unattractive. In fact, pop culture often romanticised middle age among men. The salt and pepper hair and those creases on the skin are sold to us as signs of maturity and class, like a glass of fine wine. However, the same courtesy isn’t extended to women very often.

It’s not as if women over fifty aren’t appealing or beautiful, it’s that people refuse to see them that way. The same creases and folds which make men look mature and sorted after a certain age, make women revolting and hideous. The greys in hair need to be compulsively hidden with dye, if you want to stay socially relevant and to escape the label of “old” and “aunty”. Such comments keep women from seeking romance and love post hitting fifty. They begin to feel guilty for harbouring feelings which come naturally to them. Simply because society finds the idea of sexual attraction and love in women over the age of fifty repulsive. Also, while we must criticise Moix for his regressive remarks, let’s not forget that not many of us are beyond holding ageist notions when it comes to women.

Many young women on social media are quite swift in calling women over fifty as old and unattractive, during arguments.

There is no correlation between beauty and age. If a man says that he is incapable of loving women over a certain age, then it shows his poor understanding of both love and sex. If he thinks that a woman’s body is only extraordinary when it is young, then he is a sexist who lives in denial of the process of growing old. We all grow old and turn soft and squishy and acquire creases and folds in places we never fathomed. But if it is acceptable for one gender, then why isn’t it for another? Why do we accept dad bods so readily, but wince at the sight of a bare and stretch marked ridden belly of a fifty-something woman? Isn’t it a sign of a living life and growing mature and worldly, as it is for men?

It is hard to take the words of someone who thinks it is impossible to love women over fifty seriously. But Moix’s comments upset us because we know that too many people agree with him, even on social media. They are defending him on grounds that everyone has the right to have a preference. However, this is not about what you seek in a partner, but how you perceive an entire lot of women who fall into a certain age bracket. Being a celebrity Moix went on to discredit women over fifty as unlovable and that is unacceptable.

Middle-aged women bring a lot of experience and maturity to a relationship. They have lived a life which has not just left them with creases, but with a lot of wisdom, wit and humour. That is how they know how to steer clear of men like Moix. That is also how they know to take nasty comments in stride and put their energy where it matters more.

Image credit: Net.hr

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.