'The Counselor' Posters Remind Us That Women Still Aren't Allowed To Age

09/19/2013 06:09 pm ET | Updated Sep 20, 2013
  • Emma Gray Executive Women's Editor, The Huffington Post

When men age, they get wrinkles. When women age, they get airbrushed. At least that's the lesson that can be gleaned from looking at the new posters for Ridley Scott's "The Counselor."

The promo shots, which we first saw on Sociological Images, depict the upcoming film's stars: Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz.

The male stars (who we're sure have had their photographs retouched as well) are allowed to keep their human skin.
the counselor

However, Diaz and Cruz look like poreless, plastic dolls. (Spoiler alert: These undeniably gorgeous women -- aged 41 and 39, respectively -- do in fact have both pores and wrinkles in real life.)
the counselor

These images, while visually striking, are not the real problem. They merely illustrate the unwavering message that women get that they should not "let themselves" age. And if they do, they have failed -- which is why the anti-aging industry rakes in billions of dollars a year.

In an August 2013 op-ed for The Guardian, the anonymous blogger "Invisible Woman" eloquently summed up why the message that women should fear aging is so damaging:

The pressure ... to look young is robbing us of the opportunity to experience one of the many benefits of middle age: contentment with who we are. We must not allow ourselves to be talked into believing the fairy story that ageing -- and time itself -- can be stopped.

Take note, Hollywood.

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