N*de photos of JLo, Halle Berry and more go viral. When will it end? Why is it still a big deal?
Baring it all has no age limit.
Stars including Gwyneth Paltrow, 50, Halle Berry, 56, Paulina Porizkova, 58, Jennifer Lopez, 53, Martha Stewart, 81, and more drum up significant attention when they post a nude photo on social media.
“I do what I wanna do,” Berry recently captioned an Instagram photo that showed her standing naked on a balcony sipping wine.
Body positivity experts say it’s a welcome change to see older women celebrating their bodies, but the next step is for it stop making news headlines each time they do. We’re not quite there yet.
We have an ‘obsession with youth’
Historically, women who reach 50, whether in Hollywood or not, have been relegated to lives of long sleeves, turtlenecks and portraying motherly figures. Stars posting photos like these are changing that narrative, body image experts say.
“It goes against societal messaging that youth is the most attractive way of being,” says Meghan Gillen, associate professor of psychology at Penn State Abington, who studies developmental psychology and body image. “It’s really a backlash against our cultural obsession with youth and … a nice message to send to women that this is something we should accept and embrace and we don’t need to combat it or fight it.”
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How long does this have to be a big deal?
Celebrities posing nude almost always make headlines, but the attention is often amplified when that person is older. How much longer is an older woman celebrating her body going to be newsworthy?
“I think this is something that will exist so long as we have this cultural focus on youth and beauty,” Gillen says. “Anything that goes against our cultural norms of beauty is going to be challenged and opens up the opportunity for negative commentary, but also for the opportunity for progress.”