Paulina Porizkova Thinks “Mature” Women Deserve to Be Ogled, Too

The model opened up about the plight of the aging woman

Paulina Porizkova attends the "Stillwater" New York Premiere at Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center on July 26, 2021 in New York City.
Paulina Porizkova is fighting ageist double standards for women
Michael Loccisano/WireImage

In case you haven’t heard, it’s tough out there for an aging woman in Hollywood — or, really, for an aging woman who has the gall to exist in society at all. Speaking to The Sunday Times last week, 56-year-old supermodel Paulina Porizkova opened up about the struggles of aging in the public eye as a woman, claiming that when her age does not make her “invisible to the population,” it subjects her to harsh criticism and backlash, particularly when she chooses to flaunt her body.

“I didn’t realize it would be shocking for a 50-something woman to pose in the same bikinis from 30 years ago that still fit,” said Porizkova of the backlash she’s received over nudes and swimsuit shots she’s posted in recent years. “It’s OK to ogle somebody who could be your daughter but not mature women who know themselves and are most likely way better at sex?”

While it’s hard not to read Porizkova’s comments as a jealous dig at the younger women currently occupying the spotlight she feels she’s aged out of — particularly the “much better at sex” part — she has a point. While women of all ages — especially younger ones who entertain the attention of older men — are routinely shamed and censured for showing off their bodies or otherwise expressing their sexuality, the criticism older women receive for doing the same thing is often harsher and more specific. Young women are shamed for flaunting their sexuality, but older women are told they are “too old” to do so because they exist in a culture that prefers to ignore the sexuality of older women altogether. The backlash a woman of any age receives for putting her sexuality on display (or so much as wearing a swimsuit) doubles if she has children and has thus, in society’s eyes, entered the sacred and sexless domain of motherhood.

Of course, in our age of ubiquitous cosmetic surgery and enhancement, some women can hope to eke out a few extra years in society’s good graces by going under the knife, but Porizkova feels this only reinforces the idea that older women have no value.

“Once you do that, you’re actually servicing exactly what you’re trying to oppose,” she told the Times. “We need to stand up and insist on not being invisible. I wish there were more women who left their marionette lines and forehead lines and crows’ feet. I wish there were more women who dared to age.”

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