More

She's the first woman aged 50 to play a Bond girl, and she knows it's a big [censored] deal.

Monica Bellucci is the oldest woman to be one of Bond's love interests. We're so on board.

She's the first woman aged 50 to play a Bond girl, and she knows it's a big [censored] deal.

After Meryl Streep turned 40, she was offered three different roles as witches — within the same year!

Coincidence? Maybe ... but probably not.



Winifred is not having it. GIF via "Hocus Pocus."

"Once women passed childbearing age they could only be seen as grotesque on some level," she told Vogue of the experience.

See? Even Meryl Streep has fallen victim to Hollywood's sexist, ageist, awful ways!

Stories like Streep's are why we are so on board with 50-year-old Monica Bellucci being cast in the new James Bond movie.

The first full-length trailer for "Spectre" was released July 21, 2015. It. Looks. Awesome.

At 50, Bellucci is the oldest woman to play a Bond girl.

Or, as she'd prefer, Bond "woman."

"Do I have to replace Judi Dench?" she joked to The Sunday Times about her playing the role. "I told [director Sam Mendes] he would be a hero among women for casting me in 'Spectre.'"

"For the first time in history, James Bond is going to have a story with a mature woman."

Photo by Tiziana Fabi, Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images.

Preach, girl (er, woman). It's not just the fact Bellucci has at age 50 landed a coveted role typically reserved for younger gals (although that's wonderful). The age gap between her and Daniel Craig — who plays Bond in "Spectre" — is just three years (Craig is 47).

While Bond has been romantically involved with women closer in age in past movies, the franchise does have a history of pairing the lead actor with ridiculously younger "girls."

Remember when Roger Moore, who played Bond in "A View to a Kill" was older than Tanya Roberts' mother? (Yeeeaah. Awkward.)

This is a big deal because women of a certain age are often overlooked for roles that go to much younger actresses.

The silver screen loves pairing younger women with older men. Take, for instance, actress Emma Stone. She's 26 years old, but — throughout the past year — has had four onscreen male love interests who were over 40.

GIF via "I Love Lucy."

We're not trying to shame any couple based on age — hey, age is just a number, right? — but Hollywood often sacrifices more realistic, age-appropriate relationships in favor of having more youthful women on screen.

And that means fewer opportunities for women who aren't in their 20s or 30s.

Ageism in Hollywood doesn't just affect opportunities for women, though — it affects their bank accounts, too.

On average, male movie stars reach their peak earning potential at age 51. For women, it's 34. Yeah, that's right. Men in Hollywood enjoy 17 more years of their stock rising, all while their female counterparts watch their values depreciate (rapidly) via their paychecks.

Sure, George Clooney may have to start enduring some "old guy" jokes at the party. But at least his paychecks haven't been shrinking due to those gray hairs of his.

Thankfully, more women are challenging the status quo.

A sketch by Amy Schumer featuring Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Patricia Arquette poking fun at Hollywood's ageist ways went viral earlier this year.

For three years in a row, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hilariously took advantage of their national platform hosting the Golden Globes to call out the problem.

And — years after walking away from those opportunities to play a witch — Meryl Streep launched a screenwriting lab for women over 40 through the organization New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT).

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

“After decades of ageism and sexism in our culture and in our films, the complex voices of mature women are in danger of being lost entirely," NYWIFT director Terry Lawler said in a statement. "Women must address this inequality by taking ownership of that narrative."

Just like every other group, older women deserve for their stories to be told on screen.

Cheers to Monica Bellucci for adding her two cents to that narrative.

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less