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Sunday, July 03, 2005

Is Europe More Age Friendly?

I read an article that quoted Actress Charlotte Rampling, who turned 60 this year, as saying that Hollywood has a "barbaric" attitude towards older actresses. "Having wrinkles is not a reason to be put away. In Europe, they understand that, thank God."

So maybe I should have titled this "Is Europe More Adult Friendly" because my comments go beyond just age-friendly. Recently a couple of people commented on my blog that Europeans were not quite as family obsessed as the US. Good news to me because while I respect a person's choice to have children, I also want to find my place - without children. I would like to go to a restaurant with my sweetie and not have to worry about a baby sitting behind us and jumping up and down on our heads. A very clever French friend of mine always said she was careful to seat couples far from the families. If only there were more of those clever people in the service industry. But it figures - she was European. And now I read that Europeans are not quite as age-phobic either.

Or maybe I should have titled this "Is Europe More Body Image Friendly" because I remember trying to starve myself when I was in my 20s and, having a naturally voluptuous body, I could only get so thin. A coworker married to a Brit said my trying to lose more weight was nonsense. Her husband would think I was the perfect size. Thankfully, my husband does too. :)

I'm starting to wonder if I belong in Europe. And here I say this on the eve of the biggest American holiday. While I really don't want to leave my country, I would like for some of those European sensibilities to make their way over here. Sometimes it seems to be getting worse rather than better. But with Harlequin's NEXT series of books for real women over 40, we're headed in the right direction. And that's something to celebrate - no matter what country you live in.

posted by Kathy Holmes @ Sunday, July 03, 2005


  1. At Monday, July 04, 2005, Blogger Lynn said…

    I don't think Europe is as age-friendly as you might think. More and more those countries are becoming like the U.S.--at least when it comes to the weight issue. Many women, especially Germans--who tend to be hefier--are angry about the emphasis on weight loss. I don't think it's time to give up on the USA yet!


  2. At Tuesday, July 05, 2005, Blogger Kathy Holmes said…

    The actress who made that statement must have felt her age wasn't as much of a hindrance in getting parts in Europe. But, you're probably right about the more accepting European attitude towards age and weight being replaced by the Hollywood standards they see - instead of the other way around. :)


  3. At Tuesday, July 05, 2005, Blogger Marley Gibson said…

    But...it's the influx of the American way of life, the American fast food restaurants, chains and such that is making the rest of the world fat and experiencing weight problems. I've been to Paris and London both where people walk everywhere and still eat whatever they want. Unfortunately, American society can't get up off the couch and move. We go everywhere in our SUVs and are carted around instead of exercising. Europe's still ahead of us in the health battle because they get up and move around their cities. We could learn by their example. Just my two cents. = )


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