As we all know, ageism has been a long standing barrier for women’s careers in our film industry. Especially because conventional beauty standards exclude and shame the natural process of ageing so, so much. While male actors in Bollywood keep getting unlimited and unchecked access to acting opportunities, female actors often face barriers at every decade of their career. Simply because they’re getting older. And this magazine cover from 1984 questioning Rekha’s career after she turned 30, proves this.

A few people commented on just how bizarre it is that as women get older, they start getting roles that accelerate their life cycle in the film industry – which ultimately leads to the end of their acting careers.  

It’s so unfortunate to see that 30 was considered an age where women were expected to give up certain parts of themselves. Especially, their ambition or career. And this seems to be the case everywhere, across industries and geographies. For instance, Meryl Streep also talked about how she suddenly began receiving certain kinds of roles once she turned 40. 

When I turned 40, I got three different witch scripts in one year and I thought okay…Honestly the idea of witches, I think is some terror of older women you know? That has lived in many different cultures and I don’t like it.

-Meryl Streep told Entertainment Tonight

Sadly, not much has changed since 1984. As soon as female actors hit a certain age, they’re bumped down to playing a less significant role. The only place this seems to shifting, is on OTT platforms. With shows such as Aranyak, Aarya, and Delhi Crime, we’re finally seeing an improvement in the quality of roles for women over a certain age.

When will we stop with this unreasonable way of thinking?