Do You Have to Share Your Age?

While you'd have to be pretty tone-deaf to ask a candidate their age, say, in a job interview, anyone can go on IMDB to get a celebrity's age before an audition. Jackie Cruz, aka Marisol "Flaca" Gonzalez on the Netflix Series Orange is the New Black, thinks this is unfair. And we agree.

By Didi Gluck
jackie with mascara

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The real problem...

Image courtesy of Kat Von D Beauty

While we acknowledge that the real problem is the dearth of great parts for women over 40 in Hollywood, wouldn't it be nice if casting directors just did their job blindly, without consciously seeking out younger women for older roles? Well, they don't. Everyone knows everyone's age, and that puts pressure on women — even really, really young ones — to feel like they have to hide their age.

We caught up with Jackie Cruz (who was just named the face of Kat Von D's Go Big or Go Home mascara), who told us that she's been aging herself down — since she was a teenager!

“I remember being 18 in Hollywood and having to pretend I was 15 to get an agent,” she says, explaining that she was at the age where it was hard to know whether to cast her as an adult or child. Sure enough, clad in a polka-dotted dress and pigtails, Cruz landed her first agent, who helped her secure her first gig (that would be two lines on The Shield), playing…a 15-year-old.

One good solution...

Cruz herself is about as age-positive as they come in person, preferring instead to discuss more important things such as believing in oneself and unwavering persistence (a car accident at 17 almost destroyed her chances of pursuing her craft at all).

But she maintains that ageism persists — especially in Hollywood — because of a lack of imagination and vision:

“The older you get, the more they don’t want to hire you. And they know your age because it is on your IMDB profile.”

Her idea: “Let’s delete all of that from IMDB and focus on who is the right person to tell the story.” 

What do you think?

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