As you might have seen recently, I’m a pretty big fan of The X-Files which had a recent revival miniseries on Fox. With that new miniseries came tons of press, junkets, talk shows and ads on television and in magazines to promote the series. Of course, that new set of press and screentime for actress Gillian Anderson also meant more attention in the United States while she typically sticks to living and performing in the UK. Yet, it wasn’t an American publication that came after her with attacks. As if dealing with the sexism in Hollywood’s unequal pay to women wasn’t bad enough, now she gets to combat another in the form of tabloid trash.
The UK’s Daily Mail is well known for being a disgusting rag that far too many people in the world purchase and view online. Like many of the gruesome tabloids in the UK, they hurled accusations about Anderson’s appearance, claiming that there’s no possible way she could look as good as she does 20 years after the X-Files began. The headline, which I refuse to link to here, called it “The BotoX Files,” and featured a photo of her with little boxes showing areas of her face where she must have had plastic surgery.
Anderson was understandably furious and posted a photo of it on her Facebook and twitter calling it “bollocks” and linking to an anti-sexism Twitter account:
The Daily Mail piece also showed screencaps of people on Twitter talking about Anderson’s appearance. Most onlookers don’t know about Anderson’s history as an actress or on The X-Files. The show was her first major acting gig which she accepted at the ripe age of 24-years-old. Aging 20 years might be substantial when going from 40 to 60 but not as much when going from your mid 20’s to your 40’s. The only thing that has happened to Anderson’s appearance is she lost her “baby face” and over the years turned from a youngster to a woman reaching middle age.
During The X-Files, Anderson also had her pregnancy with daughter Piper play out on screen during the second year of the show. When women are pregnant their bodies change, as do their faces. Anderson had Piper via cesarean and amazingly returned to work that following week. For those who have never had children or don’t know anything about child rearing, your body takes six months to a year to bounce back from a major surgery like that. So, comparing photos of her while she was pregnant or coming back from her pregnancy 20 years ago to now is disingenuous.
Anderson facial structure has remained the same and shows normal aging around her eyes and smile lines. It’s part of showing you’ve lived and loved and laughed. Luckily, Anderson’s fans came to her side starting the hashtag #GillianAndersonIsBeautiful. One even created an excellent comparison someone posted on Twitter:
Hollywood isn’t kind to women and it certainly isn’t decent to women over a certain age, which for them seems to grow younger and younger each year. Whether it’s unequal pay both Anderson and Jennifer Lawrence had to deal with or the expectation that young actresses sleep with men as Ashley Judd discussed last year, actresses are speaking out against this kind of disgusting treatment. If we can’t even have equality in the make-believe world of our pop-culture, what makes us think we can achieve it in politics.
That said, we are we all complicit in this form of sexism by purchasing things like glossy magazines that airbrush women or accuse actresses of going under the knife. Anyone who buys these rags should consider themselves an accomplice. Stop buying them. Enact change with your own pocketbook.
Another person on Twitter brilliantly fixed what the Daily Mail posted in those captions. On her nose, for example, it now reads that she can smell their bullsh*t from miles away.
— Rebecca Welch (@RebeccaLWelch) February 12, 2016
Featured image via Facebook.