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State of Women in Film, Elizabeth Taylor's Advice for Millennial Women, Miss Representation Trailer

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood March 28, 2011 at 8:45AM

Older women are not happy with their depiction on film, says the latest survey from the UK Film Council (which is itself "on the verge of closure," points out The Guardian). Of the survey's findings, 61% of women between 50 and 70 are unhappy at being portrayed as not having sexual needs or desires, while seven in ten feel their demographic is under-represented and younger women are glamorized.
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Thompson on Hollywood


Older women are not happy with their depiction on film, says the latest survey from the UK Film Council (which is itself "on the verge of closure," points out The Guardian). Of the survey's findings, 61% of women between 50 and 70 are unhappy at being portrayed as not having sexual needs or desires, while seven in ten feel their demographic is under-represented and younger women are glamorized.

This is not surprising.

UK Film Council's Mary FitzPatrick states: "Film has the ability to change behaviour and shift opinion, so we in the industry all have a responsibility to ensure that these findings are not ignored."

Good luck on shifting the norm to glamorizing older women. If anything, trends are heading in the opposite direction, as teenage girls are the new heroines. It's not the only thing women have to worry about. Twenty-somethings may be the ones needing to adjust.

Despite signs suggesting otherwise, it seems many millennial women still believe that they can have it all.

Herewith, some useful wisdom from the late great Elizabeth Taylor via Forbes. Lauren Stiller Rikleen, president of the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership, has collected Eight Lessons Millenial Women Can Learn from Elizabeth Taylor. Our favorites are below.

1. It’s not the having, it’s the getting.
Elizabeth Taylor understood that success is not measured by the achievement of a milestone. One’s efforts do not stop after winning the Oscar, closing the deal, winning the lawsuit or any of the other markers of professional success. It is all about the journey.

7. There`s still so much more to do.  I can’t sit back and be complacent, and none of us should be.
Elizabeth Taylor spoke these words from the wheelchair to which she was confined. Just as her failures never stopped her, neither did her illness. Even as we find success in the workplace, we remain frustrated by what we cannot yet achieve. Women frequently express resigned acceptance about work environments that demand 24/7 loyalty and compensation gaps that reveal an inexplicable gender divide. But complacency leaves only the status quo behind – not much of a legacy for future generations in the workplace. Complacency is the enemy of change. It is vanquished with a strong will and a growing network of supporters – just as Elizabeth Taylor learned in her own efforts to make each moment count.

As long as we're on the subject of women and media, check out the trailer for feminist doc Miss Representation, which Oprah bought at Sundance.

This article is related to: Headliners, Hollywood, Women in Film, Media, Obit


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.