If Meryl Streep has proven anything, it's that she dominates every role no matter how old or young she is. Despite the fact that she is such an iconic actress who has proven that age barriers shouldn't exist, Hollywood and people everywhere continue to criticize stars for being too old or too young for a role.
Some stars, however, have decided to take a stand against the ageist critics and speak out against them. Melanie Griffith, Meg Ryan, Helen Mirren and more all have sounded off against those who try to tell them why they're wrong for a given role. Some have also addressed their ages—which fall all over the spectrum—and reveal why they actually love getting older.
Social media can be amazing tools to connect with fans, but sometimes it provides a platform for bullying. Griffith decided to share an unfiltered selfie as a response to those who made mean comments about her age and appearance. "Here ya go. Unfiltered. I'm 58. And I'm in Hawaii Five O playing Scott Caan's mom," she captioned the pic. "Go ahead…Say some more mean things. Merry Christmas."
Ryan told PORTER magazine that age should be the least of anyone's concerns, adding, there are more important conversations than how women look and how they are aging." In fact, the You've Got Mail star admitted, "I love my age. I love my life right now. I love what I know about. I love the person I've become, the one I've evolved into."
Now she knows how to ignore the meanness and focus on the kindness. "There's a lot of hatred in the world today—it's so easy to judge. Imagine being a hater. How stupid!" the Ithaca director added. "My women friends are not sitting around talking about...well, sometimes there are conversations like that, but the people I value talk about kids growing up, what kind of world they are going into, what we are eating, what we are breathing."
Margot Robbie has experienced ageism, but in a different way. Most actors and actresses are criticized for playing parts that are "too young" for them, while Robbie finds herself being scrutinized for actually being young. "People seem outraged that I'm 24," the actress, who turned 25 on July 2, told Elle's August issue. "People think I'm a decade older."
Salma Hayek, 49, has learned to embrace her age instead of fighting it. Although she has been advised to get Botox and other anti-aging treatments, Hayek refuses. Posing topless for Allure, Hayek wanted to feel good about herself. "It's important to be free…and at my age it's exciting to still be able to take a photograph like that," she said of her photo shoot.
"'You should start Botox.' When I was young, they tried to sell me on the idea: 'If you do it now, then you won't get the wrinkles,'" Hayek, who says she's never undergone any anti-aging surgery, said of the worst advice she's ever received. "And thank God I didn't do that."
Drew Barrymore, who has had a tumultuous life as a child star and teen, embraced turning 40 because of everything it had to offer. "It's weird. When I was a kid I felt like I should be older, because I was working and not really being a kid. Then when I was in my 20s, I was like, 'I want to be a kid a kid finally'...Now it's the first time in my life that my age has met up with where my life is, and it's perfect," she told Ellen DeGeneres.
"I always felt like not my age, and now I feel my age and I love it," Barrymore added. "It feels comfortable."
Mirren, 70, gave her two cents into the ageism in Hollywood issue after Maggie Gyllenhaal revealed she was denied a role because she was deemed too old to play "the lover of a man who was 55."
"F--king outrageous," she told The Wrap at the website's Power Woman Breakfast in New York City. "F--king outrageous! It's ridiculous. Honestly. So annoying. So annoying and 'twas ever thus."
"We all sat there watching, you know, James Bond...as James Bond got more and more geriatric and his girlfriends got younger and younger," she added.
"It's so annoying."