Hollywood Actresses Earn Less After Age 34 (Unless You're Meryl Streep)

merylembedPhoto: Picture Perfect/REX USA.
Sadly, the dreaded glass ceiling is very much still in place, not only for women at large, but in Hollywood, too, a new study reveals. Researchers claim that actresses' earnings peak when they are 34-years-old, and then sharply decline soon after. Meanwhile, men in Hollywood can expect a steady income increase per movie, peaking around age 51 — nearly two decades after women. These statistics stem from the Journal of Management Inquiry, wherein researchers compared the compensation of 265 film actors and actresses who starred in movies from 1968 to 2008. The statistics, while sobering, are hardly shocking to anyone but the most naive. President Obama himself even quoted the widely known "women earn 77 cents to a man's dollar" statistic during his State of the Union address. (That claim has actually sparked fresh debate, but objectively, women do earn less than men when the number crunching is said and done.)
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In an interview on Hollywood's income gender gap, Professor Timothy Judge, who lead the study, confirmed that earnings correlate directly to what we value in appearance. "This is a microcosm of what happens in society," he says. His study found that "Men's well-worn faces are thought to convey maturity, character, and experience. A woman's face, on the other hand, is valued for appearing young."
One exception to the rule? Meryl Streep, of course. The 64-year-old is one of the few actresses who has only grown more successful with age. As Tina Fey joked last month at the Golden Globes, "There are still great parts in Hollywood for Meryl Streeps over 60." Let's hope her pioneering path soon becomes the norm. (USA Today)
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