This week, Hugh Jackman experienced something male actors rarely do: negative attention for looking old. Men aren't generally expected to remain young-looking into their 40s, 50s, and beyond. In fact, they're often praised for growing into handsome silver foxes. Women, on the other hand — and in particular female actresses over, say, the age of 30 — are expected to retain a youthful glow basically until they reach their deathbed. Such are the cultural expectations exploited by ruthless tabloids. Photos of actresses with visible wrinkles (gasp!) or other signs of having lived for more than a couple decades are criticized and coupled with age-shaming comments.
But when Jackman, 47, posted a picture of himself this week, people frenzied around his Instagram. In the picture, the actor's face looks more elderly than usual, spurring commenters to criticize the Aussie's appearance and recommend remedies from eye cream to THC oil. A sampling of the comments: "You look real old man"; "Jesus I don't want u grow older"; "Get back to that fountain of youth"; "Let's be real...Steroids and Growth Hormone hyper accelerate the aging process." Others speculated Jackman was sick.
Still others pointed out that Jackman could be sporting makeup to reprise his role as Wolverine for an upcoming movie. It's been rumored that Jackman's third and final Wolverine spin-off, due out in 2017, might take on the Old Man Logan story line from the comic-books series. While that theory isn't confirmed, it seems believable — but then again, an actor being a human who does not perpetually look 25 seems plausible to us, too.