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Heidi Clements on Hollywood's Fear of Aging Women

Heidi Clements on Hollywood's Fear of Aging Women

The television producer and TikTok star gets candid about the portrayal of women over the age of 50 in media.

Hollywood may have forgotten about older women, but Heidi Clements hasn't.

Clements served as an executive producer and writer on the popular ABC Family sitcom Baby Daddy, but people may also know her from her #justgetdressed TikTok videos.

Clements has used her platform to champion women over the age of 50, which Heidi says has resonated with many users, especially those from generation Z.

"Right now, I am thrilled to say that young women actually want to hear from older women. I don't know that that was always the case," she tells Sonia Baghdady of Advocate Now. "I think that society has done a great job of convincing us we need to hate each other ... But I feel like Gen Z has realized that women, we all need to stick together."

As a woman in media, Clements is well-aware of both mainstream and social media's impact on women's mental health, particularly their body image and self-confidence. She shares that she's struggled with body dysmorphia, which was heavily influenced by "pictures and photographs of women that were that were white and blonde and super skinny."

"It is 100 percent the media's fault. And I am part of that media," Clements says. "And I, as a woman, was part of that problem in working in television for years and upholding someone else's standards for beauty and what's pretty."

Even when the media portrays older women, Clements says they don't always get it right. She was particularly disappointed in the Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That..., for the arc of protagonist Carrie, and for how little diversity was featured in a show set in New York City.

"Would it have been so bad if Carrie ended up alone?" Clements asks. "I just feel like they took away this heroine that we had who was cool and fashionable and older. ... She was so completely out of touch with what was going on in the world, and she was only functioning because of a man in her marriage."

She adds: "I thought it was also so wildly out of touch with people who grew up in New York, as a white woman. Like, do you not have any black friends? How did you not have any black friends all this time or any people of color in your life?"

Though, Clements also notes that she's noticed a meaningful shift in recent years which has seen creators of all backgrounds share their stories. While she wishes there were more diverse narratives for women in particular, she believes that the industry is making positive change.

"It's just amazing to me to see so many more people of color on television and in advertisements," Clements says, adding, "The biggest thing that's changed is we're starting to tell more stories and we're starting to hear more people's stories. But I think women are all getting lumped together into women, and I think that the stories that need to be told are young and old."

For more interviews like these, watch Advocate Now on The Advocate Channel.

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