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03rd Mar 2022

Opinion: Why is everyone obsessed with Alexa Demie’s age?

Alexa has been subjected to criticism for playing an on-screen teenager.

Ageism is once again rearing its ugly head in Hollywood and this time 31-year-old Alexa Demie is the target.

Alexa rose to fame for playing the role of 17-year-old Maddy Perez in HBO’s explosive teen drama series Euphoria.

It wasn’t long before her age became the subject of speculation, when fans noticed that her Wikipedia and IMDB pages did not display her date of birth – like it did with the rest of Euphoria’s cast members.

The actress has never shared her real age with the world, presumably to avoid misogyny in what is an undeniably youth-obsessed world.

But recently, a video made by one of Alexa’s former classmates went viral on TikTok. It showed Alexa’s name and photo in a 2007 high school graduation yearbook, confirming the actress to be 31 years old.

And the internet went into a frenzy.

The most common conversation focused on how good she looks for her age. And I hate to be the one to break it to you, but 31 is not old. The reason Alexa looks young is because she is young.

Sure, it seems harmless and people aren’t intending to be offensive –  but it’s kind of a back-handed compliment because it implies that women over the age of 30 are not typically attractive or worthy of admiration. It also perpetuates the notion that a woman’s worth is intrinsically linked to her appearance.

Others, although obviously not serious, raved over how the actress is “immortal”. She was even photoshopped into famous events in history, like The French Revolution, the fall of the Berlin Wall and The Stonewall Riots.

Meanwhile, some people have expressed a problem with Alexa playing a 17-year-old at her age, deeming it inappropriate.

They even condemned her involvement in sex scenes with younger cast members – but it’s worth noting that any of her co-stars involved in scenes of this nature have been in their mid-20s.

It is also not uncommon for people in their late 20s or early 30s to play teenagers on film. In fact, this is usually the standard.

And several Twitter users have pointed out the blatant misogyny here –  no one ever seems to have a problem with it if it’s a man.

Of course, ageism in Hollywood is nothing new, but it feels like we’ve seen it a lot lately. When the Sex and The City reboot hit our screens late last year, much of the focus was on how old the cast looked.

We saw the same with the Friends 20th anniversary reunion. Soon after, Courteney Cox opened up about the pressure of being publicly ridiculed over her appearance for years, and how she opted for numerous cosmetic procedures to the point where she hardly recognised herself. 

The misogynistic commentary surrounding actresses in Hollywood is clearly not going anywhere soon. Actually, in Alexa’s case, the fact it’s directed toward a very young actress is all the more worrying.

Can we really blame her for hiding her age for so long?

On a more positive note, the uproar over the revelation has reignited a much-needed conversation regarding society’s attitude towards ageing actresses.

Age shouldn’t even be a factor when it comes to a woman’s career. Alexa is a highly-skilled actress and she’s proven this with her breakthrough role as Maddie. I, for one, can’t wait to see what she has in store in the future.