Halle Berry is beautiful—this is not news. Nor should it really be news that she is “still” beautiful at 50 because, as a feminist, I think the idea that female beauty fades with age is just a construct of the patriarchy (insert longer rant here). That said, Damn, have you seen the naked pic Halle Berry posted on her Instagram? She is 50 years old and she looks better sans clothing than I ever have, which simultaneously gives me hope for my starting-to-sag body and makes me feel bad about the fact that while I’m 20 years younger than her, if I posted a similar photo it would read like a self-deprecating joke.
Now, I’m not generally a fan of nudity on Instagram—it’s too easily rewarded by likes, which I think becomes a dangerous addiction and sets a negative example for young girls. However, I do think it’s important for us to see the bodies of women who aren’t under the age of 25 portrayed in ways that are sexy, so as not to perpetuate the notion that women basically go from being sex objects to being grandmas somewhere between ages 20 and 35. These are conflicting thoughts, but overall, and in the case of Halle’s naked selfie specifically, my feelings are positive. If we’re going to expand the narrow view of beauty in this culture, it’s good for us to be exposed to every type of body. That said, it’s also important for us to keep in mind that Halle’s body is at least in some part the result of genetic and financial advantages and that we shouldn’t let it make us feel bad about our own, whether we’re 20 or 50 or 80. I’m choosing to see this selfie as much-needed encouragement to continue to view myself as a whole woman as I age and not instead reduce myself to frumpy frocks and “age-appropriate” behaviors. See the smoking hot pic below.