So close to Halloween, it seems a perfect time to bring a little light to actress Jamie Lee Curtis. She has made a career on a foundation of horror movies but she's also something of a hero for women.
Jamie Lee Curtis is, among other things, a producer, director, and author. In a genre that's notoriously male-dominated, she has carved out a unique place for herself as the reigning queen of horror. With iconic roles in films like Halloween, The Fog, and Prom Night, she's become synonymous with the genre.
After being labeled a Scream Queen so early in her career, I imagine it was hard to push out of the typecast. She did, though. She’s had success in comedies, dramas and children’s films over the years.
She's a full and complex character, just like all of us.
In addition to her acting career, Jamie has also published several children’s books and been counted as a producer and director. She’s racked up a pile of awards and accolades, and she’s deserved every single one of them.
In her personal life, she’s been married to Christopher Guest since 1984 after knowing him only a few short months. They have two adopted daughters, one of whom is transgender. She technically has a British royal title because her husband is a Baron but she declines to use the title saying, "it has nothing to do with me."
Sigourney Weaver is one of her closest friends. She has never watched Sigourney’s movie Alien because it’s just too scary.
Jamie speaks openly about her past struggles with alcohol and opiate addictions and how important sobriety has been for her.
What Would You Say If Everyone Was Listening?
Curtis isn't just a Scream Queen; she's also a powerful force in the industry and a voice that gets quick attention everywhere she goes. She’s using her platform to speak out on issues like gender equality, rights and representation in all facets of life. Jamie doesn’t hesitate to speak strongly about politics and social justice, as well.
She’s an advocate for sobriety and for issues that affect children on every level. She’s a powerful example of how to use our voices to always promote good in the world.
In recent years, Jamie has been spreading a strong message about the value of older women and how harmful it is to worry about aging in terms of beauty. She conveys that it’s useless to compare ourselves to the impossible (fake) standards of Hollywood’s version of beauty.
She encourages everyone to stop using the term anti-aging – and to stop feeding our money and energy to it. She Is PRO-aging and you’ll hear it echoed everywhere she goes. And she’s right.
Being in your 20s is great when you’re in your 20s, and we do not want to take anything away from the upcoming generations of women. But as we shift into our 40s and 50s and 60s and 70s, we are a different kind of amazing and we should all make space for that to shine through.
Another thing Jamie's been vocal about is the lack of opportunities for older women in Hollywood and the need for more complex roles for women of all ages. In a 2016 interview, she stated, "There are not a lot of parts for women over 40. I'm not interested in playing the wife or the girlfriend… I want to play real people."
If older women exist in real life, they should exist in films. Note to Hollywood: we exist!
The same thing happens in our own daily lives, too. We are typecast in all aspects of our lives, and sadly, we do it to each other as well. Based on a woman’s attire, haircut, job and a few other easy targets, people may assume all sorts of things about her personality, intelligence, abilities and even likeability.
And then, often, people treat her based on who they expect her to be and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, right? She’s been typecast and it’s so hard to break out of.
Instead of typecasting each other and feeding into the narratives, we can follow the bold and graceful leadership of women like Jamie Lee Curtis who work hard to reject typecasts and carve their own paths to success regardless of age – or maybe even *because of* the mystic powers that can come only with age.