Fighting with the Sky

Welcome to Cougar Town

Posted on: July 28, 2009

Many times when I have gone to see a movie over PG lately, I have been subjected to this promo for the new fall ABC show, Cougar Town, starting Courtney Cox (of Friends fame):

So, Cougar Town…a show about a 40-year-old divorcee who decides that getting back into the dating world means dating younger men. So many things wrong with this promo/show, where to begin…

How about at the beginning? The promo opens with Courtney Cox scrutinizing every fault of her body. First of all, I don’t think that is actually Courtney Cox’s body. Other promos have her in underwear and she does not have any “flab.” Second of all, the body that is shown (whether it is Cox’s or not) is an amazing body. Scrutinizing a body like that not only shows the fear of aging (prevalent throughout the show/promo) but also the impossible body standards that women have to live up to.

The show is all about the fear of aging. Women are going to “shrivel up and die.” Throughout society, everyone fears getting older, but I feel like there is a stronger fear among women. A fear that men will no longer be attracted to them when they get older. Because age does not equal beauty. Age equals wrinkles and flab and death.

How does divorce equal “shrivel up and die”? There is nothing wrong with being an independent woman and living the life you want to live. While I think that is the message the show is trying is doing what she thinks is expected of her. I may be wrong, I mean it is only a 30 second promo. But the show does seem to say that a woman is incomplete without a man, even if that man is just a young “boy toy.”

And why is that older women who date younger men are called “cougars” but older men who date younger women is a bachelor or a playboy? Cougars are predatory animals, so this implies that women are preying on and attacking young men where as men are congratulated for dating younger women.

Courtney Cox was so great on Friends, so why does she have to go and make a show like this (but Jennifer Aniston is really the only one of the cast that has had any major success after Friends)? Maybe the show is supposed to be some sort of commentary about the fear of aging in society. But if the promo starts out like this with scrutinizing every little imaginary fault on a body, I think it is just reinforcing the fear of aging.

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2 Responses to "Welcome to Cougar Town"

Hey! I just came across your blog recently, and I've really enjoyed it so far. You've made a lot of good points on this post here. It's interesting that conversely, if the roles on the shows had its sexes switched, it wouldn't nearly stir as much excitement and controversy– if any at all. I mean, Hugh Hefner really promoted the image of the playboy gentleman as the norm. But a woman in that position? It's just way too -different- for people to comprehend!

Great analysis, YoungFeminist! Shaker CaitieCat here, came by from the blog roll today. 🙂

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