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I'm Not Fair Game: In Defence Of Twenty-Somethings

11/07/2013 20:50 | Updated 22 May 2015

Since when was it okay for thirty and forty-something-year-old women to put down twenty-something-year-old women? Emily Steer on why she's not fair game

In a recent interview, Livia Firth - the 43-year-old wife of actor Colin Firth - claimed "in your twenties you know nothing about being sexy".

livia firth

The thing that shocked me the most about this wasn't the fact it is absolutely not true - hasn't she seen Brigitte Bardot in her twenties? - but that if this comment was said by a twenty-something about a forty-something it would either 1) never be printed or 2) result in an indignant uproar if it was.

People joke the only group you can laugh about these days are white middle class males, but if you ask me there's another demographic seemingly ripe for target: twenty-something women. And, if you ask me, this isn't exactly a new thing.

I first watched Sex and the City in my late teens. I know it wasn't serious but I think it was ground-breaking and pitched itself broadly as a show that supported women.

But even there, 20-something characters were ribbed every time they cropped up on screen for being shallow partners for the leading ladies exes and having no clue about life in general.

This wasn't the show for all women - which I think it was often thought to be - it was a show that made certain groups of women feel better about themselves whilst belittling the generation coming up behind them.

I believe women should embrace confidence for all women of all ages but instead we have this apparently acceptable reverse ageism. Great, eh?

Perhaps Livia Firth's comment was intended to bolster older generations who've endured heaps of criticism from bitchy media made to feel they are no longer being in their prime. What she has succeeded in doing is looking petty and rude to a generation of women who might otherwise look up her.

Twenty something women are hardly a different species. We are younger versions of our older counterparts who should remember being at this point in in your life is filled with competition and rejection. If you don't keep yourself motivated, no-one will, and due to this us twenty-somethings could do without the shallow putdowns.

And for anyone out there who questions the brain power, emotional depth or sexual prowess of 20 something women, Sylvia Plath published The Bell Jar at 25, Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar at 22 for the most complex performance this year and Marilyn Monroe was 27 in one of her most notoriously sexy performances in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Three very different women, all known for not being hopeless, sexless morons who needed to grow up a bit to find out what being a woman is all about.

So please, next time you feel like making a put down about someone who fits within a slightly different bracket from yourself, refrain. At the end of the day, women face similar challenges everyday just because of our gender - isn't it better we all stick together?

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