The Black Woman Behind Buzzy Romance ‘The Idea Of You’

It’s sad because 40 is when most people are coming into their own, career-wise, for men and women. And they’re coming into their power, and then they have agency and they’re able to enjoy everything they’ve been building for the last few years. It’s finally gelling. And yet, for men, you’re on the rise and everything’s wonderful and for women it’s like, oh, yeah, you’re doing great at that, but it’s too bad you’re not really desirable anymore. So often we see relationships with a younger woman and an older man because their power is seen as continuing to accumulate and their desirability continues to grow as they get older. [For men], looks have nothing to do with it. It’s all about the power. And so that’s why it’s fine for a 60-year-old man to date a 30-year-old woman, but we’re viewed as, well, your looks are fading, so what could [a younger man] possibly want with you? That was really painful to see, over and over again, in the media, TV shows and films and articles. Even when you read a fashion magazine, it was like, “what to wear at 20 versus 40” or “cover up your upper arms at a certain age” and I just wanted to rail against that and say we are out here, and we are completely as desirable at 30 as we were at 20, because now we have the knowledge, intelligence and experience that we did not have then.

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