Harrison Ford Was Praised For Going Shirtless At 80 Years Old But When Halle Berry Did It, She Got Backlash

Women of any age have no way to win.

Harrison Ford, Halle Berry Superstar / Shutterstock & Instagram

At 80 years old, Harrison Ford reprised his iconic starring role in ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,’ which premiered at Cannes on May 18, 2023. Ford, who also received a Palme d’Or d’honneur for lifetime achievement, appears in the movie shirtless, leading one journalist to declare she still thinks he’s “very hot.” 

Harrison Ford was celebrated for going shirtless at 80 years old, but when actress Halle Berry did the same at 56 years old, she got backlash. 

During a press conference, Ford was complimented for showing off his body at an age when women are criticized for their appearances, for merely daring to exist. Take a look at the online discourse surrounding Martha Stewart's role as a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model at age 81, and you'd find criticism from men and women alike about the audacity Stewart had to do so.


And in some ways, how old women are doesn't entirely matter— middle-aged women like Berry also get dragged for putting their bodies on display. 

Ford was complimented for showing off his older body, getting told by the journalist, "I think you're still very hot. We were stunned to see you take your shirt off in the second scene... and you've still got it."

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For his part, Ford replied jokingly, "I've been blessed with this body. Thanks for noticing."  


Yet older women aren't complimented on having aging bodies. Instead, they're dragged for daring to grow older while maintaining any semblance of public presence. The conversation revolves less around how older women continue to thrive in an industry that disregards them, and more about what they've done—or not done— to their faces.

It’s not a revelation that Hollywood profits from rigid gendered stereotypes, or that the film industry is just one example of how older women are devalued in society. Women’s appearances are all too often how value is assigned to us. Losing our perceived desirability as we grow older is part of the gender imbalance inherent in patriarchy. 

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When older women reveal their bodies in the same way Ford did, the overarching narrative is that they should stay hidden. 

Berry, who’s 24 years younger than Ford, was criticized for posting topless photos of herself on Instagram, though the actress refused to apologize for taking up space. She celebrated herself in a world that denies visibility to older women while placing enormous capital on what we look like at every age.


In a social structure that casts women aside whether we age with cosmetic surgery or without it, there’s no winning either way. If you let your skin wrinkle and your hair go gray, you’re called out just as much as women who undergo procedures to undo the passing of time.  

While men like Ford are continuously praised for retaining their sex symbol status even as they grow older, women in the same profession are diminished, no matter how they choose to age. 


That men are allowed to age without inherent criticism, while women can’t, sends a clear message about the myriad of narrow ways women are valued by society. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.