|The cast of Calendar Girls (guardian)|
A major new study conducted on behalf of the UK Film Council found that mature and older women feel marginalized in film. These women are keen to see film roles for women that more accurately communicate the characteristics of the modern, sexually liberated mature and older woman rather than being cast as background, sexless figures.
Sixty-one percent of women between the ages of 50 and 75 questioned for this UK Film Council survey of 4,315 people said women their age were portrayed on the big screen as not having sexual needs or desires. Half said they were comfortable with older women being seen as attractive to younger men – the recently identified "Cougar phenomenon" further popularized by the ABC show "Cougar Town" starring Courteney Cox. Seven in 10 also felt that their group was generally under-represented in films and that younger women were glamorized.
Feminist porn makers–such as Candida Royalle, who strives to include a diverse range of women in her films in terms of age, body type and more recently also ethnicity–have begun to address the concerns of these women. But clearly more filmmakers both in porn and mainstream motion pictures ought to address them.