Alya Mooro | Contributing Writer | Friday, 27 November 2015

Anastasia Explains Why She Felt She Had To Lie About Her Age

Anastacia Explains Why She Felt She Had To Lie About Her Age

The Debrief: Anastacia reveals why she felt the need to knock eight years off her age in yet another example of ageism.

Barely a week goes by without a high-profile name giving a you-just-can’t-ignore-this example of just how sexist and ageist Hollywood slash the music industry slash the world is. Now, Anastacia – she of I’m Outta Love fame – has revealed why she felt inclined to lie about her age while at the height of her career.

According to the Daily Mail, Anastacia, who is now 47, admitted that she spent years claiming to be eight years younger than she was, saying she was 22, when in fact she was 30. ‘I went on a television show and you had to be under 29,’ she said. ‘Sony didn’t ever make me do it. I went along with it for years, but I told the truth when I went to another label. I felt so guilty.’

She continued, ‘Journalists would be asking me when I was born… and I would panic. But everyone [in the industry] does it. I thought that was what you were supposed to do. I thought it meant that I’d made it.’

Anastacia’s definitely not the first person to lie about her age, though, and she’s probably not the last. Both Nicole Scherzinger and Nicki Minaj reportedly knocked a couple of years off their ages, while Paloma Faith knocked four years off when she was trying to get signed.

‘When I was asked what my age was in that first meeting, I blurted out 23, when I was actually 27,’ she said. ‘I didn’t plan on doing it beforehand and it wasn’t a calculated thing. It was only afterwards I realised why I said it.

‘I remember reading about KT Tunstall being old, and she was 27 at the time. So I felt that everyone was going to focus on my age, not my music. I thought I’d try and protect myself in that way. I think if I’d said I was 27, I wouldn’t have got signed. One hundred per cent.’

Now, we’re all for a little white lie here and there because, well, who really cares? But the sad thing here is that Anastacia, and many, many others didn’t and don’t feel they can admit to being above a certain age. It sets a dangerous precedent for women everywhere because, well, ageing is a natural process and come your birthday, you will be a year older.

But we probably didn’t need to tell you that. Also, why are there never really any stories about men feeling the need to lie about their ages?

And the expectations for women everywhere are pretty deeply entrenched. Earlier this year, Maggie Gyllenhaal revealed she was deemed too old to play the love interest of a 55-year-old male actor. She’s 37. In the words of Helen Mirren, who spoke out about all this in June: ‘It’s f**king outrageous. It’s ridiculous. And ’twas ever thus. We all watched James Bond as he got more and more geriatric and his girlfriends got younger and younger. It’s so annoying.’ Yup.

That said, we applaud anyone who spreads truth. Anastacia’s currently promoting her greatest hits album, and she’s been saying some other pretty awesome things in the meantime, too. Including that she was the Taylor Swift of her time, and that Harry Styles is her dream man. ‘I would go on a date with Harry Styles in a heartbeat. I have dated much younger men and it’s fine.’

Have a dance down nostalgia lane with some of Anastacia’s best hits below.

Like this? You may also be interested in…

Age Shaming Is Alive And Thriving In The Fashion World

Emma Thompson On Sexism In Hollywood: ‘It’s Still Shit, Actually

Friday Rewind: The Playlist From Back In The Day

Follow Alya on Twitter @moorizZLA

Tags: Music, Sexism