Making Diane: An Exploration of the Aging Cougar within Society
When I was younger, my sister and I had two issues that impeded our Barbie play days: 1. A lack of Ken dolls, since we never wanted to spend our allowance on a boy doll. 2. A lack of grandma dolls, since aged Barbies were simply not sold. We were able to solve our problems by cutting our worn-out Barbie's hair as short as possible, and that Barbie would then be used interchangeably as a male and a grandma. At the time, this seemed effective. However, when I matured and reflected on that memory, I realized the significance in that action. Just like Whoopi Goldberg's child character who wanted long-blonde hair, as a child I touched on an implicit truth in our
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The age in which someone is thought to be a cougar is debated, with some saying as young as 30-40, while others argue for 40+. Broadly, the term can be used to describe any woman who shares a relationship with a younger man. Even though relationships between older women and younger men have existed across time and cultures, the creation of the predatory description within current, American culture can be dated to the 1967 film The Graduate, in which a mother acts as the antagonist who seduces and blackmails a young college graduate. Ultimately, the young man falls in love with the culturally correct partner—the woman's daughter. Consequently, not only is the mature lover villainized, but also the older generation symbolically loses to the younger. Like the age range, the origin of the slang term cougar is also debated. It is believed to have originated in Canada in the 1980s as a derogatory term to identify older women who pursued professional hockey player (Lawton and Callister 4). Still the term did not appear in print until 2001, and it became even more popular in 2002 when Valerie Gibson published Cougar: a guide for older women dating younger men. Media representations of the cougar have become increasingly popular, with fictional cougars, such as Samantha from Sex in the City, and celebrities such as Demi Moore dating younger men.
Intellectual Framework Throughout this class,