Lying about your age isn't exactly a new trend — people have been doing it for ages (awful pun not intended). Surely, we've all been guilty at one time or another of bumping our ages up a smidge or shaving a few years off. And unsurprisingly, given the youth-obsessed Hollywood culture, celebs have done it, too. They just have to watch for the emergence of vigilant "age-truthers," who desperately set out to reveal who's been lying about their age.
The most recent (possible) suspect — and definite victim of the age-obsessed vigilantes — is the hilarious scene-stealing star of Pitch Perfect 2, Rebel Wilson, who was accused by the Australian magazine Woman's Day of being 36... not the spritely young 29 she claims to be. (Note: 36 ain't old, either!)
"I studied with Rebel at Tara Anglican School for Girls in North Parramatta, Sydney,” said a rather vindictive unnamed source. "But no one knew of a Rebel Wilson. Her name is — or was — Melanie Elizabeth Bownds, and she's 36 — she was born in 1979 and we left school in 1997." The article is complete with requisite black-and-white photos to round out the story.
But Rebel Wilson also has access to the Internet. So when she caught wind of the story circling about her, she naturally took to Twitter to issue a sassy reply.
OMG I'm actually a 100 year old mermaid formerly known as "CC Chalice" ....thanks shady Australian press for your tall poppy syndrome x— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) May 18, 2015
Okay but all jokes aside now...my real name is Fat Patricia x— Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) May 18, 2015
Wilson joins a long list of women who have been subject to age critcism.
Chanteuse (and probable 18-year-old) Lorde has been subject to conspiracy theorists known as "Lorde age-truthers," who were desperate to reveal the singer's real age. The Hairpin's (now Jezebel editor-in-chief) Emma Carmichael dug up Lorde's birth certificate, debunking the rumor. Turns out she was not a middle-aged woman in disguise as a mature-looking teenager; she really was born in 1996.
Other celebs have flat out lied about their ages with or without much fanfare.
Nicki Minaj, 32, claimed she was born in 1984 when she was actually born in 1982 (via VH1). A two-year age difference definitely doesn't seem worth lying about. Maybe earlier in her career she just wasn't cool with embracing her 30s?
Former Pussycat Doll frontwoman Nicole Scherzinger similarly fibbed that she was one year younger than her actual age. She told Blender (via Metro) she was 27, when the Pussycat Dolls website claimed she was an ancient 28. Whoops!
And according to The Mirror, Geri Halliwell claimed she was celebrating a 29th birthday multiple times... until Victoria Beckham disclosed the truth. Ginger Spice is now 42 (and happily married, for what it's worth).
Actress Jessica Chastain falls into another age-sensitive category: She won't reveal her age. At least, she said she wouldn't to The Independent in 2013. "I will never say my age because I'm an actress, and I want to play different ages," she explained. Fair enough. A cursory Web search says she's 38, but that doesn't mean we have to talk about it, right? And she has a point — denoting her age would possibly sway casting directors' opinions about her, when its her acting ability that should matter most.
Which is why it may behoove the age-truthers to take a hint from Chastain: If these celebrities' movies and songs are good enough to carry them, why bother trying to wage war against their ages? And besides — there's a chance we may never actually know some of their real ages, anyway.
As for Rebel, there will still be those haters who want to bring her down with their age obsession... and those who choose to focus on Pitch Perfect 2. The latter are the ones she should care about.