A few years ago I was going to interview Jennifer Aniston. She had recently turned 40, and the websites and newspapers were full of 'poor Jen' stories - on the lines of her life was over, because here she was, divorced, childless and now past it as well. Her co-star from the film, Owen Wilson, had also recently turned 40, and there were no articles about him.
I felt the sheer outrageousness of it even then, of why, even as a reputable culture journalist, I was expected to collect soundbites from famous women about their age, their partners, their kids, their bodies, while if I was interviewing George Clooney I'd ask him about becoming a politician. We are now in January 2018, and as you can see from a piece I wrote here, we have now moved on to asking women about what colour they are wearing, rather than what they are wearing, and Oprah would be a female exception for President, not the rule. We may be moving in a better direction, but pretty darned slowly.
For those who say that this content is given to women because they demand it, I say that's rubbish, it's because there aren't enough alternatives. I argue that the media, by focusing so much on the outward woman, negatively influences countless women and girls. So many of us can get trapped in a cycle of comparing ourselves with other women, of feeling our bodies are inadequate, that our life is not good enough, and that our sell by date is around 30 years old - in other words, our value is in how we look, not who we are. No wonder it's so hard to ask for a pay rise when historically, girls have been unconsciously taught their first job is to be attractive, and their second is to please. You can watch my TEDx talk from 2017 on the subject here.
Electra aims to interview women in the entertainment industry differently. By asking intelligent questions, by focusing on the inner woman and her work, beliefs and talent, we want to change our culture. We believe there are women crying out for different content, to quote Reese Witherspoon, that's not " a Mommy blog and 13 ways to cook a turkey."
There's so much more to a famous woman than age, dress size, and her relationship status.
Emma Pritchard Jones, Founder and Editor in Chief.
Emma Jones is a BBC News journalist who specializes in arts and entertainment. Her work has appeared across the BBC, the Associated Press, Getty/WireImage and The Independent. Since 2001 she has reported from every major entertainment event in the global calendar, from the Oscars to the Cannes Film Festival, and her interviewees have included George Clooney, Madonna, Beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman.
Her favourite filmmakers include Andrea Arnold, Steve McQueen, Kathryn Bigelow, Francois Ozon, Luca Guadagnino, Olivier Assayas, Denis Villeneuve and Nadine Labaki.