A 50-year-old French author and TV presenter has received furious criticism after claiming that women over 50 were "invisible" and "too old" to date.
In an interview with the French edition of Marie Claire magazine, author Yann Moix (let us repeat: a man of 50 years of age himself) said that he was "incapable" of loving women over the age of 50. He also said that he preferred dating Asian women, including those of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean descent.
When asked by the magazine if he could love a 50-year-old woman, he replied in comments translated by The Guardian: "Come on now, let’s not exaggerate! That’s not possible… too, too old." He explained: "I prefer younger women’s bodies, that’s all. End of. The body of a 25-year-old woman is extraordinary. The body of a woman of 50 is not extraordinary at all."
Of his stated preference for Asian women, Moix added, "It’s perhaps sad and reductive for the women I go out with, but the Asian type is sufficiently rich, large, and infinite for me not to be ashamed."
The 50-year-old author has written 10 books and won several prestigious literary awards for his debut novel, Jubilations Vers le Ciel. Moix has also directed three films and hosted the French talk show On n'est pas couché.
His comments sparked a backlash on social media, including in a tweet from British embassy staff in France. "Happy new year, sexists everywhere!" wrote Laura Halley. "Signed Yann Moix, who only dates Asian women at least 10 years younger than him, because, you know, women have an expiration date."
French MP Olivia Gregoire tweeted: "Very classy Yann Moix. Very very classy. But like stupidity and vulgarity have no age, it’s reassuring in his case as I doubt many women want (these qualities)."
After his comments went viral, Moix went on French radio to defend himself. “I don’t see this as pride, but almost as a curse. It’s not my fault. We are not responsible for our tastes, our penchants, our inclinations. I’m not here to hold forth on this,” he told RTL radio while holding forth on the very topic.
He also claimed that his comments would actually increase interest in Rompre, his new book. “The system is so perverse that sales are about to rise like an arrow," he said. “I don’t regret saying these things because they concern only me. I love who I want and I don’t have to answer to any good taste police… for me that would be a complete lack of taste.”