When you’re in the spotlight, everything about you—especially your appearance—is constantly being scrutinized. And the sad truth is that social media is far from forgiving or kind. Yet more and more celebrities are embracing the adage that beauty really is only skin deep. Even better, they’re not keeping quiet: Many celebrities have spoken out in recent years about embracing their age and healthy aging.
Stars like Jane Seymour and Andie MacDowell (who said she was an exotic badass at 64) are open about why it matters, and what it means to them. From supermodels to actresses, many celebrities are talking about why getting older actually is an amazing gift.
Most celebrities who are embracing healthy aging aren’t judgmental about others within the industry who have chosen to have surgery or fillers to deal with the effects of aging. Instead, they focus on themselves and what they’ve gained as they have grown older. From posing without makeup for photo shoots to accepting the inevitable changes in their bodies, celebrities are speaking out about how we all have an opportunity to grow and learn from what’s on the inside, not the outside.
Many have said they’ve earned their gray hair and laugh lines. Others have said they feel more confident now than they ever did in their earlier years. The most common refrain is that healthy aging is about attitude, not appearance. It’s a positive message from people within an industry that has too often encouraged impossible beauty standards.
Ahead, find words of wisdom from celebrities who are embracing their age and speaking up about healthy aging.
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Longoria spoke about leaning into aging with Prevention. “I associate aging with wisdom and experience and maturity. For me, I lean into it.”
“I’m not pretending that I’m not my age, I just like to look the healthiest version that I can,” Seymour told Prevention.
Actress Drew Barrymore has spoken out about letting nature take its course. She told New Beauty that she was determined to show her daughters that aging is a luxury: “If we’re lucky, we’re all going to age. I just want them to be at peace with who they are and not what they look like.”
Supermodel Naomi Campbell has been in the spotlight for more than three decades, gracing the cover of more than 500 magazines. She once told Harper’s Bazaar, “I don’t worry about a number. I’m fine with aging.”
Reese Witherspoon told Allure that she’s proud of aging and prefers her 40s to her 20s. She told Allure “I just feel like I earned that gray hair and my fine lines. I like ‘em.”
The legendary beauty of Iman has endured for more than four decades. Her secret to aging gracefully? “Philosophically? Not giving a damn,” she told Harper’s Bazaar.
“This word ‘anti-aging’ has to be struck. I am pro-aging. I want to age with intelligence and grace and dignity and verve and energy,” Curtis said in an interview with Maria Shriver for the Radically Reframing Aging Summit.
Andie McDowell told W Magazine that the beauty myth she’d most like to debunk is that you have to be young to be beautiful: “Age isn’t a detriment and we don’t need to chase youth. We should all embrace every moment of our life.”
Penelope Cruz has been outspoken about aging for many years. She told her friend, Gwyneth Paltrow, who interviewed her for Interview Magazine, that she tells journalists who ask about aging as an actress, “I’m not going to give you even two minutes to honor your question. It doesn’t deserve that.”
Supermodel Christy Turlington told Elle, “Everybody is so anti-aging, but I don’t want to look younger than I am. Our face is a map of our life; the more that‘s there, the better.”
Viola Davis told Bustle that she isn’t above using creams and beauty products to enhance her skin, but that she embraces her age because it’s who she is: “I can’t think that the external is more important.”
Halle Berry shared some common sense advice about aging during an interview with Bobbi Brown on Yahoo: “I just want to always look like myself, even if that’s an older version of myself.”
Jennifer Aniston has often spoken out about women in Hollywood trying to stay ageless by having surgeries. She told Bobbi Brown, who interviewed her for Yahoo: “I think, ‘Oh god, if you only know how much older you look.’ They are trying to stop the clock, and all you can see is an insecure person who won’t let themselves just age.”
Julianne Moore told Harper’s Bazaar that she’d love to get rid of the term “women of a certain age.” “When you say that, it sounds like the age is so horrible you don’t want to mention it. Whereas I just don’t think that’s true,” she said.
Kate Winslet told The Hollywood Reporter that aging wasn’t worrisome to her because life is even better as you get older: “Aging is so far really fun and so much changes. You do feel more confident.”
Sharon Stone says she decided early in her career that she wasn’t going to be afraid to age. She told Allure, “I started to understand that I was going to go for being more like a European woman who got more beautiful with age and who could understand that women are more beautiful than girls because they know something.”
Thandie Newton says she embraces her gray hairs. In an interview with People, she said, “This is my wisdom, my badge of honor. And I want to see these grays so it reminds me every day that time is running out and that is something to celebrate; not to be afraid of.”
In an essay for The Daily Beast, Diane Keaton explained how she feels about getting older: “I don’t see anything wrong with face-lifts or Botox or fillers. They just erase the hidden battle scars. I intend to wear mine, sort of. At least that’s what I say to myself.”
Winona Ryder says she’s gotten better roles as she’s gotten older: “I know actresses have a tough time because of their age—they’re just not getting hired. I know it exists. You’re the girlfriend, then you’re the mother. But I don’t see it as a bad thing—it can be just as interesting, if not more so, than the leading-lady, ingénue phase.”
Gabrielle Union shared her best advice to happiness and aging with Elle: “I think spending a little bit more time being yourself and a little bit more time around things that make you happy—if that’s a cupcake, it’s a cupcake; if that’s your friends, it’s your friends; if it’s your man, it’s your man—that’s another beauty tip. Spending time around people who stress you out will age you faster than anything.”
Cameron Diaz told Goop that what she most liked about getting older is “what I have to offer the people around me, the wisdom I have gained through the experiences I have had, and looking forward to all of the years I have ahead of me.”
Having grown up in the spotlight, Brooke Shields hasn’t shied away from talking about getting older. During an interview with NPR, she said, “There’s no shame in being older and getting older. There’s a sense of pride I think that comes with it.”
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