Famous Women on Getting Older
Dewy, uncreased 20-somethings have long been held up as the essence and ideal of womanhood in popular culture. But you know the mania for youth has reached new heights when glossy magazines allow no more than three wrinkles on the faces that grace their covers, and when selfie-editing apps â€” emphasizing everything from â€œkawaiiâ€ to perfect skin â€” are ubiquitous. Sure, there are frequent stories about how â€œ30 is the new 20â€ or â€œ50 is the new 30,â€ but rarely do we see women over a certain age â€” unretouched, unapologetic, not medically intervened upon â€” held up as desirable or admirable, or even held up at all. (Meanwhile, silver- haired men abound in movies and on TV in seats of power.)
But plenty of women have the guts to face the music â€” and the mirror â€” with grace. Here, a collection of thoughts on aging from famous women, including China Machado, Toni Morrison, and Betty White. Read on for words on the power of wrinkles, accepting imperfections, and the joys of getting spoiled rotten at 90 â€” itâ€™s all here.
Oprahâ€œWe live in a youth-obsessed culture that is constantly trying to tell us that if we are not young, and weâ€™re not glowing, and weâ€™re not hot, that we donâ€™t matter. I refuse to let a system or a culture or a distorted view of reality tell me that I donâ€™t matter. I know that only by owning who and what you are can you start to step into the fullness of life. Every year should be teaching us all something valuable. Whether you get the lesson is really up to you.â€ â€”Oprah, O, the Oprah Magazine, May 2011
Whoopi Goldbergâ€œListen, the best advice on aging is this: Whatâ€™s the alternative? The alternative, of course, is death. And thatâ€™s a lot of shit to deal with. So Iâ€™m happy to deal with menopause. Iâ€™ll take it.â€ â€” New Jersey Monthly, May 2013
Sharon Stoneâ€œYou have to sit down and take a good look at yourself, particularly as you grow older and your face changes. People are afraid of changing; that theyâ€™re losing something. They donâ€™t understand that they are also gaining something â€¦ As I lost the fullness in my face, I got in these great cheekbones. I canâ€™t tell you how many doctors try to sell me a facelift. Iâ€™ve even gone as far as having someone talk me into it, but when I went over and looked at pictures of myself, I thought, What are they going to lift? Yes, I have come close â€” but, frankly, I think that in the art of aging well thereâ€™s this sexuality to having those imperfections. Itâ€™s sensual.â€ â€” New You, Summer 2013
Nora Ephronâ€œEvery so often I read a book about age, and whoeverâ€™s writing it says itâ€™s great to be old. Itâ€™s great to be wise and sage and mellow: itâ€™s great to be at the point where you understand just what matters in life. I canâ€™t stand people who say things like this.â€ â€” I Feel Bad About My Neck, 2006
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