13 Celebs Who Are Just Fine With the Way They're Aging -- & Want Hollywood to Be, Too

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Hollywood is notorious for treating aging actresses like second-class citizens -- so much so that doing so has been largely accepted and ignored for decades. But it seems as if female celebs have finally had enough of dealing with unfair double standards and trying to reach an unattainable standard of beauty -- and they're no longer afraid to make their voices heard.

From candid confessions on how they cope with getting older in the public eye to passionate pleas for change, these TV and movie stars have started an extremely important conversation -- one that we need to keep going! 

 

Image via Splash News

  • Renee Zellweger

    1

    After months (years?) of speculation over supposed changes in the 47-year-old Oscar winner's face (including one particularly vicious essay in Variety), Zellweger spoke about the industry's inherent misogyny to The Hollywood Reporter.

    She said, "But this conversation perpetuates the problem. Why are we talking about how women look? Why do we value beauty over contribution? We don't seem to value beauty over contribution for men. It's simply not a conversation."

  • Susan Sarandon

    2

    On an episode of Oprah's Master Class, the now 69-year-old Sarandon was characteristically blunt about how Hollywood treats older women:

    You're so punished in this business. When people say, 'Do you think you've lost work because of your politics?' I say, 'No, you lose work because you get old and fat! That's when they write you off in Hollywood.

    The difficulty, of course, is that aging happens to everyone. There's the inevitability of the deterioration of the physical. That forces you to think, really, what is beauty and what survives?

  • Meryl Streep

    3

    Now 67 years old, multiple Oscar winner Meryl Streep told told WSJ Magazine that she started feeling pressure decades ago.

    "I remember as I was hovering around 40, I thought each movie would be my last, really," she said. "And all the evidence of other 40-year-old women at that time -- this is 27 years ago -- would lead you to believe it was over." 

    More from CafeMom: 18 Famous Women Who Are Aging Gracefully & Look Better Than Ever (PHOTOS)

  • Salma Hayek

    4

    The scrutiny faced by female celebrities is completely unfair, 49-year-old Salma Hayek told the Guardian.

    "You still have to be a good wife and mother," she said. "And now you also have to be skinny, and you have to look 20 when you're 40. It's too much. We need to stop with the crazy expectation, give ourselves a break."

  • Courteney Cox

    5

    Fifty-two-year-old former Friends star Cox recently revealed her aging-related regrets to Bear Grylls:

    "Being a woman in this business, getting older, that's not the easiest thing," she said. "But I have learned lessons. I think I was trying to keep up with getting older and trying to chase that. It's something you can't keep up with."

    She added: "Sometimes you find yourself trying and then you look at a picture of yourself and you go, 'Oh god, I look horrible.' I have done things that I regret and luckily there are things that dissolve and go away. So that's good, because it's not always been my best look."

  • Cameron Diaz

    6

    Actress and author Cameron Diaz, 43, hoped to promote a message of empowerment with The Longevity Book. As she explained in an interview, "One of the parts of research that I thought was really interesting is that people who accept aging actually age better."

    She continued, "You actually put up to six years more onto your life when you accept that you are aging. Once you embrace something, it's a mindset, right? So the body follows the mind in anything."

    More from CafeMom: 8 Celebs Over 40 With Crazy Hot Beach Bods (PHOTOS)

  • Drew Barrymore

    7

    Drew Barrymore is always serene, so it makes sense that the 41-year-old star would explain her philosophy on aging to Woman's Weekly like this:

    "It's the best time of my life -- it's not traumatic at all. I don't think I've ever been happier. It's like the older I get, the better I get. Gravity and wrinkles are fine with me. They're a small price to pay for the new wisdom inside my head and my heart. If my breasts fall down to the floor and everything starts to sag, becoming hideous and gross, I won't worry."

  • Reese Witherspoon

    8

    Forty-year-old stunner Reese Witherspoon says plastic surgery isn't her thing, but she's cool with whatever women want to do to feel their best. As she explained to UK Glamour, "I'm not for it. I'm not against it. I have plenty of friends who do stuff and if it makes you feel good, great. But I don't think it's the fix for some sort of unease that you're having about who you are as a human being." 

  • Diane Keaton

    9

    If Hollywood had an official expert on aging gracefully, it would be 70-year-old Diane Keaton.

    "The more you change, the more you see differently. And the more you see differently, the more you’re open to different kinds of beauty. I think the more we embrace what our own feelings about beauty are, the more fun it's going to be for us as we go along," she told Vogue

    More from CafeMom: 8 Celebs Who Look Better Now Than They Did When They Were Younger (PHOTOS)

  • Helen Mirren

    10

    Seventy-one-year-old icon Helen Mirren is a passionate believer that there should be more roles for real women as they age.

    "The more those roles change for women in life, the more people get used to that image -- seeing an older woman's face. They become more familiar with it. It's not uncharted territory, visually, so it's not such a shock to the system any more," she told the Guardian.

  • Halle Berry

    11

    With open arms I welcome 50... I'm so blessed to be here!

    A photo posted by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on

    Halle Berry has pretty much redefined what it means to be 50 years old, but she's not getting wrapped up in the fight against aging.

    "I just have kept reminding myself that beauty really is as beauty does, and it is not so much about my physical self. Aging is natural, and that's going to happen to all of us," she told Yahoo! Beauty. "I just want to always look like myself, even if that's an older version of myself. I think when you do too much of that cosmetic stuff, you become somebody else, in a way."

  • Gillian Anderson

    12

    X-Files star Gillian Anderson is pragmatic about the aging process, but also hopeful.

    "At 47, I feel quite strongly that I wouldn't do plastic surgery, but also, I know that I am a vain woman," Anderson told People. "Talk to me in 10 years -- they may have invented something which feels less invasive, and then it's possible that the line will be easier to cross." 

    She continued: "I don't want to say never. I don't want to be hypocritical about it. But also, at this juncture, I just hope that I would be able to embrace these stages of my aging face, and not feel like something was wrong and that it needed to be fixed through surgery."

    More from CafeMom: 20 Female Stars Who Look Waaay Younger Than They Really Are (PHOTOS)

  • Rose McGowan

    13

    When critics went after Renee Zellweger for her appearance in Bridget Jones's Baby, 42-year-old McGowan penned a scathing essay about the bullying actresses are forced to endure:

    As a woman who has been bullied for years by a vicious pack of lower beings, I can relate to this. Many are probably silent because they do not wish for the proverbial pen to be pointed at them; I say point away. Short of killing me, you can't possibly do more than what was done to me in my tenure as an actress. I don't care if you're afraid. Be brave. Do what's right, for once. I loathe fear. And this town is built on fear. Fear was instilled in me by the men and women of this town, just as I'm sure it was instilled in Ms. Zellweger. Fear of being blacklisted, fear of being branded difficult, fear of ... fear of ... fear of.

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