With a career spanning more than four decades, Brooke Shields knows about getting older in Hollywood. Yes, we each have our own qualms about getting older. However, things are a bit different when you’re a celebrity, especially if you’re an actress. While we applaud getting older as a blessing, Hollywood can almost perceive it as career suicide, which is absolutely ridiculous.
Speaking on the VeryWellMind Podcast, the 56-year-old Blue Lagoon actress delved into the issues behind ageism and how she’s breaking down stereotypes about getting older.
Brooke Shields Opens Up About Ageism
“The narrative around aging is changing… Almost every one of my friends is starting new chapters and we’re not represented in any industry… This is the period of my life where I feel far more confident and less complicated, and very clear about what I want and who I am and that’s only come with years.”
The former child star went on to share that the fear of getting older can be linked back to procreation, and even the messaging around menopause makes it sound like you’re some “withered, dried-up entity.”
What’s more, when she turned 50, she recalls how she felt like Hollywood was overlooking her,
“Sexiness doesn’t have to be a young person’s reality”
It’s okay to be (and look) older
As more and more people embrace getting older, there is still a lot of pressure out there to look a certain way, especially as one celebrates more birthdays. The Endless Love actress admits that she’s part of the problem, especially since her looks have always been the first thing people pay attention to.
Nonetheless, the mom-of-two is happy to admit that she has noticed changes happening in Hollywood, with an increase in inclusivity in regards to age and bodies. With that said, she admits that when it comes to accepting yourself, and your age, it all starts at home,
“When it gets right down to it, you’re only going to be able to find the happiness, the confidence, the peace and the acceptance of your uniqueness inside you… Comparison is the kiss of death. We all do it and I have to remind myself daily not to do it.”
The People’s Choice Awards winner says that we need to be honest about what makes us happy when it comes to our appearance. She adds that we should feel free to make any changes we want to. However, she does caution against using that as an excuse to avoid delving into the real issue that could be stemming from the inside.
Starting the next chapter of your life
Brooke Shield’s latest venture is Beginning Is Now, a website that combats ageism. Through this venture, she’s heard countless stories from older women who are not only struggling with their appearance but also with the next chapter of their lives.
“How do you pivot?” she asks, “You’ve done all of these things, or maybe you haven’t done them, so what are you supposed to do?”
If you want to learn something new, then the former Calvin Klein model encourages you to do so. For instance, Shields shares that she’s never cooked, but she’s now started to learn more about the skill,
“I’m not necessarily going to wow my family, but it’s something I’ve never done before, and I encourage people [women] to take steps to decide how they want to live their days,” she says.
Brooke Shields points out that hitting a certain age does not mean that you can’t get in shape. Yes, your hormones may have changed the way your body puts on weight, and you may have old injuries. However, this just means that there are adjustments that need to be made. You don’t get to hide behind your age and now you don’t want to be healthy and in shape.
Yes, getting older is a process that definitely requires some getting used to. However, it doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience, and you don’t have to go through it alone. Brooke Shields mentions the importance of community. She maintains that connecting with people your age can motivate you to become a better and healthier version of yourself,
“Find people that inspire you that are in your age range. Try to learn from them and find similarities with yourself… Try to find inspiration from people who are open about their struggles and discomforts…Don’t get small, try to widen your vision a little.”
MAIN IMAGE CREDIT: Beginning Is Now
Listen to the podcast episode