Why I'm Following Sharon Stone's Advice on Aging

Posted 07/20/12 at 09:16AM by Audrey Fine

A year or so ago, I wrote a column called My Struggle to Age Gracefully: How Keeping Things in Perspective Helps to Keep Me Sane. Well, Sorta. Yeah, yeah, not the world's most succinct headline, but it spoke to how I was feeling at the time.

In the piece, I talked about how I'd once thought my "beauty" had peaked at age 26, and how it wasn't until many years later that I'd realized how idiotic I'd been to think such a thing.

In full indulgent-writer mode, I went on to explain how, at 35, I'd had an "a-ha" moment. I realized I was never going to look any better, or any younger, than I did at the present moment. "The grains of sand were sifting through the hourglass, and I could do absolutely nothing about it. I had to embrace the here and now -- and my looks."

And, before y'all jumped all over me about being too caught up in the superficial, I back-pedaled -- a little. "To read this, it sounds like I'm an incredibly vain, shallow woman who's all-consumed with her beauty quotient. The thing is, I'm really not. I'm more concerned with the lack of youth. Growing old kinda sucks. Plain and simple. As a woman, to the outside world, you become invisible. The glances from men on the street wane to a point where, when some creep whistles at you, you want to run over and thank him. It's when I find myself thinking along these lines that I have to stop and remember that it shouldn't matter how strangers perceive me. That what's important is being a good person on the inside -- being a great mom, thoughtful friend, and dutiful wife."

Nice sentiment, huh? Thanks.

What made me remember that column today was something I read in some blog this morning. Seems that in January of 2008, Harper's Bazaar published a story on the then 49-year-old Sharon Stone and her "beauty secrets." In the article she talks about being tapped to be the face of Dior in her 40s, eschewing facials because she doesn't "like people to push and pick at my face," the fact that she only washes her hair twice a week, and that she has a weakness for dark chocolate. And, while that's all very well and good, it's not what struck a chord with me.

What she said that really hit home was the following: "Sometimes I literally have to sit down and look at myself and say, 'You are a lot older, and you look completely different.' You can't just keep doing the same hairdo or the same makeup and the same jewelry and the same look. You have to face the face that you have."

Isn't that interesting? It's an incredibly obvious concept of course, yet somehow still murky and hard to grasp. We all poke fun at those who are stuck in a time warp -- you know, the ones who have the same big hair, bright eye makeup, and Levi's 501s as they did in 1982. Yet, guess what? When we insist on seeing who we were in the mirror rather than who we've become, that's what happens.

What I'm gleaning from this latest a-ha moment is that it's not just my attitude about aging that needs to change, but also my perception of myself. To whit, it's time to take a cold hard look in the mirror and adapt my skin care regimens, makeup application, and hairstyling accordingly.

Oh, and it'd also be a good thing to stop judging others by their telltale scrunchies -- 'cause after all, they're struggling just like I am.
And the survey says...
1-6 of 12 Comments

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  • Posted by GigiSD on 03/05/13 at 12:23pm

    This is a brilliant article; everyone is aging, and we have to realize that each of us is included in that group. But as EricaF123 wisely says, being a good person--being beautiful on the inside--is what truly matters. And that's lasting beauty!

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  • Posted by kimihavens on 12/26/12 at 02:28pm

    I know it sounds crazy but I'm looking forward to getting older. Im 25 now and life is pretty great, but I get more excited about how it will evolving in the coming decades. Its about hope.

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  • Posted by EricaF123 on 12/19/12 at 02:41pm

    Being a good person inside is definitely what matters

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  • Posted by skinpro on 08/23/12 at 07:53pm

    It's a balancing act for me as I get older-I still enjoy the wild and trendy next new thing and extreme looks but now I enjoy the extremes on my younger friends. For me at almost 50 a lot of doesn't work anymore, so I adapt, modify and enjoy an eyepopping accessory here and there.

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