It’s hard to embrace getting older. Whether it’s true or not, aging is often associated with fewer professional opportunities, less energy, and the fading of youthful good looks and a toned physique. In fact, there is an actual diagnosable condition for people that have an extreme fear of aging called gerascophobia. Those who suffer from the condition “have very frequent thoughts about changes in their appearance due to aging and increasingly losing control over their life as they get older,” Rose Aghdami, a consulting and coaching psychologist, told Refinery29, noting the condition can trigger panic attacks, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, and shaking.
But getting older really isn’t so bad, and that’s according to celebrities over 60 who know even more about being pigeonholed by their age than the rest of us. So, if you’re feeling trepidation about getting older, read on to see what some of the biggest stars over age 60 say is the secret to embracing the aging process so you can continue to look and feel your best.
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Jamie Lee Curtis
Hollywood’s legendary “scream queen” Jamie Lee Curtis has frequently talked openly about the stigma surrounding aging and her frustration with it. The 62-year-old star says it’s all about not fighting something that is completely natural and inevitable. “I am appalled that the term we use to talk about aging is ‘anti,'” she wrote in an essay for HuffPost in 2012. “Aging is as natural as a baby’s softness and scent. Aging is human evolution in its pure form.”
As for turning 60? Curtis suggests that you lean into it and keep pushing forward. “All people kissing 60 have a deep well of experience to offer others. If you’re a baker, bring your baking skills. If you’re a dressmaker, bring your sewing skills. If you garden, plant a vegetable garden and work with the teachers on sustainability,” she told Good Housekeeping in 2018. “It’s too easy to sit back and look at screens and see life passing us by. Get sweaty. We can never say we’ve done enough.”
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At 66, Somali supermodel Iman is the epitome of proof that aging is beautiful. So, what does she do to feel young while getting older? Well, when asked by Taraji P. Henson in a 2018 interview for Harper’s Bazaar what the secret to aging gracefully is, the sexagenarian stunner offered two answers. “Philosophically? Not giving a d***. Physically? Taking care of your skin,” she said.
For supermodel Christie Brinkley, looking and feeling young is all about having fun and staying active.
“I think laughter is the greatest de-stressor,” the 67-year-old star told Byrdie in 2020. “Number one, call up a friend or your family and hang out. Don’t wallow in it. Just get out the door. Get outside. For me, get out of the house and take a walk. That’s important. And of course, smiling! I really do think it has to do with an attitude of gratitude. An attitude of gratitude keeps you happy, and happiness is youthful.”
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At 76 years old, Academy Award-winning actor Helen Mirren is going just as strong as ever. Her secret to feeling young while getting older is simple: embrace it.
“It’s extremely annoying to women of my generation and others following mine to have beauty products sold on a 15-year-old face. I don’t want to die young, so I’m going to get old!” Mirren told Grazia in 2019. “I think to stay engaged in life, to stay curious about life, to stay with a sense of learning about life, constantly. I think those are the things that, if you like, [help you] stay young.”
Alfre Woodard has been captivating audiences on television and film screens since the 1970s. Like Mirren, the 68-year-old says the secret to aging is owning it—and breaking a few rules in the process, as she told AARP Magazine in 2016.
“Age is what you decide you want it to be. I am still in motion here,” Woodard said. “I don’t want to put an expiration date on showing my jiggly legs at the beach, or say, ‘I’m over 50. I shouldn’t wear this.’ No, this is my 63-year-old butt, and I am free and happy. It has earned its freedom!”
Glenn Close is another Hollywood icon in her seventies—74, to be exact—who has continued to stay relevant in an industry that isn’t exactly known for making aging easy, especially for women. Close recalled to Good Housekeeping in 2007 that turning 60 was not the nightmare she anticipated, noting that one of the keys to aging is a simple shift of perspective.
“All your life, you think 60 is ancient, and all of a sudden, you find you’re 60 and you don’t really feel that different. I feel stronger and more engaged. This is the best time of my life,” she said.
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Reality TV star Sharon Osbourne says the secret to looking good and feeling good as you age is to do it for yourself and not worry about other people’s expectations.
“I believe in being good to yourself,” the now 68-year-old told E! News in 2015. “It’s not just about getting into that little black dress or I want to look good in this or that. Look good for yourself and be healthy for yourself. We take care of everybody else and the last person we take care of is yourself. Just remember how important you are.”
Sharon Stone has been heating up the silver screen for decades, perhaps most famously in the 1992 controversial erotic thriller Basic Instinct. However, the 63-year-old star feels just as beautiful now as she did then—if not more so. Aging, she says, is something to be grateful for.
“I’m so grateful to my body,” Stone told Allure in 2019. “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.”
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Oprah Winfrey is one of the most powerful people on the planet, so if anyone has sage advice on how to feel your best as you age, it’s the 67-year-old media mogul. And for her, it’s all about being honest with yourself.
“Of course I want to look my best. I want to feel strong and vibrant,” she wrote in a 2013 essay that appeared on HuffPost. “But I know for sure that the pathway to your best life isn’t the route of denial. It’s owning every moment. Staking a claim in right now. And, with gratitude, embracing the age you are.”
At age 70, Jane Seymour continues to set an example for how graceful aging can be. For the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman star, looking and feeling young is all about balance—and a little bit of hard work.
“I work out but not obsessively. I eat everything in moderation and I grow organic food and I tend to eat from the garden,” Seymour told E! News in 2014. “[For my workouts] I do a combination of spinning, Pilates, gyrotonics and lightweights. [For skincare] I don’t even have facials. I do my own makeup. So I just look after my own skin and I take care of myself.”
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