Paulina Porizkova says she feels better about her body at 57 than ever

Paulina Porizkova says she feels better about her body at 57 than ever
Paulina Porizkova says she feels better about her body at 57 than ever
Paulina Porizkova on how perspective changed her relationship with her body. (Photo: Getty Images; designed by Liliana Penagos)

He figures is Yahoo Life’s body image series, delving into the journeys of influential and inspiring people as they explore what body confidence, body neutrality and self-love mean to them.

Paulina Porizkova has received praise and criticism for baring her body on Instagram at the age of 57. be vulnerable and visible.

The two words come up often in her chat with Yahoo Life, where she discusses the lessons she’s learned throughout her time in the spotlight. While she had long been appreciated for her youth, beauty and body, Porizkova says she was nothing more than a “hanger” during what was considered her peak.

“From an older woman’s perspective, I see myself as young and I think what was there to celebrate? I didn’t have half my intelligence, I didn’t have half my understanding, I didn’t have my patience, I didn’t have the character. Really when they say I was in my prime, the only thing that was the bonus about me was that my face didn’t have any wrinkles, I didn’t have any on my body, that I was a smooth canvas,” she explains. “All good things happen as you grow. So why do we celebrate youth as much as we do? I’m still looking for that answer. For example, why do we worship the youth? Why do women my age want to look 20 years younger?”

As Porizkova continues to spend time acknowledging the privilege she experienced through her beauty – something she writes about in her latest essay book, No filter — she also struggles with the isolation and unknowns that come with being told you’ve aged because of this beauty.

“As a young woman, I thought I was the most interesting person in the room. And because of my fame and how I looked, people were letting me off the hook,” she says. Now she feels she can’t even post on Instagram unscathed. “There is shame attached to aging, so when you post a photo of yourself that looks your age, you are already ashamed. … There’s quite a bit of concern, you feel really vulnerable posting where people can shame you, and you shame social media. There will always be a few who will add, you know, like, “Oh, you should retire, old witch. Why are you posting ugly pictures?” Like, ‘Who wants to see this shit?’”

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The difference between these experiences is “humiliating,” she says. More importantly, it allowed her to reflect on the perspective she gained from better understanding that her youth and her body have been a commodity. By acknowledging the value that has been placed on her appearance for so long, she can better determine what she values ​​today. Turns out, it has little to do with her appearance.

“I’ve come to a point of at least internal self-acceptance, I don’t know what it is externally because it keeps changing for me. But internally, I’ve come to accept that I’m an anxious person, I’m a person who’s going to have bouts of depression, I’m a person who can be really kind and empathetic and also very judgmental, and fucking. I kind of came to accept that I am all of those things and that allows me to have a better relationship with my body. I know who I am,” she explains. “I also think, wow, my body got me this far and it still works, most of the time. If it weren’t for the arthritis, my body would be fine and I’m grateful for that.”

Porizkova reflects on having a very different outlook in the past and emphasizing what she looked like rather than how she felt. In her book, she recalls a morning when she felt overwhelming fear after waking up with a pimple on her face before going to a modeling gig. “That Paulina who had a pimple panic attack, I sure wouldn’t fucking want to be her again, I’ll tell you. It wasn’t fun,” she said. “Most people my age would never want to go back to a younger body for even three months. Isn’t it amazing? It doesn’t interest me at all.”

And while she now seems to be watching him from a healthy, healed place, Porizkova says her perspective is simply the result of life experience. “I don’t really think gratitude is for young people, you know, hope is for young people and then gratitude is for us middle-aged people. Because we already know what lies ahead, we know how difficult life can be,” she says. . “When you’re young, you wake up and take for granted your beautiful smooth skin and your beautiful high breasts, and all that goes with it. And sometimes you can be a little plump or have acne, I mean, like, you know, things that aren’t socially considered beautiful, but there’s hope that it will go away, n ‘is this not ? That it will be fixed. At my age, it’s like, I mean, you can always fix things, but will you my big dimpled thighs keep me from having a good life? No. I know it.

It’s a difference of priorities, she explains. “When you’re younger, your priority is kind of to do everything and yeah, you think, ‘Oh my God, if only my nose was shorter, I’d be loved and I’d have all the dates I wanted'” she said, “When you’re in your 50s, you know that’s not true. Your nose brought you here and making it different isn’t really going to do anything. It’s like that. So that’s the beauty of being older.”

What’s more difficult about where she is now, however, is that while the aging process doesn’t stop, the visibility of women above a certain age is decreasing. Still, that hasn’t stopped her from posting poolside bikini snaps or sharing intimate scenes from her bedroom to her own Instagram page, where she amassed a following of over 893,000. It’s not that she feels the prettiest and most confident in every position, but rather that women over 50 deserve to be seen, even the most vulnerable.

“Sometimes I post because I have something to say, but sometimes I post because that’s what I want to see. I posted pictures that to me are really vulnerable, where I looked older, you could see every wrinkle and every pore and I thought that was a bit unflattering to me, but I could see that other people really liked him. Other women my age were really into it,” she says. “I wish my peers would let me see them at home in their sweatpants and a fat face. I would like to see them without makeup, without filters and in close-up. I want to see what they look like. This service is not super provided on Instagram, so I will provide what I am looking for.

Porizkova has been consistent in her efforts and has had an impact on other women who she says have gained “the courage to accept their age” by following her example. But being the one who comes into the world to talk about beauty, body and aging is not easy, especially as she begins to feel responsible.

“It kind of petrifies me because now I’m like, ‘Whoa, I accidentally made myself an aging advocate.’ I don’t even know how I feel about aging, I don’t know all the facets of it. Now, it’s like when I do an article about a laser that I had, I’ll have plenty of women standing up and saying, “Well, then you can’t be an advocate for aging. You just cheated,” she said. “It’s a bit like giving in to rejuvenate yourself with available stuff. And I feel like when I’m doing a laser too, I kind of feel like I’m giving in a bit. Give in, I can’t maintain, I’m gonna have to give in a little here. It’s kind of like an ongoing battle. “

She uses other people as a role model when she can, noting how much she admires the natural beauty of near-aged women, like Naomi Watts. “She is so beautiful. And she’s so clearly real and I can read all of her emotions on her face and I love the way she looks, like I’m transfixed. And then it makes me feel a little bit better because I think, well maybe someone feels that way about me,” she says.

The problem is that these women are rarely represented in mainstream media and have honest conversations about the nuances of growing old and growing old.

“I can’t find enough representation of myself, a woman my age who looks her age and talks about good and bad,” Porizkova says. “So I do.”

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