Tell us about someone you think as a role model for aging beautifully? Why?

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Category: Question of the Week 33 comments »

33 Responses to “Tell us about someone you think as a role model for aging beautifully? Why?”

  1. Dr. Vivian

    I like the way Sally Fields and Patricia Wettig are portrayed as women on the television show “Brothers and Sisters.” Although I don’t know either of them personally and can’t say much about who they are as people, I admire their courage to present themselves in the public eye as women who can be proud of their aging faces. Surely they are good actresses and have the benefit of being well lit and made up to work in front of the camera, but they come across as natural, with faces that appear to have no cosmetic surgery. We need to see more women like them on television and in the movies so we begin to associate beauty at midlife with these kinds of faces and bodies, rather than with those who work too hard to appear younger than they are. Dr.Vivian

  2. Susan

    Meryl Streep comes to mind for me as a woman not afraid of her age. Her confidence in herself just shines through, making her look that much more beautiful.

  3. Dr. Vivian

    Agreed. We need more like Meryl Streep (in the public eye) and others in everyday life, who exude confidence, so more women will know it’s possible to feel attractive at any age. Dr. Vivian

  4. Susan

    I agree about Meryl Streep. Also, I watched Audrey Hepburn age and I would put her in that same group as Meryl. I read once that she would tell publishers not to touch up photos of her (they ignored that). She was in her mid 60’s and didn’t have any “work” done on her. Yes, she looked older, but she still looked like Audrey Hepburn.I admired her about that. She had a sense that other things were more important in life.I was in NYC in a department store and saw a woman in her 70’s. I’ll never forget her. She had grey hair, wrinkles, but she had a vibrancy that was electric, which gave her a youthfulness. There is something so powerful about your inner energy and that “vibe” Susan

  5. Dr. Vivian


    Since working on this book, Face It, I notice more and more women like that one you saw in the department store. It’s reassuring that they are out there and are providing us with models for what is possible as an aging woman. Perhaps my internal lens has changed, so that I see the world and people differently? Or after speaking to more women responding to this book, I’ve become more aware of how many women are determined to fight this ‘anti aging’ craze with dignity and grace. Whichever it is, I agree with you. Women can look great in their 60’s, 70’s and into the 90’s. More women need to join the Streeps and Hepburns in feeling confident about their aging appearance. Let’s start a new movement! Spread the word. That’s how change happens. Dr. Vivian

  6. Susan

    Right on sister!!!!

  7. Susan

    Another quote for you is from Catherin Deneuve about aging “I live with what I have and not with what I had”….

  8. Susan

    Another role model that comes to mind is Julie Christie. I will never forget her in the movie “Away from Her” one scene was were the camera did a straight dead on center on her upper body and face and held that shot for a least 30-45 secs while her husband’s voice was overlayed in the background. There was no blinking away from the fact that she looked older, hardly any makeup, lined etc. But WOW! I thought this woman gives me courage! Can’t imagine what it must be like to be in the movie business as an actress. That scene put it right in your face and she didn’t flinch!!…I suspect that Annette Benning is the same way….

  9. Dr. Vivian


    Let’s keep adding to the list. If it keeps growing larger, these are the images that will come to mind as we think of what beautiful at midlife means. Dr. Vivian

  10. Bev

    Helen Mirren!! She’s absolutely gorgeous

  11. Dr.Vivian

    Yes, Mirren is beautiful. How about Sally Field? There was just a TV special on NBC about her and the work she is doing to help young women through an organization called Vital Voices. She looked great and has done some very good things throughout her long acting career. And she provides a nice role model in her TV series, “Brothers and Sisters.” Our list keeps growing. Dr. Vivian

  12. Paula

    Emmylou Harris. Beautiful, accomplished, confident and independent. Just what I want to be when I grow up… :)

  13. Dr. Vivian

    We are often asked for names of public figures who women can look up to. Harris is a great one. Thanks. Dr. D.

  14. Sage Knight

    Yes, Meryl Streep came to mind immediately – with a balanced view. I loved the moment in “It’s Complicated” where she wouldn’t show her ex her body after having sex with him. “It looks different standing up.” Too true!

    Also, Susan Sarandon. I’ve watched her since “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and she brings a tough grace and self possession that I find heartening.

  15. Dr.Vivian

    Ah yes, Susan Sarandon. We mention her in our book, “Face It.” She has the kind of face that exudes both vulnerability and confidence. And, she doesn’t look like she has had any major work done. You never know, but her assets are her character and talent and I only hope she continues to get roles so we can admire how she ages on screen.

  16. Lynn Krown MFT

    There is an ageless quality that communicates aliveness, wisdom and self-awareness in a “woman of a certain age” who is finally comfortable with who she is. So many younger women that I see as a psychotherapist, are hyper critical of their looks, body, lack of eroticism despite being in their 40’s. Helen Miren, Merly Streep and others mentioned on this post exude this ageless quality. Charisma, self-awareness and confidence that is more than skin deep.

  17. Dr. Debbie

    I’m a bit disappointed that all of the responses, so far, include only performers or actresses. Sandra Day O’Connor and Dr. Matina Horner are only two, among many brilliant women, who embody the essence of beauty, elegance and style. Our role models should specifically include women who don’t normally have a ‘team’ of beauty professionals and consultants regularly on call. If we continue to look to actresses and performers as our role models, then we may be setting our sights on goals that are, for most of us, unattainable.

  18. Dr. Vivian

    Dr. Debbie, you make a great point. We live in such a celebrity driven world, it’s easy to point our fingers at women on screen, both with praise, but with criticism too. There is a world out there beyond the media.

  19. Quetzalli

    Definitely, in the U.S. we are celebrity driven.

    I often wonder if culture comes into play here. I am Amerindian. The women in my family age gracefully and accept aging as a natural process. None of the women in my family have ever had cosmetic procedures. Like most Amerindian women, their look is very natural. They do not get their hair cut and styled, rather they wear it in a long braid down their back or in a braided bun. They never dye their hair and usually never wear any makeup (except for me, I do wear makeup). I consider them beautiful and I think most others do to.

    Their attitude towards aging in general is different. They seem to easily accept that their prime has past and that it is now the time for our younger ones to experience the bloom of youth. I have never heard any of them fretting over their aging skin or tired look. They seem to be more concerned with how they feel than how they look. Even their attitudes towards menopause is different and is probably why they do not suffer the discomforts usually associated with menopause.

  20. Sandy metry

    Jane Fonda stands out for me. Her honesty in keeping her body/face attractive and self-pleasing are qualities I admire. Vanity is one of my weaknesses or possibly strengths. Wrinkles, for me, cause sadness and a yearning for yesterday – if looking younger increases my energy level, why not!

  21. Jen

    I just turned 40 less than an hour ago and stumbled upon this site while searching for healthy ways to address the feelings I’m experiencing about getting older. I cant wait to read your book.

  22. Lenore

    Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show), Lauren Hutton, Queen Elizabeth and my boss at work. At 66 she looks almost the same as she did when she hired me 33 years ago!
    Sorry I can’t think of anyone who isn’t a celebrity though. If they aren’t in the public eye, how would we know what they look like over the years?

  23. Malkie Citrin

    Louise Hays!!!!!!!
    She too was a model and from reading her work and seeing pictures – its all about the confidence and happiness one exudes!

  24. Dr.Vivian

    How did you like the “I Can Do It” convention? Were you able to make it to the Face It program on Saturday? Yes, Louise Hays is all about confidence!

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  26. Ron Bottitta

    As I was looking through the Huffington post, I came across some of your posts. I have been acutely aware of aging and women, because my wife, actress Holly Fulger, recently started a collection of workshops called The Core Beauty Workshops for women. She is committed to helping women embrace their beauty and understand their beauty from the inside out. I have watched her wrestle with aging and transform that challenge into helping other women who are facing similar issues. I think she is incredibly beautiful and I am so proud of her. I have included her website above.
    Many thanks,
    Ron Bottitta

  27. Valarie Cook Cascadden

    The classic performers such as Sophia Loren are my public role models for healthy aging, but my personal ones are my mother and late maternal grandmother. Their greatest beauty secret has to be their ATTITUDE — courageous, resourceful, and open-hearted.

  28. Gidget Wenstrom

    Wow. Looks like we have some intelligent people here!

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  33. Juana

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