She might have been recognised amongst the sexiest women in the world, but Penelope Cruz, 46, is not just a pretty face. For the Hollywood star, recently referred to as the next ‘James Bond’ girl, ageing is something to celebrate. She is strongly against plastic surgery and she feels that even the media shouldn’t put pressure on actresses asking them to talk about what they will do when they get older. “Beauty is a very complex thing that can’t be put in a cage or defined by rules- she says-. It doesn’t have to be within the parameters that society dictates”.
In particular, since she became a mother, Penelope has recognised that she is not just a sex-symbol but a female role model who has to speak out against ageism and media’s stereotypes.
Journalists have been asking me, since I was, like, 22: are you afraid of ageing? That is such a crazy question for a 22-year-old girl or, for that matter, for a 40-something-year-old. I combat that craziness by refusing to answer the question – she says-. Many people want to discuss the fear of growing older, but it’s something that really doesn’t bother me. When you have children, your attention is put on the more important things.
Yes, motherhood has changed her for the better and now family is her priority.
I’m happy to say, that my ego has gotten smaller over time – she explains-. I used to be so afraid about what people were going to think of me if I was going to be accepted if I was going to be loved. I put a lot of energy into the perception of myself. Since giving birth to my children Luna and Leo (the kids she had with her husband, actor Javier Bardem) something very deep changed in me: I really don’t care about a lot of the stuff I used to worry about before. That’s part of growing up, and now I have to go through other tests that life will put in front of me.
Talking about her beauty regime, it is currently less about products and more about nutrition. Since the year 2000, the actress has been a vegetarian and that is supposed to be the main reason for her being able to maintain that lovely figure. Her favourite fitness combo? A combination of classical ballet and Pilates. She is also a big believer in supplements, taking a daily combination of probiotics, enzymes and vitamins. “Lots of people ask me about beauty and skincare, but I aim to keep it low-key. Nowadays I am much more about how health and nutrition keep us looking good. You have to build from the inside and I’m a firm believer in that – she explains.- I really believe it’s true that your stomach is your second brain“.
Penelope thinks of food as her friend rather than her enemy. “I try to avoid dairy and sugar, and I can’t eat gluten because I have a big intolerance – she says-. I eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and quality protein from free-range animals. I also drink gallons of water now, which is something I wasn’t doing before. I barely drink alcohol, and I quit smoking years ago.”
When not busy on a set, Penelope Cruz, the first Spanish actress in history to receive an Academy Award, who also starred in several great movies such as Open Your Eyes, Vanilla Sky, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Volver, is also involved in social causes. “For me, it is outrageous that in the 21st century, women continue to be inferior only due to their gender – she said, last year, supporting the campaign ‘Write Her Future‘, a worldwide project by Lancôme-. It is sad and intolerable that so many girls have to leave school for their survival, to help their families, at an age when they should be learning,” the star says.
Alongside her acting career, she also built up a reputation as a fashion designer, collaborating in the past with the clothing brand Mango and launching her own diffusion lingerie line for Agent Provocateur with her sister, Monica.
‘Gratitude‘, she reveals, is her best anti-ageing. “I’m very grateful for my amazing life – she says-. Every day I appreciate the people I have in my life, the job I am paid to do, the food I have on my plate, and the health that keeps me going. I feel very blessed and I have to pinch myself sometimes and I promise myself to never take it for granted“.
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