Paulina Porizkova was one of my favourite models when I was a teenager. Now that I’m in my 50s I have even more reasons to love her. Not only do I like the way she still carries herself but also the way she’s challenging ageism.
Yes, even supermodels like her have to face ageist comments but I guess being so popular and having a wide following on social media have helped her to address the problem more effectively.
She is now reframing the idea of growing older with a brilliant book: “No Filter. The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful“, a wise and compelling exploration of heartbreak, ageing, relationships, re-invention and finding your purpose in midlife, a memoir here at CrunchyTales we simply can’t put down.
“The novel is a chance to connect with women my age who feel they are seen only one way, or not seen at all“, she explains. “Probably in my mid-40s, I started noticing this sort of slight cloak of invisibility but I’m now in my prime. Maybe I was glossier and prettier 20 years ago, but I was only half as smart. As a woman, this is me at my best.”
But still, feeling great at this age and realising how important is to work on our self-esteem doesn’t mean we’ll easily stop fighting the internal battles every midlife woman feels inside: the one against invisibility and the one for self-acceptance. Something Paulina has explored in her book very well, offering us an interesting point of view worth meditating on.
“In the war against invisibility, I can battle my own face with the help of professionals. I can erase lines and sags with modern technology. I can use Botox and fillers and scalpels to be pretty again, but at the cost of losing the characteristics that are unique to me, and which I’ve worked so hard to achieve“, she says. “For those of us who want to be visible, it may seem like the best option. But which do I want more: Visibility or character? Prettiness? Or my life, with all its joy and grief, written on my face? In the war for self-acceptance, I have to battle myself, not to erase but to acquire: confidence, self-assurance, and acceptance. I want to be seen for all that I am: the good, the bad, the beautiful“.
In the end, ageing is very complicated for everyone, whether you are a star or not. Hoping sooner or later we will all get there like Paulina, feeling proud of the women we’re becoming, realising what truly matters and letting the small stuff slide, what we can do in the meantime is understand that ageing is not a synonym for declining. It represents change, wisdom and confidence. After all, aren’t these traits the ones we all longed for?