Sex and the City and And Just Like That star Sarah Jessica Parker shared some honest yet sobering truths about Hollywood standards and broader ageism issues in a new interview with US radio interviewer and presenter Howard Stern.
When asked if she saw a ‘good looking person’ when she looks in the mirror, the actor admittedly faltered. 'I’m presentable,' she responded, 'I don’t really like looking at myself. I think I'm fine.'
In terms of considering doing a facelift or botox, Sarah was clear that she’d considered it. ‘I think about all of it. I ask people all the time, is it too late?'
Describing her experiences getting peels and other related skincare treatments, she continued: ‘I’ll do any of that stuff… I honestly think I missed out on the facelift, the old-fashioned good one that you have when you’re 44.’
While the logistics of getting plastic surgery before your skin ages too much is completely understandable, it is also heartbreaking that someone who looks like Sarah Jessica Parker feels like she’s ‘missed out’ on anything when it comes to her looks, let alone having any reservations about looking in the mirror.
It also feels like a woman’s 40s is viewed as a marker of when their skin and body is ‘past it’ and not viable or worth bothering with when it comes to beauty. The fact that someone has successful and conventionally beautiful as Sarah Jessica Parker is affected by these pressures is a huge indictment of not just Hollywood’s ageism but society’s complete dismissal of older women and how they look.
Sarah didn’t shy away from the core reason why so many people get anti-ageing treatments and plastic surgery, and the inherent sexism that lies at the centre of this problem.
‘I do understand why people make the choice because there’s so much emphasis put on especially women and primarily women about looks,’ she said.
She also gave an example of the media and fans commenting on her grey hair in paparazzi photos with Andy Cohen back in 2021 as an example of the gendered double standard when it comes to ageing.
‘I’m sitting next to Andy Cohen, whose head is covered in grey hair and you’ve not mentioned that at all,’ she said. ‘So I understand why women feel like there is so much chatter, [and] peripheral opinions.
‘I don’t think it’s wrong,’ she added. ‘I think people should do whatever they feel makes them feel better walking out the door, frankly.’
From grey hairs to the way our skin changes as we age, Sarah’s words and revealed insecurities throw into sharp relief the huge chasm between men and women when it comes to feeling comfortable in our bodies, as well as the shocking ageism that Hollywood pushes on women everyday.
Normalising these feelings of inadequacy by talking about them can only be a positive, though, in the hopes that one day all of us can all look in the mirror and not feel lessened by age, whether we’re a Hollywood star or not.