Hollywood doesn’t exactly have a stellar history of casting older actors in lead roles, especially women. You’ll often see a 50+ year old lead with a romantic co-star who’s 20 years their junior. Or a young lead covered in makeup to portray a character’s older years instead of hiring an age appropriate actor. Times (and trends) may be shifting for the better, but you don’t have to wait for the industry to catch up to learn how to gracefully embrace aging as an actor.
(And P.S. it’s actually so much more fun than you realize!)
Our bodies are constantly changing, and for each decade of your life, your body will be nothing like the others. We cannot stop aging, it’s the natural process of living. Unfortunately, it’s often associated with deterioration, decrepitude, and decline — and it’s happening inside your body long before you notice it on the outside. But growing older and how you choose to do it is entirely up to you!
The secret I’ve found in my work and from how I live my own life is that, while community, a whole foods diet, a non-toxic environment and exercise are all parts of living a long, healthy life — it’s ultimately how you think and feel about growing older that plays the biggest role in success.
Easier said than done, huh?
Well, get ready to discover my Top 6 tips to help you shift your perspective and gracefully grow older like the gods and goddesses of screen and stage you are.
1) Examine Your Limiting Beliefs Around Aging
Your mindset can be stronger than almost anything going on internally. We see examples of this all the time, from professional athletes who push past the boundaries of what we believe is physically possible to ordinary people who perform extraordinary feats under pressure, in hostile environments or in natural disasters.
We talk a lot on my blog about mindset because you really can change your life by changing your beliefs.
So what are your beliefs around growing older as an actor? If you think women expire at 40, then that’s what you’re going to get.
I see it time and time again with my clients, my friends, my fellow actors and myself — if you think something is going to be hard, it will be. Why? Because you will ultimately make it hard on yourself.
So once you hit the big 4-0, if you think life is over, you’ll start focusing on everything negative, all because you’ve decided you’re “over the hill” and “out to pasture”. We are not cartons of milk, my friends. You don’t have a only-good-until date!
You will, however, age, and your body will change. And if you have a crummy attitude around aging now, it’s only going to get worse as time passes. So the earlier you can embrace the power you have to experience aging happily, the longer you can enjoy your fantastic life, regardless of what happens in your acting career.
The first step is to bring your beliefs around aging to the surface, because you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. (Thank you, Dr. Phil.) Once you’re aware of your beliefs around aging, practice instilling new ones around it instead.
2) Seek Out Positive Examples
Do a little research to find women and men whose perspectives on aging you admire or who have found (or continued to find) success in Hollywood as they age.
Whereas the average age of stars was typically in their late 30s in the 2000s, the current average actor age has reached the mid-40s and is steadily climbing toward 50, according to one study. While this trend is more common for men, there are still lots of examples of women running the show in front of and behind the camera, such as Viola Davis, Sandra Bullock, Helena Bonham Carter, Helen Mirren, and Shonda Lynn Rhimes.
And for all the ladies, I also really encourage you to read Dr. Christiane Northrup’s 2015 book Goddesses Never Age. Dr. Northrup is board-certified ob/gyn and the author of countless New York Times best selling books that have changed the landscape of women’s health. She is one of the trailblazers in regards to growing older with grace and ease, and living their best lives—not in spite of their age, but beautifully with their age.
3) Stop Antagonizing Yourself About Your Age
We all know that negative self-talk is bad for us, but when it comes to aging, we are surprisingly liberal with trash talk.
Stop saying, “Oh my gosh, I’m sooooooo ooooold,” just because you’re tired at 9 p.m. I used to be so guilty of this because I was really trying to keep my age to myself, especially being an actor, but then I found the freedom in embracing myself, and my age!
You know when you hear a 24 year old complain about their age, your eyes roll back in your head? Well, it’s the same experience no matter how old the person is, because there is always someone out there older than you thinking, “Oh, shut the eff up!”
And stop blaming health problems on your age! Serious illnesses aside, when you stop telling your body how old you are, how tired you are, how achy you are, I’m telling you, your body will not know!
Notice your language around age, and step out of the negative narrative. Stop reinforcing that expiration date society is constantly trying to push on you and lean into aging happily.
4) Don’t Use Your Age As An Excuse To Not Take Action
Don’t let your age limit you from doing what you love — from trying new things, from wearing tight jeans to a bikini or mini skirt. If anything, you want to do the opposite, because as we all know, life is too short and uncertain.
Take a cue from artist, model, author and pro-age advocate Yazemeenah Rossi:
“I think when you’re set in these limits it puts so much stress on the body and cuts you off from being who you want to be. If you don’t follow what makes you happy, slowly it starts to die. I think this is one of the secrets to staying young, it’s very simple.”
You are only restricted by the limits you put on yourself. You’ll hear tons of background noise from society, telling you that you can’t get married after a certain age, or change careers, find acting success, move abroad, take a big adventure, blah, blah, blah. But it’s all bull$h!t.
In my 40s, I can still do all the same physical activities that I did five or even ten years ago. I may not be as fast or as limber as I was in my 20’s, but I never limit myself — or my possibilities! So, keep moving, my friends! You’re all vibrant, badass babes — at any age.
If you’re scared to take a risk — check out my tips on embracing a beginner’s mindset. One of the best parts of growing older is the freedom to do literally anything, without having to ask permission, so don’t let your D.O.B. narrow the path for you.
I totally recommend checking out Leveraging the Universe and Engaging the Magic by Mike Dooley, for more explanation on how you can use the gifts of thought, word, and deed to harness the grace of the Universe to help you choose your path, chart your course through the industry, and create the life of your dreams.
5) Detox Your Diet
I’ll keep this short and sweet because you’ve probably heard me say it 1000 times. For optimum health, you need to maintain a consistent diet of natural (preferably organic) whole foods with mostly plant-based options. If you eat meat, choose pasture centered meats, ideally from your local farmers market! Limit your sugar, gluten, alcohol and dairy. Increase your water intake.
Look, I am not a drill sergeant — I am a healthy carnivore who carefully and consciously chooses the meat I consume. I certainly love a good glass of wine with some yummy cheese once in a while.
I’ve tried ALL the options (vegetarian, vegan, raw, you name it) and figured out the right balance for my body. I encourage you to do the same. Treat your body beautifully for a long, happy life.
6) Protect Your Body
Your body is the only thing you’ll have your whole life.
Let that sink in for a minute.
So, you obviously want to protect the outside as much as the inside while aging happily. To do this, you really need to clean up the toxicity in your home and in the products you put on your body.
I know it can get expensive to do a full-scale makeover of your medicine cabinet and kitchen pantry. Luckily, you can begin by replacing your current products with healthier ones as they run out. Some of my favorite affordable Non-Toxic Beauty Brands include Osea, EO Organics, Beautycounter, Ilia Beauty, Kosas and Milk Makeup. And check out the Environmental Working Group’s Annual Guide to Sunscreens for a current list of effective, natural sunscreens.
I also recommend that when you start detoxing your house, start with your bedroom because you spend so much time in there. You want it to be a safe and relaxing sanctuary. Finally, here are some fun Detox Rituals to help you bring balance to your body, one spa trip at a time.
Now, I would love to hear what beliefs you currently have around embracing your age as an actor. What will your first step toward growing older gracefully be?
Leave me a comment below, and let me know how I can support your journey to living like the divine humans you are!
LOVE + graceful living,