Cameron Diaz: ‘If you make it to 85, you’re the happiest you’ve ever been’

Cameron Diaz is promoting her second health and wellness book, The Longevity Book, out now. She’s giving a lot of quotes on aging, on accepting it and on living life in a healthy, positive way. Some of the things she’s saying I can relate to and have heard in various ways from other older women. My mom is always telling me that the older I get the less I’ll give a sh*t about things and she’s absolutely right. I’m Cameron’s age, 43, and in many ways I feel more confident than I ever have. Here’s some of what she’s said in various interviews promoting this book.

Her theory on happiness and aging
It’s called the U-bend of happiness. Basically, when we’re 18, we’re happy. Of course we are, duh. Then, when we’re in our twenties and thirties, it starts to get stressful and life isn’t so much fun. Then, in our forties, we start to lighten up a bit more — we’re more comfortable with ourselves, we’re more knowing, more connected, more appreciative. [At] 50, it’s even better. But if you make it to 85, you’re the happiest you’ve ever been. Isn’t that amazing? Because you get there and you don’t give a s–t. … Look, I’m 43. … It’s not as hard as 25. Twenty-five sucked. – From US Magazine

Aging is about living
There’s no secret to aging well. There’s a basic way of doing it and it’s called living. It’s how well you live…how well you take care of yourself. There are five pillars of well-being. It’s good nutrition, good movement of the body, good night’s sleep, stress release and meaningful, connected, loving relationships.

You need to take responsibility for your body
This book…will help women take responsibility for their body…if you don’t get ahead of that…then what happens is that you become sickly, and old and broken instead of being full of life until the end of it. – From ABC News

On meeting her husband, Benji Madden
The first thing I said when I first met my [would be] husband was, ‘He’s hot.’ How come I didn’t know this before? We had never been in the same circle… It was one of those things where everyone tells you, ‘You just know when you know.’ I was like, ‘What does that mean? Oh, I get it. You just know when you know.’ Like you’re my husband.

On how her relationship makes her forget the past
You know, nothing matters now that I have my husband. Like, I don’t even remember any of that. All of that is like, that’s the thing, that’s how I know he’s my husband…No one compares. Everything else just like washes and slips away. You realize like, ‘Oh this is like the real thing is. This is what real love is. This is what real commitment and devotion is. This is the person you build your life with.’ – From E! Online

The last time we covered Cameron she made a kind of clueless assertion about menopause, claiming that women who stress about it “have it longer and harder.” I doubt she would have said that if she’d actually started to experience it, and if so, her outlook on aging would likely be much different. I’m not trying to knock her, but I just started having hot flashes and holy sh*t, it makes you feel crazy. Perimenopause has put my whole system out of whack and I’m probably going to go on HRT soon. I’m happy to get older, I feel healthy overall, I eat well and exercise but I have a feeling that menopause is going to kick my ass for a while. Cameron is giving aging advice from the perspective of someone who has not gone through menopause and that’s fine, but it’s also obvious. This is also the perspective of someone who has never had a major health crisis. Sometimes sh*t happens and there’s absolutely nothing you could have done to prevent it.

Cameron has dedicated the book to her husband of one year, Benji Madden. She gushed, in part, “I never knew what love was until I found you. How did I ever live without your love, your friendship, your brilliant mind, your genius sense of humor, and your enormous, loving, beautiful heart?” I’m glad she’s happy with Benji I really am, but doesn’t it feel like she’s saying her way of aging is the best? Like “be happy like me in a relationship, don’t stress, and everything will go great?” Maybe that’s my hormones talking though. Her heart is in the right place.

Cameron Diaz seen at 'Cameron Diaz In Conversation with Rachael Ray' for Cameron's new work 'The Longevity Book' at the 92nd Street Y in NYC

photos credit: Getty and Pacific Coast News

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50 Responses to “Cameron Diaz: ‘If you make it to 85, you’re the happiest you’ve ever been’”

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  1. Insomniac says:

    I agree with her that 25 sucked — in fact, I hated my entire 20s — but I can’t say I’m loving the late forties much either. I guess I know what she means about being out of effs to give; at this point, I am who I am and everyone can take it or leave it. I could just do without all the gravity pulling at my body…

    • Skyblue says:

      Ditto…hated my twenties, regrouped in my thirties so to say and my forties have been good but I’m not loving that my 50th is looming at the end of the year. I just feel sort of lost for lack of a better description. Not to mention not loving all the random crap like vision changes, subtle saggy bits, grey hair, strange menstrual cycles…blech.

      • HappyMom says:

        49 year old here-sing it sister. I want to be “yay 50 year old me” but all the little stuff is bumming me out.

      • mee says:

        yes to all. I think early 40s to about 46 was ok, but I started to feel and look older about then. Am turning 50 next year and totally agree with that feeling of being “lost” in all areas of my life. I feel like i’m 13 again, which is kind of appropriate I guess, as I’m on the cusp of another major hormonal transition. It’s like we return to that feeling of being out of control. On the other hand, saw Gloria Vanderbilt on tv this morning and her resilience and optimistic spirit at 92 is inspiring.

  2. Astrid says:

    Nope, won’t read this one. Can’t take anything she says seriously

    • Diana says:

      We sell those celebrities health/fitness/cooking books in our book store and I honestly can tell you 99% of them are crap. I’m so sick of them. They are huge hits when they get to the store, then a week or two later most buyers return them.

    • tealily says:

      Out of all of these types of things, she’s honestly bothering me the least.

  3. Kate says:

    I turned 35 in January and have noticed that certain things I used to really feel anxiety about, i.e. not being invited out with friends, just don’t bother me as much. I think age has offered insight in to the true value of things and has definitely offered perspective. I keep telling my cousins that are approaching their 30s to stop being stressed out by turning 30! You’re 20s just aren’t great.

    • lucy2 says:

      35 was around the age I decided to push myself forward. I made a bunch of new friends who I do fun things with (still have my old friends, but they aren’t very social anymore), completed a career goal, and refocused on things that make me happy, like painting. I often wish I’d done all that sooner, but things happen in their own time.

    • tealily says:

      I just turned 35 and, while a lot of my life is still stressful and up-in-the-air, this past year is really when I’ve started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Things are calming down and I’m starting to feel more stable (professionally, financially, romantically, etc.) and it is THE BEST feeling. I’m actually really looking forward to 40.

  4. islandwalker says:

    I think she’s well meaning but from past interviews, she dumb as a cork. Good for her for finding her happiness though.

  5. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    She’s always just wrong, in my opinion. It is so true that 43 is better than 25 in a lot of ways, one of them being that you don’t care as much about what other people think and you have more confidence. But it doesn’t just keep going up and up until, gee whiz! 85 is f*ing fabulous!! It’s life – it has peaks and valleys and challenges and sorrows and joys – two of my beloved neices had babies last year and they have brought me so much joy – my father turned 90 this year and I will lose both of my parents in this decade – my marriage has never been better – my relationship with my sister has never been worse – I am, I think, the most comfortable with my body that I have ever been – my feet hurt, all the time, and I tried on a pair of my favorite shoes the other day and couldn’t bear to wear them. She just doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

    • vauvert says:

      Amen sister. Plus, I hate how she thinks she can talk about all women “we like this, we hate that.” No we don’t, you twit. Also, interesting how “there’s no secret to aging well” but… here is my book about aging well, why don’t you buy it so you can learn basically nothing you didn’t know before. (Although why anyone in their right mind would ever buy a book she slapped her name on is beyond me.)

      Serious question here – what is the reason for buying any celeb “written” book?? Unless it’s a biography of an A-list star, do people actually believe that these celebs have some amazing wisdom to impart? Very few of them have successful marriages, very few of them seem to age naturally and/or are willing to fully disclose what procedures they underwent in the name of vanity, very few of them seem to have a healthy attitude towards food (and half the time when they talk about food it feels like sound bites learned from a pr coach, rather than honest). There are actual experts out there with books on every topic possible, great cooks whose recipes you can trust – I guess I don’t understand why I should read about “longevity” from the ghost writer of a ditzy HW blonde. I feel the same about celeb endorsed products, I just don’t get it.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I don’t get it either. I guess, despite al of the evidence to the contrary, our society wants to believe that there are secrets to happiness, and that beautiful people know them?

      • tealily says:

        Perfect assessment, GNAT!

    • HappyMom says:

      I also think, does she actually know any elderly people? Because getting that old, being close to the end, when you’re losing all the people who have been in your life, usually there are health issues, you’re losing your independence (driving, living on your own), that’s not typically when you’re the “happiest”. You may be zen about it, have a good attitude, but the happiest? She’s really a ding a ling.

      • Christin says:

        This. My parents never saw 75, and they did all the ‘right’ things and ended up with life altering diseases. So did several other people I know. Even if a disease does not slowly or quickly steal your independence, just what my father called ‘breaking down’ will do it. Eyesight, mobility, and the mind just start to go.

        My eldest living aunt is 90, and lives alone. She cannot have surgery for a problem she’s having, so her entire diet and daily lifestyle are completely changed now. And, in the middle of our conversation last week, she suddenly began talking to me as if I were my mother, who passed away a few months ago. She asked me where I was born, and how I met my father. It took me a few seconds to realize she was completely confused. Then she veered back into current reality.

        I am like Liz Taylor, who reportedly told friends she did not want to live to be 90 or so. I think you would just be waiting for the next shoe to drop, health wise.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Right. She’s all of 43.

    • Becky says:

      Exactly, such ridiculous generalisation of comments on mental/emotional health and aging. I was a depressed teenager, so I don’t get the “you’re happy at 18” crap. As for being the happiest at 85, not if you have dementia, arthritis or another debilitating or painful condition.

      Stupid bloody woman.

  6. paolanqar says:

    I just think that she knows that the world doesn’t need her as an actress anymore so she’s now digging her new status of self-helped-healthy-accept-yourself guru.
    If I’m honest I enjoyed seeing her in Bad teacher or The other woman. She is no Oscar material but you can tell she has fun behind the camera and her eyes speak volumes.

  7. Dangles says:

    Hated my twenties for not even being close to what I think they should’ve been. In fact just thinking about them still pisses me off.

    • Esmom says:

      Aw, I hear you. My 20s were pretty rough too. No real tragedies or anything but I just felt lost about what path was right for me. I remember being really happy to put them behind me when I turned 30. I hope you’re in a better place now. 🙂

  8. Sayrah says:

    The over the top gushing over her husband is bordering on embarrassing. Did someone make her do the “if you have a man… Challenge in Facebook or something?”

    • Esmom says:

      Eh, she’s still in the honeymoon phase, I think. Surprisingly I didn’t hate all these tidbits but I still won’t read the book.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      Actually, I think it’s all deflecting from marital problems she doesn’t want to admit to. The blinds and gossips have been outing their marital problems for months. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she’s gushing when others are saying there are serious problems on the home front. I see it all as a front. How many bad decisions has this woman made regarding men and yet, she has behaved and talked the same about them all while in a bad relationship with them. At the time, every single one of them was her soul mate, a winner, the love of her life, and this “yay! for me attitude.” This one is not different. I don’t wish her marriage to fail, but I highly suspect she is full of beans regarding how awesome and great her marriage is. She could be addicted to drugs, getting cheated on, and fighting with him every day and she would still proclaim bliss.

      • Christin says:

        The saying ‘divorce can be contagious’ may end up applying to her, since her friend Drew has announced her breakup.

  9. Jaded says:

    I don’t think Cameron, or anyone for that matter, can speak for those of us who are way ahead of her on the aging scale. I agree that when you get to a certain age you are more comfortable in your skin, better able to traverse the pitfalls and landmines of work, relationships, kids, loss, etc. But at the ripe old age of 63, having lost both parents and my sister, having gone through some spectacularly bad relationships and losses in my life, I approach my life with much more appreciation for all the good things that happen to me. By the same token, I’m not afraid to speak my mind. Knowledge, experience and gravitas are things you earn gradually, not something that magically happens as soon as you hit your forties and you think “Oh boy, I’ll be going through menopause soon! Can’t wait to beat that sucker to the ground!”

    She always seems to sound slightly patronizing and cheerleader-ish, and that comes from a place of immense wealth and security. Hard to be that way when you’re working a sixty hour week, looking after your aged mother, doing all the shopping and cooking and pet care and house-cleaning on your own.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is us old(er) farts have REALLY earned our stripes in the trenches and she hasn’t.

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      And you’re saying it well.

    • Carol says:

      @Jaded I quite agree. I think Cameron imparts some good information about diet, exercise etc. But she over-generalizes other areas of life and unfortunately, comes off someone whose head is up her own a**. I think she should acknowledge that her experience is hers only, is limited, and not the absolute truth. I know plenty of elderly people who are in their late 80s and none of them would say they are the happiest they have ever been.

      Me thinks she is hanging around Gwyneth Paltrow too much.

  10. lilacflowers says:

    When I graduated law school, I practiced elder law for a few short years, primarily handling issues involving Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and my part-time paralegal was an awesome 85 year old woman. I am currently the primary (sole) caregiver for a very active 87 year old great aunt – very active because I help her to remain so. Sure, Cameron, 85 is great if you are healthy and not worried about outliving your savings and can get up and down your front stairs and can afford your hearing aids and all your friends haven’t died and your family members aren’t living in other states and you have someone to drive you to medical appointments and stores and social activities. Otherwise, every day is a challenge because the body parts are wearing out; loved ones die off, causing sadness, loneliness, and isolation; and health care, even with Medicare, is unbelievably expensive.

    Oh, my 87 year old aunt thinks you have lousy taste in the roles you choose.

    • EEV says:

      YES YES YES, thank you for articulating so clearly what I was thinking. 85 is great if you’re in great health; but I dare say the majority of 85 year-olds are not the ‘happiest they’ve ever been’ because they’re struggling with all you mentioned above. My grandmothers made it to 87 and 88, and they certainly weren’t raving about life.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes. One of my mom’s close friends just died at the age of 99. My mom said this woman’s greatest wish for the past several years was to die…she felt she had nothing left and feared outliving her money. She said she’d wake up disappointed that she was still alive. I don’t think 85 was the peak of her happiness, either.

      • Carmen says:

        That’s sad. My aunt will be 99 next month and she’s sharp as a razor and still has a great sense of humor. Her knees are shot and she is in a lot of discomfort but she tells me that every day she wakes up above the ground is a good day.

    • Anne tommy says:

      Fantastic post lilacflowers, couldn’t agree more (unfortunately, as it would be great if Cameron’s rose tinted spectacles view of old age was more accurate).

    • Christin says:

      To see someone elderly (80-plus) and think they are doing well is often a fallacy. The things you point out are usually the reality for many who make it to their 80s and beyond. They often need assistance with living, and are fortunate if they have help.

      As one of my father’s 80-plus, usually upbeat friends recently told me, “When you get older and sick, no one pays attention to you anymore.”

  11. Who ARE these people? says:

    It’s incomprehensible that a woman in her early 40s lacking any kind of medical or scientific credentials has a book about aging, but I guess her first book sold well enough that she and her publisher wanted to cash in. That said, Jane Fonda actually did good research for her book on aging, and seems to have more intelligent things to say (albeit from a “I have enough time on my hands to stop working and do a comprehensive life review” position).

    That said, Diaz’ ghost writer seems to be referring to current research on changes in overall life-satisfaction levels across the lifespan. Here’s a talk by the head of the Stanford Center on Longevity:

    This just highlights the difference between looking at individuals, and looking at statistical averages comparing populations sliced into age brackets. What they’re getting at is that people tend to even out in mood and react less strongly to life’s ups and downs. The ups and downs never go away, but the response may be – ON AVERAGE – less intense. So, people seem – ON AVERAGE – to be more emotionally stable and “content with their lot,” even though they’re dealing with all that pain, loss, dependency and aggravation.

    However, celebs like Diaz don’t have the academic sophistication to present findings like this in a more nuanced way. It’s all, like, “We get HAPPY! Isn’t that GREAT?” We don’t necessarily get happy; we get better able at dealing with all that shit, especially because we’ve been dealing with it for so damn long. But even then, it’s on average- some people never accumulate wisdom and perspective. Some people still act juvenile. But more people tend to figure out how to roll with the punches.

    As for “taking ownership of your body,” well, there is something to staying active and keeping it together for as long as possible, working with and around your particular medical and musculoskeletal challenges and the demands in your life and your energy level. But again, coming out of Diaz’s mouth, it’s like, “Hike the canyons every day or you’ll be a broken old hag!” Fix a health system that neglects women … fix cultural messages about being slim & sleek that leave women vulnerable to osteoporosis … and on the other hand address obesity and dietary issues that result in cardiovascular breakdown, diabetes, heart attack, stroke and orthopedic stress … adjust workplace policies to allow more time for women to take care of themselves in conjunction with work and family … put more money into research so we know what the heck is going on with hormones in the newly long period after menopause … these things also count. But that doesn’t sell celeb books. And I agree that if Diaz hasn’t gone through menopause yet, she doesn’t have the whole picture.

  12. JenniferJustice says:

    I wouldn’t listen to any advice on any subject from Cameron Diaz. She couldn’t be more a flake for as long as we’ve been exposed to her. Her views are always self-serving and humble bragging. Whatever phase of life she’s in no matter how positive or negative, she always has some way to put her choices out there as if they are the best choices and not just pandering to her own ego. I feel it’s obvious and predictable.

    Also, the blinds have been outing her as either pregnant or faking being pregnant with a surrogate on the side. I notice that in every recent picture of her, she has something in front of her stomach. It was only a few months ago, that the gossips were outing her marital problems, but she’s trying to have baby – a band aid baby. Not cool.

  13. CityGirl says:

    She’ll change her mind once menopause hits her. I remember a while back, Cher, who IMO is Everything, said that her 40’s were the best but her 50’s sucked (I believe that’s the exact term she used) and when I read it I was so shocked. I have always liked her because she was her own person, didn’t care what others thought, owned her individuality and her sexuality and I thought the statement was coming from a place of vanity and not being able to connect with all things youthful anymore. Now that I’m in my 50’s I completely understand what she was saying.
    I was invincible and living my best life in my 40’s too. Menopause kicked my ass and if I hadn’t gone to HRT after 4 or 5 years of trying to deal with it naturally, I probably would have killed someone or the very least, myself. And I too, Cameron, I’m talking to you, worked out all the time and was in the best physical shape of my life I never even gave menopause a thought.
    Just saying….

    • Maxine Ducamp says:

      Look I’m neither a Cameron Diaz fan nor a detractor. And while I totally agree that a 40something actress is not someone I would go to for wisdom on aging, I don’t necessarily her advice about stressing over menopause is all bunk. I believe more and more that so much is genetic. Or maybe it’s like being pregnant; it’s very much a YMMV experience. I do not live the healthiest lifestyle, yet my experience with menopause has been happily anti-climatic. Nary a single hot flash (and my sister who is 20 years older never had them either). I do have depression but I struggled with it for years before I began “going thru the change” and feel better now than I have in ages (knock wood). There was a period about 10+ years ago where I was really angry a lot of the time and I do wonder how much if any of it was caused by perimenopausal hormonal shifts, but other than my getting more chin whiskers–something that I could definitely do without–menopause hasn’t been a big deal for me. I do believe the women who say that have a rough time of it, but for those of you who haven’t reached that time in your life, don’t get stressed worrying about what might happen; you might be one if the lucky ones who sail through it.

      As for Cameron Diaz, years ago I heard/read a rumor that the ditzy blond minor character in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation was based on her. Word on the street is that she’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  14. Isa says:

    I work in a skilled nursing facility and it seems like she’s never stepped foot in one if she believes that. I know some 85 years olds that are very fortunate, but there’s also a many that are not- losing loved ones, cancer, dementia, strokes, going deaf or blind, Spending your days in pain and mourning your loss of independence. Some people get very scared and confused when they don’t understand what’s going on so that even taking a shower is a stressful situation to them.

  15. NeoCleo says:

    If you can do hormone replacement therapy while going through menopause, I recommend it. I believe it has helped preserve my skin, hair and most importantly my sanity.

  16. Kilgore Trout says:

    ” I’m glad she’s happy with Benji I really am, but doesn’t it feel like she’s saying her way of aging is the best? Like “be happy like me in a relationship, don’t stress, and everything will go great?” Maybe that’s my hormones talking though. Her heart is in the right place.”

    Nope, you are 100% spot on! This is why I have no tolerance for this trend with celebrities trying to become lifestyle coaches. It’s all about them believing they truly have figured out life and they want to help us plebes figure it out, too.

    In regards to Cameron’s comments about how people who make it to 85 are the happiest they’ve ever been… really? I’m a RN. Have a talk with ANY elderly person and you’ll see that the majority of them are terribly depressed because they’ve lost the majority of their family and friends and they generally have health problems. When I ask geriatric patients how they’re feeling, I hear things like “lonely” all of the time. And I’ve never met an elderly person that didn’t wax poetically about how badly they missed their youth.

    This is a woman who thinks she has life all figured out and I’m sorry, but I don’t appreciate that. “The man that knows something knows that he knows nothing at all” are some of the truest words ever spoken. I was kind of cool with the first book because there were plenty of men and women out there that genuinely didn’t know a lot of the stuff she was attempting to educate people on in regards to how their bodies work, but her trying to tell people how to age is ridiculous. Cameron needs to have several seats.

  17. Jayna says:

    My brother-in-law’s mother just died at the age of 84. She had been a vibrant woman, almost too much energy, up to mid 70s. Then her husband, who had been suffering from cancer for years, a shell of his former self died. She became so depressed and not involved in all the activities she used to be involved in. Then her eldest son died of cancer. He was the one that lived in the same town and was close to her. She spiraled. But a lot of it turned out to be dementia was setting in. It was shocking to see how much she changed. She would sit at home and forget to shower. She ended up in a nursing home, the part that had her own little two-suite room and bedroom. But she got worse and worse. She lost all of her short-term memory. She was living no kind of life. She only recognized my brother-in-law this last year, who visited her all the time, recognized none of her grandchildren, and repeated everything. It broke my heart this once vibrant woman was just a shell existing in an interior world. I knew she didn’t want to live, such cruelty living with your mind gone.

    She passed away today. Her late seventies and eighties were nothing but grief and sadness and very ill health.

    And my other uncles and aunt who are all in their 80s in reasonably good health would never say this is the happiest they have ever been. You slow down. You lose the ability to drive at some point. You are losing friends and siblings left and right, not the least of which losing a spouse. You do have health problems.

    Cameron is an idiot.

  18. Suzanne says:

    I think she should stick to acting…since I clearly am not taking any health advice from her.
    Another Suzanne Sommers trying yet again to reinvent herself.

  19. Silent Star says:

    She sounds like a lot of “pseudo-educated” people — trying to explain things she doesn’t really understand well enough.

    Like a lot of other posters here, I’m baffled why anyone would think she is any kind of authority on “longevity”! She’s 43 for Pete’s sake! She has lived a sheltered life of wealth and celebrity, and certainly had not proven any longer-term relationship success or the daily challenge of being a primary caregiver to others.

    I think the title was just a marketing ploy to desperately put a new spin on yet another “health and lifestyle” book by a celebrity, and I ain’t buying it — literally or figuratively.