Jamie Lee Curtis doesn’t look in the mirror: I’m 60, ‘I am not going to look the same’


The delightful Jamie Lee Curtis is on the cover of Good Housekeeping‘s October issue where she shared advice on growing old gracefully and the key to a happy marriage. Jamie is married to Spinal Tap and Best in Show creator Christopher Guest and I want to have a dinner party with them as soon as possible.

Jamie is returning to the franchise that first brought her notoriety, 1978′s horror classic Halloween, as Laurie Strode in the “official” sequel. The new film has gotten mostly positive ratings from critics and will hopefully make us all forget Halloween 3: Season of the Witch (although, I doubt that). She’s 59 and, refreshingly in Hollywood, has rejected cosmetic surgery and is the epitome of aging gracefully. Here are some highlights from the interview:

On her life philosophy, “If not now, when?”:
“On the very clear passage of 50s to 60s, I have no time to waste. None. If you have creative ideas and you don’t bring them out into the world in some way before you go, that is a tragedy.”

On the power of doing it yourself:
“I like to invent things, and I like elbow grease. I wash my own car — why have other people do it while I sit on a bench watching them? I want sweat equity. I want it in my mothering, I want it in my marital-ing, I want it in my family-ing, I want it in my friend-ing. You tell me you’re moving, I will show up on moving day. There will be a point where I want to relax and not worry so much about my sweat equity — when I’ve earned my rest.”

On her 2002, makeup-free More photoshoot:
“It was an attempt at saying, ‘I struggle with my own self-esteem,’ I live a very quiet, private life. I do not do this [poses dramatically] in my daily life. People like Meryl Streep can put on any white shirt and we all go, ‘Ahhh, look how gorgeous!’ I’ve never been a comfortable cover girl, but the girl in those photos took off her clothes and stood there, letting her tummy relax. I was free.”

On marrying her opposite:
We have been for 33 years, and we always will be. He’s an intellectual, and I was from the movie star/alcoholic/drug addict side, where education was not the most important thing. We don’t listen to the same radio station, we don’t read the same paper, we don’t go to bed at the same time. But we read the same history books….We’re a little nerdy.”

On her self-image:
“I am a constant editor. I shed people, I shed clothing, I shed possessions, I shed ideas. The biggest thing I’ve shed is my own limitations and perception of who I am. How can I expect my agent to think of me in a different way if I don’t think of me in a different way? Is he going to wake up and say, ‘That Jamie Lee is smart — she should write a screenplay’? Not going to happen! It has to come from me. And even if I stumble in my pursuit, that’s OK. We are all looking for a fast track to enlightenment, but it’s sweat equity, sweat equity, sweat equity.”

Why she avoids the mirror:
“I don’t know if men wake up, look in the mirror and hate themselves. Most women do. So I have a big secret: I don’t look in the mirror. I’m a 60-year-old woman. I am not going to look the same as I used to, and I don’t want to be confronted by that every day! When I get out of the shower, I have a choice: I can dry myself off looking in the mirror, or I can dry myself off with my back to it. I turn my back to the mirror, and I feel great! I don’t want women to hate themselves, because I think women are extraordinary.”

[From Good Housekeeping]

I’ve always liked Jamie for her no-nonsense attitude and the fact that she seems to not care what anyone thinks. Who else would go out and promote yogurt that helps you poop? She also looks amazing as she owns every wrinkle and grey hair. Jamie was (somewhat obviously) the best thing about Scream Queens and I hope Halloween reminds Hollywood that she’s still a force to be reckoned with.

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27 Responses to “Jamie Lee Curtis doesn’t look in the mirror: I’m 60, ‘I am not going to look the same’”

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  1. MI6 says:

    She’s beautiful. Inside and out.

  2. Shijel says:

    Love this interview. Candid and to the point. Although Jamie Lee is a slender, gorgeous woman with long limbs, fine bone structure and great features, she’s definitely aging a lot better than many (or dare I say most?) ever will. Still, I’m not gonna pull that ‘but the children in Africa’ kind of nonsense. Love her!

  3. Maum says:

    Actually she should look in the mirror- she looks terrific!

    And more importantly she seems like a great person. Love her description of marrying her opposite. I am a history nerd too, I can relate!

  4. Justmyopinion says:

    If i look that good when I hit 60, I’ll be looking in the mirror. I get what she’s saying, though. Your youth can be a heartbreaking thing to say bye to.

  5. H says:

    I can’t wait to see the new Halloween movie. Jamie is awesome.

  6. adastraperaspera says:

    Love her “don’t care what you think” positive attitude!

  7. Deanne says:

    She’s truly beautiful both inside and out. Can’t wait for the new Halloween movie.

  8. Michel says:

    I wish I could pull off the cute silver pixie look. I am so jealous of women that do that.

    • Esmom says:

      Her hair really is amazing, isn’t it? We were talking about the pixie cut just last night at book club. We are a bit younger than Jamie but the general consensus was that it can look too much like you’ve given up and just want an easy hairstyle. I think it’s actually really a feminine and stylish look.

    • notasugarhere says:

      She’s also rocked her pixie cut at the state opening of Parliament, complete with gold laurel leaf tiara. Her husband moonlights as Lord Hayen-Guest, hereditary peer of the realm.

    • annie says:

      I *just* did that. About a week ago, I had waist length hair. I am going grey, so I was in the process of growing it out (which was beyond horrible). I was about 8 months in so I went to my hairdresser, who gave me a pixie cut and uncovered this AMAZING metallic salt and pepper hair that I absolutely adore. It took guts because I’ve never had short hair in my life, but I love this cut!

  9. Jenns says:

    I relate to so much of what she says. I have horrible self-esteem and am really struggling with turning 40(it’s even hard typing that out).

    However, I think she looks amazing. I hope I look that good in 20 years.

    • Felicia says:

      If I can add a comment here… 40 is the age that I said to myself “If I’m not the person that everyone else wants me to be by now, it’s just not going to happen. Time to enjoy being me!”

      Maybe it would help if you looked at 40 as the age of freedom from everyone else’s expectations?

  10. Beth says:

    No reason not to look in the mirror. 60 isn’t even old, and she’s so lucky that she looks good with natural, silver /grey hair. I hope she never has cosmetic surgery, because she’s aging beautifully

  11. FhMom says:

    Wow. As someone not loving her 50’s, I needed to read this. I need a friend like her. Her attitude and look is so fabulous and aspirational.

  12. Esmom says:

    I love everything she said. I tend to look in the mirror only when I’m not wearing my glasses so the effect is pleasantly blurred.

    I’d love to know what newspapers and radio stations are her and Guests’s favorites. I actually would have guessed that their tastes/ideologies were more similar than different.

  13. neocleo says:

    I’m 61 and I have perfected the art of drying my hair, washing my face and brushing my teeth without really looking at myself. I have ONE mirror in the house with perfect lighting and when I look into it, I look great. That’s good enough for me.

    • annie says:

      Granted, I’ve only been grey for a week or so, but I’ve having a riot. I used to be a redhead so I wore a lot of black but now it looks dreadful on me. I’ve been SHOPPING! I’ve been choosing a lot of jewel tones – royal blue, deep purple, crimson, emerald green – and also experimenting quite a bit with my makeup palette. I don’t wear much makeup at all and believe that skincare is more important, but I do wear some. And I’m finding that I’m changing my lipstick colour and playing around with shades of eyeshadow (though I don’t normally wear it). I’m accessorizing more. (And I’m hitting the local thrift shops because this is a major wardrobe overall, our thrift shops are AMAZING and it’s my guilty pleasure.) So far, I’ve managed to score some lovely classics – I’m searching for 100% wool pants (found some Donna Karan), cashmere sweaters, long skirts, etc. You only go grey once in your life – I think you should have fun with it. Don’t take it as a sign of defeat – play with it! Enjoy yourself!

  14. Pandy says:

    Almost 57 and agree it’s hard to look in a mirror some days. I’ve let my grey hair grow out and it’s beautiful and so soft and healthy BUT I do wrestle with that some days because you can’t pretend you’re younger when your hair is grey!! I try not to be too harsh with myself anymore because it doesn’t help.

    • Franklymydear... says:

      Kudos for going grey! I’m 46 and have colored my hair since my teens. I have quite a bit of grey now and I’m just not ready. I know it’s ridiculous to be a dark haired old lady :) so I’ll have to make a change at some point, even if I just highlight it. But I’d like to be brave and just let the greys come in.

      • annie says:

        Yes, it took courage. I was like you and I also thought it would make me look old. It did not – it has taken years off me (and that is the FIRST thing that people say when they see me, apart from exclaiming that I am virtually unrecognizable). I’m not going to lie, growing out enough of your roots to sustain a pixie cut is a gruesome, terrible experience but there are products (like dry shampoo that deposits colour) that can disguise the grey during the process. I *HIGHLY* recommend doing this – free yourself from exorbitant salon colour fees and be brave. You won’t be totally white – I certainly wasn’t – but the silver highlights are sexy and fun. You can always dye it back, but I think you should at least give it a try. Your hair will thank you too.

      • Pandy says:

        Yes, I had dark shoulder length hair but just tapped out on it about a year ago. I put in a boatload of blonde highlights in October and December – fried my hair a bit but made the grow out process so much easier. I gave it a good chop at the same time to get rid of some of the bleach damage. I have this beautiful silver/white streak in the front that I especially love. And just noticed “natural shine” the other day. I was so excited. My hair hasn’t looked this healthy in a long time.

  15. Other Renee says:

    I love her attitude. She may not look in the mirror but I do. I will tell you honestly that when I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see, I smile at myself. And I immediately look ten years younger. It makes me feel so much better about myself if only briefly.

  16. Raina says:

    I appreciate her in so many ways.
    Also, for me, it’s not about avoiding the mirror; it’s about accepting and loving the person looking into it. That’s the power we women deserve.

  17. ladida says:

    I love what she said about “shedding” certain things. I change all the time and often get accused of not being settled enough. Why do women face so much pressure from every angle, just to be something they’re not? With each passing decade, I try to find the serenity she describes, unfortunately I think it only comes with the wisdom of age.