Salma Hayek on expectations at 53: ‘As you get older, you’re expected not to age’

salma instyle

Salma Hayek covers the latest issue of InStyle to promote The Eternals, House of Gucci and The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. Salma has been doing a lot of press already this year, and she seems surprised with just how much she’s been working in recent years. I think getting the job on Marvel’s The Eternals was the biggest surprise, to play a superhero alien at the age of 54. Salma is really feeling herself these days because she’s so in-demand, and she talked about that, plus some heartbreaking stuff about Harvey Weinstein and more. Some highlights:

Being in demand these days: “I was like, ‘What’s happening?’ I mean, things have changed a lot in the last couple of years for women in general. But what I don’t understand is why this is happening to me.”

She regrets not speaking up earlier about Harvey Weinstein: “Some people got raped. It makes you wonder if you had said something [back then], would it have been different? How come I didn’t have the courage? But I dealt with it to the best of my ability at the time. For me Frida was a political statement, a social statement, a feminist statement. It was my way of screaming. And Harvey used my way of screaming to repress me even more. So I could not let him win.”

When asked about the bigotry she faces in Europe: She tells the story of a group of fancy French women who were surprised to learn that she was breastfeeding her baby daughter. One of the women speculated that breastfeeding must be a tradition “that comes from the Latin American Indian. She actually said that!” So Hayek explained the basic science behind the practice’s biological benefits for newborns. “I was shocked that such sophisticated ladies, who’ve had so many children, didn’t take the time to investigate it. They said, ‘Oh, but it’s terrible for the breasts.’ I said, ‘Really? Look at my breasts. No problems there!’”

She gained weight for her role in House of Gucci. “It was not even the end of the holiday yet, and I was like, ‘OK, bring me caftans!’”

Losing weight is slower for Salma now: “I’ve lost very little. You go, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa.’ You gain it so fast, but it takes so long to lose it.” She’s determined to get back in good shape, partly for health reasons and partly, she acknowledges, because of the pressures of “what’s expected for a woman who people consider good-looking. As you get older, you’re expected not to age. [Given] how much mileage I put on my body, and how much pressure and judgment I put on it, my body has been incredibly generous. I don’t think I am some hot tamale, but I know that for my age, for the lifestyle that I lived, I’m not doing too badly. And I attribute all of this to meditation.”

She finds it hard to talk to her 13-year-old: “She’s amazing, and she mesmerizes me over and over, but you know, when I talk to her, I find myself out of words,” Hayek says. She often rehearses future conversations with Valentina in her head. “Or when we fight a little bit, afterward I’ll think, ‘I should have said this or that, and I’m going to tell her next time I see her.’ Then the next time comes and I find myself out of words again.”

Her husband & his role as CEO of French luxury group Kering: “I’m lucky, and it makes my life easier, but it was never a priority for me,” she says. Hayek notes that most of her close female friends are fashion obsessed, and they find it a bit unfair that she ended up with Pinault. “One friend said, ‘I cannot believe that out of all of us, the one who cares the least about fashion is the one who landed that guy!’ So I told my husband this. He laughed and said, ‘That’s why you landed me.’”

Her rescue owl, Kering: “When my husband’s out of town, I sleep with the owl. Her favorite place to be is in the yoga room when I’m meditating. She’s completely calm. She gets it.” Hayek says she’s developed an interestingly nuanced rapport with the bird, partly because Hayek doesn’t treat her like a toy. She knows the importance of allowing the sensitive creature to do her own thing. “I understand her. I don’t know if she understands me.”

[From InStyle]

That story about the French women judging her for breastfeeding… wow. Is that a thing with upper-crust French ladies not breastfeeding their children? How bizarre. As for what she said about Weinstein… it happened around 2002, and I’m not sure what would have happened if Salma had come forward at the moment and time and said “this guy bullied me, he degraded me and forced me to do this demeaning sex scene because he’s on some sick power trip.” My fear is that if Salma had come forward then, in real time, it wouldn’t have changed much of anything. Power protects power. What happened is not Salma’s fault.

I need an “OK, bring me caftans!” t-shirt.

Cover & IG courtesy of InStyle.

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32 Responses to “Salma Hayek on expectations at 53: ‘As you get older, you’re expected not to age’”

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  1. DellT says:

    The entertainment industry has long stood on youth, desirability and sexuality. Lets have a look at Madonna. Her entire career was built largely on excellent song choices, but mostly sexuality. Now that shes 60+ that doesnt work anymore. At a certain point, its completely understandable that you age out. Its a part of the game. Yes, men have it easier and are allowed to age without judgment, but some of this is natural. Just my controversial take.

    • Andrew’s Nemesis says:

      I see it as much more sinister than that. The entertainment industry, which is mainly male dominated, deliberately shelves older women because they are a lot less likely to put up with crap, to be abused, pimped out, over-sexualised and generally taken advantage of. It’s the patriarchy writ so loud it screams.

    • Merricat says:

      I find that reductive and misogynistic, and awfully close to how people try to justify other types of repression.
      Also, Sean Penn is gross.

    • Nikki* says:

      Your perspective IS the traditional one; back in the 60′s, women were over the hill at 35! The challenge for women is to believe in their own self worth their entire lives, even when the media and the public treat us as either invisible, crones, or hags. An older woman can never compete with the vibrant sexuality of youth, but she DOES have value, and can be very very happy and fulfilled. We don’t need to base our self worth only on our sexual desirability, as the media does!

    • FF says:

      I don’t know, while Madonna had her positives, she was also a culture vulture who copied other artists and didn’t give credit. She also wasn’t a feminist beyond self-promotion. I can’t count the number of her women peers she kicked out at and criticised and not even just those in music – pretty much anyone she felt was in her ‘sweet’ spot of sexuality and controversy (Sinead O’Connor, Sharon Stone, Cindy Crawford, Whitney Houston, the list goes on).

      I think people would have floated Madonna more good will if her sexuality and it’s presentation had matured and gained a little mystery but she kept trying to compete with young artists.

      I also feel like her stealing Goldfrappe’s sound and image for a whole album was the last straw for some.

  2. Robin says:

    All I think now when I see this woman is “Her with her goofy pet owl” – was it something BettyRose on here said? It made me laugh lots.

  3. Twin falls says:

    I used to not eat much for a few days and pounds would fall off. Now, nothing. People say you become more comfortable with your body as you age and it’s just because you realize there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

    • salmonpuff says:

      I feel this in my marrow.

    • Darla says:

      The only thing you can do is exercise a lot, but of course, that also brings issues. Like hip issues, sciatica issues, etc. lol. I do the best I can because I truly love exercise, but yeah, I need a lot more downtime than I used to.

    • candy says:

      Ha, agreed!

  4. Chaine says:

    I’m looking forward to House of Gucci. Didn’t realize she was in it.

  5. Nikki* says:

    Sorry; I posted in the wrong place!

  6. Vesper says:

    I can confirm “upper crust” french women breastfeed feed too.

  7. Hikaru says:

    They said, ‘Oh, but it’s terrible for the breasts.’ I said, ‘Really? Look at my breasts. No problems there!’”

    The year she got her implants and before/after photos are out there on the internet and have been for years now but she still insists on acting like they’re natural and comparing herself to other women and their breasts to point out how hers are bEtTeR oMg.

    • tealily says:

      Natural or not, I don’t think she needs to worry about them disappearing with breastfeeding.

    • Robin says:

      Hikaru. I have just done as suggested and googled the before and after. It is absolutely shocking. Do these celebrities really expect us to not know this; are they completely unaware of their everlasting internet presence.

      I said in an earlier post on her that it is possible to be slim with big breasts. I am fairly slim with very large breasts. But her breasts do not sit right, in that they aren’t heavy enough and she doesn’t carry them properly because they are likely enhanced. On this point, I believe Christina Hendricks’ breasts are real because of the way she carries the weight. It is possible to be totally flat chested until your late teens and then explode in size. I was like an ironing board until 18/19 and then just grew and grew, which is what I believe happened to Christina Hendricks, but certainly not this woman. A bit off point but nearly relevant!!

  8. Marion says:

    It’s true that in France women had a tendency not to breastfeed but things have been changing! The younger generation are most of the time breastfeeding but women in the 80′s most of the time didn’t. And I’m not sure that was only “French”
    But to say that the woman said it must be a “tradition” sounds so stupid!!!

  9. FF says:

    I think the problem isn’t just the expectation that actresses don’t age it’s that the system is rigged to swap them out and stop them accruing the means to make bigger decisions and call their own shots (i.e. the power that comes with higher pay and the ability to headline).

    Women routinely are the first actors to be swapped out when they’re in a big franchise. So many franchises can have the guy all the way up to when he’s an octogenarian but the women get “recast” after the first film. I mean, look at Charlize Theron in Fury Road. Instead of giving her a sequel it suddenly needs to be a prequel with a younger actor.

    Films popularised by women stars, directors, or audiences suddenly need reboots instead of doing something with the original cast. Women are the first to get called difficult, crazy, have catfight rumours with other female cast members started – most likely because they’re being pitted against each other. I find it interesting how despite there being the same level of competition in projects with men they hardly get that kind rumouring thrown at them.

    There are exceptions but it still burns me when women who star in top-grossing films struggle to get given roles at their level, or disappear because they’re over 40. There are so many talented and amazing actresses out there and they’re often still at the mercy of studio jackasses and marketing bros deciding (for) audiences that they don’t want to see them anymore because they’re no longer “hot”.

    /rant over

    • Anna says:

      This! @FF “the system is rigged to swap them out and stop them accruing the means to make bigger decisions and call their own shots (i.e. the power that comes with higher pay and the ability to headline).”

  10. Pusspants says:

    I’m tired of reading about this women’s tits

    • Robin says:

      True and funny.

      • toodle says:

        LoL. was waiting for them to be mentioned…that and her husband. i guess it’s her most valuable assets?

    • Marion says:

      Right??? I think anytime she opens her mouth she speaks about them. We cannot NOT see them so please, stop mentionning them all the time!

  11. You Know Me says:

    Says the lady pretending her breasts are real, her nose is original, her botox’d forehead and face full of plumpers is original. Mmmmkay Sis – go count your husbands billions of dollars.

  12. Tursitops says:

    We need to consign the phrase “got raped” to history. Try “were raped by criminals” or “suffered sexual assault at the hands of rapists”. “Got raped” lowers the insidiousness of the crime; it brings the tone closer to “got a driver’s licence” when it should be closer to “had their lives destroyed by violent crime.”

  13. JanetDR says:

    I did not recognize her in that photo – just me?