Jamie Lee Curtis tries not to use the mirror to be critical of herself

Embed from Getty Images

There is something going on right now called The Radically Reframing Aging Summit. It’s hosted by Maria Shriver. I didn’t know anything about it until I read about it in this interview with Jamie Lee Curtis and now I’m kind of bummed. I would have like to attend some of these talks but it ends tomorrow. Maybe I’ll catch it next year. Jamie was one of the speakers because Jamie is a wonderful role model for aging. And I don’t mean because she looks a certain way or because she’s maintained a certain body mass, but rather because she’s accepted that she’s aging and says she struggles to accept it like anyone else. Jamie’s secret to acceptance is to stay away from the mirror when possible. She doesn’t completely avoid it, but she doesn’t seek it out just to analyze herself.

Jamie Lee Curtis has a few strategies for not overthinking her appearance — including limiting time in front of the mirror.

The Halloween actress, 63, appeared alongside Vanessa Williams and Maria Shriver at The Radically Reframing Aging Summit, in partnership with Sounds True and Shriver Media, which has a mission to change the way we age and how we talk about aging. Curtis spoke about how she copes in a world that puts emphasis on looking youthful. She explained that she doesn’t like to look at her body in the mirror because it makes her more critical.

“When I brush my teeth, of course, I look in the mirror. When I pluck my eyebrows, of course, I look in a mirror. But when I get out of a shower, I just don’t stare at my now 63-year-old body in the mirror,” she shared. “I’m not denying what I look like, of course I’ve seen what I look like. I am trying to live in acceptance. If I look in the mirror, it’s harder for me to be in acceptance. I’m more critical. Whereas, if I just don’t look, I’m not so worried about it.”

“I am an advocate for natural beauty because I do feel there has been a genocide of natural beauty. It is perpetuated by the media, it is perpetuated by magazines big time, and it is even in our life,” she explained. “There is a Zoom setting where it says, ‘touch up my appearance.'”

“My concern is that we have a generation of young people who believe they have to alter their appearance to post anything, anywhere,” she noted. “That then becomes a baseline of that’s what that is, and we’re never going to be able to go back to looking like natural women.”

[From Yahoo]

This made sense to me because I do the mirror thing. Usually when I’m getting dressed for bed, I’ll turn to the full length and scrutinize the hell out of myself. And what Jamie said is true. When I don’t look in a mirror like that, I feel good about myself and my age. I remember Jamie talking about watching her parents age in Hollywood and how much anguish it caused them. She probably looked for ways to prepare for this. It worked too because on the Summit’s promo video, Jamie said that she’s happy to be her 63-year-old self and happy to embrace it. I don’t think it’s contradictory for Jamie to say she embraces aging after she said she avoids mirrors. But then – hello, fellow mirror avoider. However, I don’t see it as denial, it’s more about not going looking for trouble. For instance, I didn’t even know about about the ‘touch up my appearance’ feature on Zoom before this interview. So I tried it after I read Jamie talk about it . I looked a lot better. Granted I looked like a Real Doll with Vaseline on the lens, but all smooth and soft. Still, I knew it wasn’t me, so I clicked it off. I embrace the face that appears on Zoom and gets posted on IG. I’m fine with it. But I’m feeling good today, so maybe I’ll turn my back to the mirror when I get ready for bed tonight.

Photo credit: Getty Images, Instagram and InStar Images

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

17 Responses to “Jamie Lee Curtis tries not to use the mirror to be critical of herself”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Kelly says:

    She is the best and boy does it is great for the rest of us to hear that you can be the best and still wrestle with the unsettling parts of aging and changing.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      I agree!! The fact that she was able to see how aging affected her parents and the psychological impact that it played on their emotional worth and value certainly had an impact on how she looked at aging for herself.

      I admire her tremendously for coming out speaking out against how the industry is damaging to those who are still young and vulnerable. I never knew that there was an option on the Zoom calls as well but I am going to own up on my age, though I am looking at the barrel of hitting 60 this year!!!! I have only had the lips tweaked by a cosmetic surgeon, who encourages natural beauty, as opposed to fixating on my flaw’s. Yet I am certain that he doesn’t turn people away that want to make changes!!!

  2. Rita says:

    As a 54 year old with terminal blood cancer, I have to chime in here with a reminder about the opposite of aging. My peers are all dipping their toes into botox and surgeries, and expensive lotions and potions to stay younger looking. I KNOW how our society judges aging women, but the thought that days, hours, minutes even are lost with us spent judging ourselves makes me eternally sad. Growing old is a privilege and I exhort women to ENJOY that time, to laugh with friends, appreciate your loved ones, get out and see this wonderful world. It’s all over way too quickly, and I promise you won’t regret the time NOT spent obsessing over appearances. I read this site daily and can attest to the inherent goodness and grace of its readers – trust me, you are ALL beautiful enough! Now go change the world on my behalf..

    • BothSidesNow says:

      I’m so sorry about your health Rita. I applaud your message that life is too short!!!!! As a sufferer of chronic pain for the last 21 years, bedridden the last six, I agree with you!!!! I am looking at 60 this year and am not thrilled by how I look, but it’s how I look!

      Brava Rita!! 👏👏👏

      Life is too short to worry about the little things and our external shell, but we all age!!!! I agree with you that we should ALL be out and enjoying our friends, loved ones and see as much of it as we can!!! Enjoy every second and make memories with your loved ones!!!

    • Twin Falls says:

      ❤️ I’m so sorry Rita. I lost a dear friend to cancer who was my age (I’m 46) and I try to keep this mindset, that life is fleeting and a gift, to enjoy the time I have with my loved ones and the world itself and that there are worse things than getting and looking older.

    • Margo says:

      Rita, thank you for those incredibly insightful words. You are a light in this world illuminating the path of joy in this life. It’s not about physical appearance. You have struck a chord deep in my soul – I needed to hear your words today. Thank you for your wisdom. Wishing you beauty, peace, laughter, and adventure all the days of your life.

    • Jaded says:

      Your words are a balm for all of us heading into or already in our senior years, dealing with the issues aging brings, sickness (breast cancer survivor here), aches and pains, etc. It’s not important to cling pathetically to how we used to look by any means possible (hello Madonna), it’s much more important to enjoy what we have, love our friends and family, not get hung up on eradicating every grey hair and wrinkle and cellulite. I don’t dye my hair, get botox or lip fillers or anything. I want to be proud of my age (69) and not feel unworthy because I’m old. Bless you and we will continue to be your standard bearers!

    • Christine says:

      Thank you, for this.

      I am 47, I look at myself in the mirror when I put on sunscreen, or brush my hair, or floss. I am not interested in looking younger than 47, I am really happy I got to this age. I love that Jamie Lee Curtis keeps beating the drums of normal aging.

      Also, because it’s close to my heart, her children’s books are must reads. She knows how to talk about adoption in a way that is not off-putting, for the people who recoil at the word adoption.

  3. Mary Tosti says:

    That Zoom filter is really creepy. This world of social media and filters is making everyone hate the way they look. It’s depressing.

  4. salmonpuff says:

    Ha, I use the zoom filter so I don’t have to stress about putting makeup on or fixing my hair for work calls. Plus it hides errant chin hairs — which all makes my personal grooming habits sound lax, but as a freelancer with 3 kids and 2 dogs, I sometimes don’t get to that stuff in time for a 7 am work zoom!

    I just turned 50 yesterday and I had some mild feelings in the last couple of weeks about my greying hair and my fluffy middle. But the last couple of years I’ve been trying to divest myself of a lifetime of indoctrination about how women should look. It’s an ongoing process, but worth it.

  5. Jules says:

    So much this last quote from her— “My concern is that we have a generation of young people who believe they have to alter their appearance to post anything, anywhere,” she noted. “That then becomes a baseline of that’s what that is, and we’re never going to be able to go back to looking like natural women.”

    This screams of the Kardashian kewpie doll influence. It’s so sad!

  6. arhus says:

    She’s so right about the decline of acceptance of natural beauty. Even all the caked on make-up looks where you look completely different! So sad. Good for Jamie. She looks great.
    I have an issue where I take selfies WAY too much to see how I look and try to make me feel better about myself. I don’t post them but my camera roll has way too many. I should definitely make a conscious effort to step back from that. Not healthy.

  7. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    I will be 65 shortly. While that literally blows my mind (my BRAIN still thinks I’m in my 30’s, my BODY has no problems reminding me I’m not 😉) I am perfectly happy with how I look. I have gained more than a few pounds, I have wrinkles and age spots, I have that whole Cruela DeVille thing going on with my hair and I am content. I’m also grateful that I grew up with a Mom who embraced her aging with all it’s ups and downs and just got on with it. It’s been a great example to me. I also am not a movie star, model, etc…so I didn’t have that pressure.
    I used to work for a p!astic surgeon and some of the stuff I saw women (and let’s be honest, more than a few men!) put themselves thru to maintain youth and the “perfect” body just gave me the shivers. Before I left I noticed they were getting younger and younger which is so scary. They would come in with pictures of Jennifer Aniston or Halle Berry and say “this”. I will say that the doc would tell them that he could do his best work but that a healthy diet and especially exercise would be helpful as well, but they wanted the quick fix.

    • AmB says:

      Fresh 59 here, and along with @MerlinsMom1018 I see the tracks of time all over my body.

      But – I also have a longer perspective on things, and that makes me calmer in dealing with the day-to-day, especially at work. Mentally I’ll always be the same me, but with a lot more interesting experiences and stories to tell.

      Mirrors are necessary to make sure everything’s tucked in and buttoned up and the cowlicks haven’t gone wild. Scales are necessary to benchmark once in a while. But neither is a useful guide for life or behavior.

  8. Otaku fairy says:

    She seems pretty cool. Her words on ageism, body image, and obsession with looks are given substance by the fact that she’s not out their bitching about having to see fat Americans, and not using women’s physical appearances to justify abuse or blame females for the bad behaviors of males. Her 2017 takedown of victim-blaming was phenomenal.

  9. Eggbert says:

    I would like to know if she’s had anything done. I think it helps our brains and sense of self-worth to know what procedures someone has had in order to have realistic expectations. I’m over the “I just drink water and eat Japanese potatoes and that’s why my eyelids are lifted and my nose is thinner” BS.

    And make sure to always include lifting heavy weights in your exercise regime and/or daily life. It’s so important for maintain muscle mass and bone density and keeping up your function! Stay strong celebitches!

    • Jaded says:

      She said she tried botox once and hated it so her embrace of natural aging is genuine.

      And YES! Lift weights! It staves off osteoporosis, maintains balance and muscle tone, and boosts your metabolism so that even resting you’re burning off fat.

      To all you wonderful older Celebitches, let’s celebrate our age – it’s something to be proud of!