Paulina Porizkova: ‘You don’t get to dismiss me because I have some wrinkles’

Paulina Porizkova was one of the supermodels of the 80s, when models became celebrities in their own right. Because I grew up during that time, those ladies are still goddesses in my mind. To hear one of them say they feel dismissed in their 50s is unfathomable to me. But that’s exactly what Paulina, 56, said in a recent interview with PEOPLE (the TV Show!). Paulina started modeling when she was 13. She took a hiatus while she was married to Ric Ocasek to be with their family. She reentered the workforce through TV, acting and writing. When asked where the modeling world needed to improve, Paulina said “ageism.” Apparently, she was shamed for daring to get older. But she’s not having it, because this is the best version of her yet.

Paulina Porizkova is sharing her experiences as one of the most famous models in the world, as well as thoughts on where the fashion industry still needs work.

Porizkova, who got her start in the modeling industry at age 13 in the late ’70s, acknowledges that the business has “gotten a lot better now” since her heyday.

“I love the movement of body inclusivity and color inclusivity and celebrating different beauty as beautiful,” she says. “I’m so behind that!”

But when asked by Parsons about areas in the business that still need to change, she doesn’t hesitate.

“Ageism, babe,” she replies, going on to show the host her gray roots in the studio.

“I felt ashamed to be aging, and then on the other hand you go, ‘But, I’m smarter, I’m better, I’m funnier, I’m more patient!’ ” she continues. “Overall as a person, I’m the best I’ve ever been. So I’m not ready to be dismissed.”

“You don’t get to dismiss me because I have some wrinkles and sags and gray hair now, when I’m kind of fabulous, the most fabulous I’ve ever been,” she adds. “In fact, I’m going to just put it out there and go, you know what, this is me at my best. Deal with it!”

[From People]

“In fact, I’m going to just put it out there and go, you know what, this is me at my best. Deal with it!” Hells to the yes! Like, maybe that 20+ version of me looked better in jeans, but she was so obnoxious – and clueless. I would never want to go back to being her. I can’t completely relate to Paulina, of course. I never looked like she did in the first place. I don’t have people openly discussing what a shame it is I don’t look the same as I did 30 years ago. But I do feel unseen now by most of the public. And it’s too bad because, like Paulina, I’ve become a much more interesting person, with more to offer but also more patience to listen and be educated.

I love to see Paulina back on red carpets and runways. I’d love to see more older women in magazines, especially in high fashion. I’d love to see more women over 20 getting love stories. I just read an interview with Adjoa Andoh, Lady Danbury from Bridgerton, who said she wants to see her character get a love interest. I was wondering if they would ever dare to go with old fart love on that show. I hope so. Don’t count us out, when we olds say we are experienced, we mean in everything, sugar. Oh! Maybe Paulina could get a role as a suitor for… I don’t know. Shonda will figure it out.

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92 Responses to “Paulina Porizkova: ‘You don’t get to dismiss me because I have some wrinkles’”

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  1. Pinkosaurus says:

    I’m glad to see her building her base in a positive way on social media. That will make her a much more attractive model and more likely to be back with the big contracts. I would buy what she’s selling.

  2. Tslia says:

    She is beautiful, and so refreshing to see someone who hasn’t botoxed or tucked her face to hell and back.

    • Kitten says:

      I bet she’s had a bit of Botox and has a really good, probably expensive skin regime. Either way, she looks absolutely gorgeous.

      • Paige says:

        she was and is and always will be a goddess…subtle and not much work..
        smart as all get out

  3. Normades says:

    I love her. She’s absolutely gorgeous and seems like she’d be a lot of fun to hang out with. I wish her the best!

    I follow a lot of “older” influencers on Instagram and they are killing it.

  4. drea says:

    I don’t quite understand what women around 50 (I’m near 49) mean about feeling invisible or dismissed. Does she mean she’s not getting the same attention she got in her 20s? No one does.

    I’m sure she isn’t getting the jobs she used to and I firmly believe ageism is in play.

    But in general I don’t feel dismissed or not seen by society, at all. I still feel/am confident, attractive and worthy. Maybe I’m lucky or maybe I just never knew what it was to be seen! Who knows!

    • Lara (the other) says:

      I think she means the speciall attention a young and attractive (in her case beautiful) woman recieves in society. And since she is working an an environment where looks are everything, she is getting less attention and of cours jobs.
      If your main attraction is your looks you loose, if you have not developed anything else, it might be like a dismissal.

      At almost 40, my impession is that I exchanged compliments for my look for professional respect and the quantity of men asking me out has decreased but the quality has dramaticaly increased. I prefer it this way and would not want to go back, but for this, you need something more, a career, a hobby, an interrest, than looks.

      • NCWoman says:

        No, it’s not special attention. It’s any attention. Once you hit menopause, it’s harder to even get your waiter’s attention lol. I’ve seen it happen to so many friends who are slightly older than me that I’m trying to prepare myself. It’s like you become invisible to a huge chunk of people. When men get older, they are seen as wiser. When women get older, we are disappeared into some sort of societal holding cell. You have to fight harder to be seen both personally and professionally,

      • Duo says:

        This goes beyond beauty contests or looking for a mate. As NCWoman says, it leaks into how you get treated in your day-to-day life – people slam doors in your face in public, you get ignored by sales clerks and wait staff, etc. And even professionally, I see lots of younger women get preferential treatment and get more opportunities over older women. At close to 40, you may not notice this, but it you will once you get to 50.

      • Maxine du Camp says:

        Try shopping. I grew out my roots during the pandemic and I love it; but when I went to a high end shop for green beauty/skincare products in NYC it was like I had turned invisible. I finally did get someone to help me but it wasn’t the same as in my 30s or 40s. I call it “shopping while old.”

    • dallas says:

      Drea, I’m 49 so about her age too. And I don’t understand this either.
      Paulina wrote an essay about about how she couldn’t believe that when she walked into a room now she felt invisible. She actually said it was a trick she would tell her friends. You won’t believe this, watch me walk into a room and see that no one looks at me now I’m old!
      I was so confused because what does that mean to her? Is her self worth all about men finding her attractive?
      I’m no where neat as beautiful as her and I never feel invisable when I walk into a room.

      • Mama says:

        It goes beyond that… have you walked into a party and been completely ignored? By EVERYONE? It has nothing to do with male attention. It is being made to feel like you’re worthless now that you’re above 45.

      • BeanieBean says:

        Oh, no, it happens to any woman >50. It’s truly demoralizing.

      • Kate says:

        My mom and I have had this exact conversation recently. Around 45 I started noticing the “indifference” and “invisibleness.” My mom is beautiful – always has been. She looks amazing at 75 and never resorted to any “help” and yet she still noticed it happening. I was “cute” on a good day, but at 50, I have to say that I absolutely agree with the women who are commenting on how demoralizing the experience of *aging* is. It’s real and it sucks. I wish we lived in a culture that put less emphasis on looks and more on our insides – brains, talent, creativity – or just being a good person. I have to admit though that I can’t help but wonder how the young “influencers,” will handle it – those who are already messing around with botox, fillers and the like. Maybe by then things will be different. I hope so.

      • dallas says:

        I am 49. Divorced. Childless. And I lived in a city that was very much geared to a married with children lifestyle. But I was lucky to be able to move to a city in Australia called the Gold Coast and there we say, age is irrelevant! I have dated men half my age and much older there. But it is a unicorn city. Pretty much everyone who lives there moved there because they want to so everyone is happy. Last night I went salsa dancing with my mum at a Brazilian Bar around the corner filled with people from 20 – to well, my oldest friend with us is 89! And its not considered strange at all. It’s a city filled with simply incredible ladies. We call the older the ones “the merry widows and the happy divorcees”. It’s a city filled with beautiful people but everyone is invited to join in the fun of living! I wish everyone could find a place to live like this. Because I know that if I grew old in my home city it would be very boring and very lonely.

    • Mama says:

      I know that she has written before about going to a party and being absolutely ignored. Ignored by most people while those younger were definitely not ignored. It is a thing when you’re older. I’d say you’re lucky. Or are married maybe? Just guessing. Dating is hell at 50. Men my age don’t want me because they want someone younger. The men who do want me are 65-70. But yes, I’m invisible. I used to be able to smile at a man I found attractive and get a smile in return. Now… they ignore it and me. It’s frustrating. And I’m good looking and don’t look 50 but don’t look under 40.

      • drea says:

        Obviously if I’m somewhere with people in their 20s/30s I don’t get as much attention as I used to. But that’s normal and I’m actually happy about that! I’m with the same guy I’ve been with since 22 years old, so sure, I don’t worry about dating. But I didn’t then either.

        I smile all the time and everyone smiles back, but I guess I’m looking at it in a friendly way rather than a dating way, that could be the difference. But I still get attention from men too, but it’s more…I don’t know…peaceful? Less intense than I used to get. And I’m a-okay with that!

        I’m pretty sure I’m near or in menopause (again, I’m 48) so I do disagree with the blanket statement everyone ignores you at that time. I think maybe we all think of “attention” in a different way.

        I feel for anyone that feels ignored. Be sure that I will be smiling at you!

      • drea says:

        I’m 48. Been with someone since 22. I’m definitely starting menopause.

        I just don’t feel the way you do, but I think we are thinking of attention in different terms. You are looking for more “romantic” attention and I’m just looking at it as friendly.

        I smile and get smiles back (from women and men), doors still held for me, small talk started with me, etc.

        I think it’s different for everyone and maybe I would feel differently if dating. I’m just saying I don’t ever feel ignored when I walk in a room.

      • drea says:

        ugh, sorry for the two replies! I thought one disappeared. I’m bad at this.

      • Kitten says:

        Yeah I actually really like not getting the amount of attention I did in my twenties. It drove me crazy how I couldn’t even leave the house in my sweats without getting harassed, catcalled etc. It actually turned me into a very angry, volatile, and resentful person.

        I also think there’s an important conversation to have here about how so many men seem to think that women in their 20s and 30s exist solely for their gaze. Young women are essentially commodified and expected to tolerate harassment simply for going about their business in a public space.

        But yes, at 43 I do not miss that-. It feels like true freedom to be mostly ignored and allowed to live my life.

        EDIT: I’m obviously referring to unwanted attention not like, basic human acknowledgment and courtesy which I still very much enjoy.

      • NotSoSocialB says:

        I’m about to be 56 and my experiences are like yours- been married almost 27 years. I find people to be largely receptive and friendly- I think it’s because at those times, I’m feeling receptive and friendly, too. But I also do definitely enjoy some degree of lower visibility at times. I’m an introvert mostly, so this it quite alright for me.

    • Duch says:

      @Drea, I’m 58. It’s changed a lot over the last couple years for me. Still sudden enough change that it takes me by surprise, I guess especially as I’m getting out more and traveling. I see it definitely with men my age – I’ve become invisible. it’s stunning and sometimes sad. But it just makes me fierce. I’ll say that I don’t see it as much with the younger gens – I seem to get same level of being seen as I did 10 years ago.

      Anyway, it’s different than a 25 vs 45 thing.

    • BeanieBean says:

      It means nobody sees you. At all. For anything. I still remember years ago, I went with my mother to a local antiques roadshow type event at the local armory. She had some costume jewelry she wanted an opinion on. So we went, she carried her stuff to the table of specialists and…they told ME all about the jewelry, not my mom. She was standing right there! She brought the items! But she was >50yo and therefore invisible. She had been talking about that with me before, how she felt invisible, and then when we left I said, wow, I see what you mean. That was awful.

    • AppleCart says:

      I remember her giving an interview years ago and her saying she remember the first time after she turned 40. She was walking down the street and no one noticed her. Not one man stopped to stare at her. And it hit her hard. I think she was used to excessive attention due to her beauty. And as she aged and beauty changes. What average women would call ‘normal’ attention. She would see as being invisible in society. If people aren’t losing their sh*t in her presence. I don’t even think it’s vanity with her. It was her normal for decades.

    • EllenOlenska says:

      Yes, after 45 it accelerates and by mid fifties you are done in the eyes of the world. There are very few professions where older women are seen as valuable despite past successes (and when you start listing female CEOs how many of them are CEOs of companies that were near death when they took them on) Single and over 50? Socially you’re not a great add to a dinner party or many events (despite your wit, intelligence or any other things you tell yourself are what really matters) you just disappear. I do,think,it prompts some of us to get louder and take up more “space” and contribute to the world…but men don’t have to do that.

  5. Driver8 says:

    I remember reading a few years ago that PP said Anna Wintour completely ignored her at an event. AW, the creepy, Kanye loving troll, ignoring that goddess is unfathomable to me. Love PP, love her Instagram, love that she wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s still more beautiful than any 20 something influencer I’ve seen.

    • Normades says:

      AW is terrible. She dismissed her own friend Andre Talley when he got older and fatter.

    • MerlinsMom1018 says:

      I have seen pictures of AW. I simply don’t get how she’s this high priestess of fashion. I just don’t.

  6. Jo says:

    There are two different things here: the first is a society that is patriarchal and dismisses women of all ages for many reasons, one of them being ageism. She did profit from conforming to a certain ideal imposed on women at a certain point though.
    Then there is the notion, prompting a lot of plastic surgeries, that you should have the same kind of attention from the same people at all ages. I find that our society doesn’t celebrate the different stages in life, because we as women don’t. Fortunately, things are changing and if ever there was a time where you see disabled, plump, skinny, women of many ethnicities, is now. But it still isn’t enough, I agree.
    I don’t feel invisible at 46 and I see my 22 year old daughter getting the same kind of attention I did at her age. I have a different kind of attention, calmer, from different people but also from people her age. It’s a new phase and I am very happy to be living it. Being alive is awesome.

  7. Twin Falls says:

    I think this is a worthy conversation, what an over 40 woman really looks like and having that graying, wrinkled, softer body still considered desirable and visually attractive, but as a spokesperson, I mean she’s still stunningly beautiful.

  8. Tempest says:

    She’s a gorgeous woman at every age. I appreciate that she has aged naturally and gracefully thus far. When I see women and men of a certain age who have obviously fought the natural signs of aging with an abundance of fillers, surgery and all that science has to offer, it strengthens my resolve to accept the beauty of getting older. Every season is beautiful in its own way.

  9. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    I’m going to be 65 soon and gravity has settled in for the long haul. Every day is a new wrinkle and more gray hair and I have embraced it all. I don’t give two figs if society wants to “dismiss” me because of that (but then again I am not/never have been/never will be in the public eye and I wouldn’t want to be.)
    I think PP is a stunner. She was gorgeous then, but I think she’s even more beautiful now, wrinkles and all

  10. BayTampaBay says:

    “I was wondering if they would ever dare to go with old fart love on that show.”

    “Last Tango in Halifax” did a whole series (5 seasons) on old fart love so why not old fart love on “Bridgerton”? Shonda Rhimes can and will do whatever she wants.

    • Twin Falls says:

      I loved Last Tango in Halifax!

      • Duch says:

        I loved for first 2 seasons but when Nicola’s character’s back story changed, I just couldn’t watch it! And she’s one of my fav actors.

        Season 1 was an unmitigated delight tho.

  11. NCWoman says:

    No, it’s not special attention. It’s any attention. Once you hit menopause, it’s harder to even get your waiter’s attention lol. I’ve seen it happen to so many friends who are slightly older than me that I’m trying to prepare myself. It’s like you become invisible to a huge chunk of people. When men get older, they are seen as wiser. When women get older, we are disappeared into some sort of societal holding cell. You have to fight harder to be seen both personally and professionally,

    • drea says:

      All I can tell you is I’m there (48) and it’s not like that for me. And also when you are this age, you don’t want that same attention you got at 20! (i’m smiling as I type that).

      Hopefully you feel the ease with it as I do. Sure, a group of 20 year olds probably don’t want me in their conversation. I’m perfectly fine with that! (laughing again as I type it)

      Just giving you another perspective. I was also afraid to be the age I am now when I was younger. Turns out I was afraid for nothing.

      • WiththeAmerican says:

        But she said after menopause which you admit up thread you are just starting (that is peri menopause which isn’t the same thing and doesn’t do to your body and skin what menopause does), as opposed to having hit menopause medically.

        I think it’s good to listen to people who have had an experience we haven’t and take their word for how it feels for them, and since this is a predominantly claimed feeling, it almost feels ageist to dismiss it and say you don’t feel that way, when you have not hit menopause.

        48 and 56 are very different, according to almost every American woman who talks about aging.

        I’m glad you feel great, I hope that for every woman! I’m just saying that you’ve been disagreeing with PP throughout this thread and yet you’re almost a decade younger than PP.

      • drea says:

        Well, I wasn’t getting technical with my health, but I’ve been in perimenopause since about 43 – hair thinned, weight gain, all of it started then. I’m now starting to not get my period at all, which would be menopause. I already have grey, don’t dye my hair because I love it.
        Sure I expect to look different in 10 years, but I don’t see anything wrong with telling people who seem to be worried about turning 50 that not all of us feel this way.

        I’m not trying to diminish how other women feel, but they also don’t speak for me with blanket statements. I just feel if we as women quit pushing the narrative that once you reach a certain age (some on this thread are saying after 40!) that you are just ignored, perhaps things would start to change.

      • Twin Falls says:

        My perspective is not from on the other side of menopause just that the hiding of signs of female aging starts around 40 (this is my peer group 40+ women) when wrinkles, graying hair, metabolism changes start to happen for a lot of women. So it distorts what aging really looks like and, the less it’s visible, the less it’s normalized and accepted as part of a woman who can still be both valued for their appearance as it is, plus all the value that experience by age brings to someone. Because at some point no amount of filler and serums and intermittent fasting can hide the changes. We appreciate the signs of aging in men and shame them in women because, in my opinion, that’s what we’ve been conditioned to do.

      • Duo says:

        Just because this type of statement doesn’t apply to you doesn’t mean it isn’t happening to other women. Plus, it is a well-documented phenomenon. It is both dismissive of women who do experience it and is denying that there is a problem with our society’s perceptions of aging.

      • drea says:

        Sorry @Duo but you are the one speaking in absolutes.
        I’ve been acknowledging the entire time that it may happen – of course women are treated differently as they age, but I’m saying being ignored, people dismissing me, it doesn’t happen to me as you are describing. Heck, I’ve said many times that I don’t get the attention I got in my 20s!
        It’s okay to talk about other women NOT having the same experience you are. I think it’s very damaging to keep telling women that once you hit 50, life is over, you’re ignored. Not sure why people have a problem with me giving my own perspective. Maybe it will calm some fears.

        Just because you experience it doesn’t mean everyone will. Or interpret in the way you do.

      • WiththeAmerican says:

        @drea many of us are experiencing your comments as dismissive. I’d add now with a touch of ‘Cool Girl not happening to me I’m special’.

        You just detailed your health Re perimenopause, which doesn’t address my point at all. You’re not post menopausal, you are not 56 like PP is, please stop saying this isn’t happening to you when you aren’t in that age bracket.

        The cool girl syndrome never dies.

      • drea says:

        @WiththeAmerican – hey it’s all good! You want to tell me when I can and can’t post, it’s “cool”…. I’ve no problem not participating in a conversation if no one wants a differing opinion.

        Remember to smile!

      • Duo says:

        @Drea: You are doing the heavy lifting for the patriarchy by being dismissive of other women’s experiences and ignoring something that is well-documented, even if you perceive this as not happening to you. People experiencing this need to be able to speak up and be able to call this out in order for change things. Having rose-tinted glasses and trying to push that viewpoint on others doesn’t change things for the better, it just lets you toot your own horn. Sit this one out.

      • drea says:

        @Duo Happily! Enjoy your weekend!

      • Tebo says:

        @Drea, I am 52, fully menopausal and am in complete agreement with everything you are saying here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Menopause doesn’t mean erasure for all women and generalizing is harmful itself.

  12. Grace says:

    As a woman who is still working at the age of 63, I can testify to the “invisible” treatment from younger people at work. I don’t look or act 63, whatever that means, but once I let my short hair go gray I noticed a difference in how people treat me. My co-worker, who just let out the gray, admitted the same was happening to her. I didn’t experience this in my forties or even fifties. It can be as subtle as, when talking in a group, people no longer look at you when talking, and mostly turn their attention to others. Competition is fierce in the workplace for older women, even if we embrace our gift of aging. This is coming from a person who has always been able to grab attention and command a space. It’s humbling and weird and gross. We all need to do better about ageism, even in its most subtle forms.

    • drea says:

      I do agree ageism is an issue in the workplace. I see it. And it does worry me about how seriously I will be taken as I get older. Not in a “oh you’re good looking, flirt” kind of way, but in a “she’s old, let’s not listen to her” kind of way.

      • Grace says:

        Exactly. It’s not about male attention. It’s about not being heard b/c “she’s old”….kinda thing..”.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I’m about your age, Grace, and the same is happening to me. There are also assumptions made about what I do or do not know how to do, mostly with respect to computerized anything (yes, I can use GIS; yes, I know that database; yes, I know how to use Teams for meetings, etc.). On the plus side, there’s been some interesting training sessions on working with and understanding a multi-generational workforce, recognizing our biases, and going from there. There can be four different generations on the job right now, and we all make assumptions up and down those age ranges.

    • North of Boston says:

      I’ve seen it myself… both the invisible thing and the dismissive thing. I’d experienced it when I was in my 30s… when I was younger I got a lot of unwanted attention, but in my 30s it was like I went into stealth mode because I got heavy. Between fat and short and female it was like I was a non-entity to some people.

      Lost weight and became visible again.

      And now as I’m a bit older, I’m again experiencing the generalized lack of people acknowledging me professionally, socially and just moving through the world ie getting waited on, etc.

      The weirdest times have been when I’ve been in a group of people and others -peers and older and younger people all – treated me like a regular person, chattering, small talk, sometimes plans to do something together some other time, and occasional flirting from men. Right up until the moment where something comes up in conversation that makes clear my age and it’s like a switch flips with some people. Nothing about *me* changed in terms of how I look or act or what I say, it’s not like I was a character on Younger trying to fake I was not my actual age, but suddenly it’s like I no longer can exist as a person they interact with.

      • BeanieBean says:

        Yep! That’s why I never say my age out loud, or when I graduated from high school. It’s not that I mind my age, or think I look so much younger, but it’s because suddenly I’m treated differently. It’s very noticeable.

  13. R says:

    I love what she’s been talking about and doing. And her husband was an absolute asshole and treated her like crap too. What she’s doing is very punk and I love how she’s getting more empowered and shedding light on how we get more invisible as we dare to age/not die. I follow her on IG. She’s a beautiful woman.

  14. NMB says:

    I think I’m probably too young to know who she is, but she is beautiful.

  15. WiththeAmerican says:

    It kind of proves her point when you read the comments to her on her instagram, asking why she needs attention at this age.

    Lol. Same people don’t ask 20 year olds why they need attention at their age.

    Why can’t she take up space? This culture is gross, the French love women maturing and becoming sexier as they come into their own. There’s something so gross about American men disliking women who become more their own, it turns my stomach.

  16. outofthecloset says:

    I live for her. She’s doing the thing, calling out the ways people dismiss her, and not accepting anyone else’s estimation of who she is. Sure, she’s getting less attention now than in her teens/twenties–she is a supermodel and all eyes were on her in her youth. But her wisdom and DGAF attitude now are goals for ANY woman. And she’s f-ing stunning.

    Also love that her attention is on body positivity and diversity in the industry as well.

  17. smee says:

    IDK if she came up with it, but her #graypride hash tag works for me.

  18. KBeth says:

    Paulina will always be a goddess!

    • Barbie1 says:

      100% accurate. Love her. One of a kind beautiful just like her fellow models of her time period/90’s

  19. Dashen'ka says:

    Appreciated her speaking first but now I don’t know. She is willing to date man who is 65, 70? Man who is bald, bigger, etc.? She wants eligible Hollywood bachelor, wants to still be supermodel. Seems simply mostly sad she no longer has that privilege. Boring. Pretty popular cheerleader mad she not turning head at 30 years high school reunion vibe for me.

    • North of Boston says:

      She’s in her mid 50’s. Do you generally ask men in their 50’s whether they are willing to date women 65, 70 and dismiss their views, call them boring if not?

      • WiththeAmerican says:

        Right? My god the hatred aimed at this woman by other women… is she not allowed to grieve what was her work, which men get to keep far longer than women?

      • NotSoSocialB says:

        Yeah, man- that is one awful hot take.

    • Jaded says:

      Wow…here she is being the visible face and voice of aging beautifully and gracefully, giving women 50+ a voice and you’re dissing her? She’s more than her career, she’s embracing her age and sharing her experiences, good and bad, as she ages. That’s what all of us of a certain age need and appreciate — to be valued for who we are and the experience we bring to the table, not just our looks.

    • Thinking says:

      Wasn’t she married to a guy who was 25 years older than her?

      Based on that, I doubt she’s the type to dismiss an older man. I think everyone else is likely to be more dismissive of the option than she is.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if she preferred dating someone closer to her own age though, now that she’s experienced being married to a guy 25 years older than her.

      • Thinking says:

        Also wanted to add this — a lot of supermodels seem be married to guys who are less conventionally good-looking. Other than Gisele, whenever I’ve seen a supermodel with her husband, I’m slightly in shock at the looks disparity. When it comes to dating and looks, the supermodels might actually be less shallow than the rest of us! Not necessarily less materialistic, but at least not as into being swayed by a man’s looks.

  20. Trish says:

    This all just makes me furious. It basically shows that women are nothing but sex objects and breeders in most men’s mind and if not either of those, just take up space and are worthless. And we wonder why people like Madonna have puffed her face all up. Women can’t win. We aren’t allowed to be anything but a hole. That was a brilliant name for a band, Courtney Love had.

  21. Cobra says:

    I am 47. Went to macy’s recently to check out Opium perfume, liked the description in the website ‘sensual,sexy etc’. The perfume lady said ‘ it’s too strong for you’ when I asked for Opium, whatever that means. Just one look at me and she decided. Based on what. First I was dumbfounded and then I asked on what basis she formed that opinion, she just mumbled something. I did not ask her in a confrontational way, just in a amused sort of way. I am not a confrontational person and I dint want to ruin her day even though she kinda offended me. Also I was dressed kinda frumpy that day, so I gave her a pass. I come from a culture where the movies are very ageist and sexist, so it was a breath of fresh air for me that in American movies interesting things happen to middle aged women and there are middle aged women leads. Now I have been living here for 20 years, I see sexism and ageism everywhere. Just different level from my origin country. It’s south India by the way if u r curious.

  22. CatJ says:

    Somewhere on the internet is a video interview of her speaking, and as she is answering questions, she slowly removes pieces of clothing, very casually,,,,, it’s a fascinating interview and very insightful of PP discussing aging, and how she is growing into her “self” as a woman of a certain age…

  23. SourcesclosetoKate says:

    There are societal ‘unattractive to average’ women that have never been considered beautiful no matter her age. I wonder if aging is easier for them on their confidence. It seems they might have an easier time transitioning aging than someone like her.

    • Eggbert says:

      I can see that.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      Possibly. I wonder if age “evens things out” to where older women are viewed as (relatively) equally unattractive? I know that’s a terrible thing to say, and *I* don’t think older women are unattractive (as an over-40 woman myself). But I mean, to society in general, older women may all fade into one category, with individual attractiveness not mattering as much?

    • Thinking says:

      I was wondering about the people who never get any attention.

      I don’t think I’ve NEVER gotten any attention. But when extremely beautiful people talk about the level of attention they received when younger I don’t really relate. Or maybe I failed to notice I was getting attention based on looks. I just assumed someone was being friendly but not much beyond that. in school environments, you’re largely worried about your grades and what you’re going to do following graduation. Worrying about whether I was getting the same attention as everyone else might have been lower on my list of priorities. Then you get into the working world, and you’re constantly worried about your future and whether you’re achieving at the same level as your peers. Maybe I was too busy being stressed out to figure out if I was getting the same amount of attention relative to other people.

      I also don’t know if I’ve been environments where getting attention based on looks is a thing. If you’re in school or the workplace, you’re expected to be relatively intelligent. Sure, looks help, but if you’re a good-looking catastrophe or a mean good-looking person or a bad team player I’m not convinced people would want to work with you. At that point, people might want to date that good-looking person but I’m not sure if they actually want to work with them. The entertainment industry, or any other looks-based industry, is a whole other beast. I’ve never wanted to be in a looks-based industry, however, because I know I would never be able to keep up.

  24. Joanie says:

    I appreciate her sentiments, but she’s complaining about a beauty standard that she herself profited from and upheld.

  25. kelleybelle says:

    She is still beautiful.

  26. Jack says:

    I get what she is saying and have experienced it so many times myself. In my 20s and 30s, men went out of their way to catch my attention and talk to me. I was in a leadership role and people in different levels of the orgs I worked in wanted to hear my ideas and I was told I was valuable to the company.

    Once I hit 50, people walked past me and wouldn’t even look at me. I work in tech and now people talk to me like I don’t know anything, although I’ve been in sr. mgmt/executive roles for the past 20 years. I’m 56 now, overweight and it does hurt to go from being someone who was once highly valued (not so much from men, but from my company), to being someone dismissed and overlooked.

    I don’t need men oggling me and to be a size 4 again, but I do want to feel like my contributions are valued. I miss that.

    • Alice says:

      I find that so unfair that women in their 50s/60s who have a wealth of experience are not listened to while men of similar age are. While losing the male gaze can be sad or liberating depending on one’s perspective, the invisibility in the workplace or in general public is maddening. I’m 55 and have started to notice in the workplace that there’s this valuing of younger womens voices over older womens voices. Makes no sense.

      There is a difference between one’s 40s and 50s too, I’ll add. In your 40s, you can still be viewed as a mature young person. But in your 50s, it starts to shift.

      • Twin Falls says:

        Thanks everyone who is living this for sharing. I completely missed the point of what she was saying.

  27. Isabella says:

    If you are over 40, one of the weirdest things is that you suddenly see far fewer women your age on TV and in the movies. A whole generation of women, erased. It’s really weird. Paulina is a hoot.

  28. Mothra says:

    Even if it was just a cry for shallow attention, it’s easy to understand. I’ve never looked exactly beautiful but when I was younger I had a lot of compliments and attention that tuned down with time passing. Fortunately with age comes knowledge, and now I know it’s not only a matter of beauty when it comes to youth, it’s about the permission people feel to be invasive towards young women, be it with catcalling or other stuff. It’s not surprising that people also stopped to give unwanted opinions about my life; now they know I will take no shit anymore. And a lot of sexual attention, in a society where men are raised like predators, is based on vulnerability (too).

  29. Jo says:

    It’s been interesting to read everyone’s opinions and perspectives! It is true that women lose visibility in popular culture as love interests and desirable characters but not as much as before. However, women still are the centre of many narratives as doctors, chiefs of staff etc. The onus really seems to be the question of being desirable and sexually possible as an interest. Especially when compared to their male counterparts.
    There is invisibility, I think, much more for lesbians of all ages and Asian female characters.
    PP seems to have a bias as someone who was very much an ideal patriarchal object of desire and sees things from that point of view – she has a particularly cringey Instagram post about the main female character of call my agent as « brave » for having a big nose. PP does not know how it is to have an unconventional kind of beauty which is more likely most people’s experience here.
    Also, the fact that some women feel invisible after a certain age whereas others don’t depends on context, particularly professional context. Everyone’s experience is valid: some jobs are more mysoginistic than others. Lucky for those who don’t suffer from that! And let’s hope that popular culture’s recent efforts of inclusivity keep happening.

    • Mothra says:

      “Not as much as before” Exactly. She also grew up in a different generation, where women were even more valued by their looks and youth than now. People might complain all they want about this new generation vices but this is the era where women are being less objectfied than ever. I also see that places where women are dismissed for being older are typical men’s enviroment, like tech.
      I also sensed some tone deaf and white womanism on her, but overall seems like a good person.

    • Thinking says:

      I do think that in some jobs you might sort of be required to tone down how you look.

      Obviously in entertainment you need to fit the ideal perfectly.

      But I also think in other professions you might almost be required to some extent to not call attention to how you look and you’d have to make a negotiation of how you choose to dress and use makeup. You could technically be very beautiful but may have to almost deflect from that in clothes and makeup to be taken seriously. Everybody has to make a negotiation of some kind, I think.

      • Thinking says:

        Having said that, maybe times have changed. I do think people are given more leeway nowadays in how they choose to express themselves. So maybe my opinion makes no sense in the age of Instagram. After seeing Timothy Chalamet at the Oscars with no shirt on, I realized I was totally out of it. My opinion may not be relevant to how things are working this decade.

  30. Isabella says:

    After reading this story, it was so inspiring (and fun) to watch the Julia Child miniseries on HBO. Like many women, she started a second career in her fifties. You get kind of fearless at that age. She was told that she had a “face” for radio” & started her cooking series , anyway. We see her being ignored by men or put down and she just keeps trying.

  31. Ruby says:

    Watching “Outlaws” on Amazon. Teen says to Chris Walken/grampa “You’re 70! What do you know about fashion?” Walken is 79, but no one believes that 79 y o’s can still stand upright.

    Same show: a female activist in her 60’s is ousted from a protest march, told “it’s time to step aside.” i.e. retire. She was made to look pathetic bc she dedicated her life to social change. This , however, would not happen irl, I don’t think . The kids don’t care that Bernie’s old, for example.

  32. Thinking says:

    Maybe the profession she’s in affects the attention she gets.

    In a room with other supermodels like Cindy Crawford, etc, I feel she would be paid attention to. Heck, I’m sure Oprah would go up to her and ask her what it’s like to be that beautiful, even at her current age.

    But if she shows up at the Academy Awards or any other entertainment-related function more related to something else like acting or directing, well then…’s likely they’d pay attention to the actresses, whether old or young. In those particular contexts, she may not be quite as relevant, regardless of age.

    I believe her when she says she is wiser, more patient and more fabulous than she used to be but in a looks-based industry I don’t know how you bring that to the conversation if you’re hawking beauty products like Christie Brinkley does.

  33. caitiecait says:

    So I find this whole conversation kind of bizarre because I am in my early 30s and I have never received the “attention” everyone is talking about. I consider myself unattractive and even ugly at times. So I will never lose something I never had.

    It’s also kind of hard to feel sorry for someone who made money based on our society’s preference for youth and beauty and then judged others for it on America’s Next Top Model.