Jane Fonda: ‘We all know women who’ve had… facelifts and they look terrible’

Jane Fonda has a whole profile in Vogue. I thought it was because of her Dragon voicework in Luck but no, she has a clothing line collaboration with H&M. She’s starring in the campaign too. It’s called H&M Move and it aims to make sportswear stylish and functional, more accessible. So they’re calling it ‘movewear.’ Normally I’d roll my eyes because we don’t need any more G-D labels but I kind of like that concept and the name’s groovy.

Anyway, the profile with Jane talked about her workout empire in the 80s and how much it’s helped her age in her 80s. The point Jane makes many times in her answers is that some movement now will serve you well later. That the best way to age is to prepare for it. At one point during her answer, Jane realizes that it’s easy for her to say because she has the money to prepare for age in a way most don’t. But then she also acknowledges that we all know a lot of women who have the money for plastic surgery, “and they look terrible.”

Stay moving: H&M Move is focused on what they call “getting the whole world moving.” That’s something that I’ve been doing a lot of my own life. It just seems to make sense for me because I’m almost 85. I know better than I did even when I was younger that no matter how old you are or who you are or where you are, keeping moving in a way that’s appropriate for your age is absolutely critical to your healthy lifespan.

Exercise is for more than physical well-being: I come from a long line of depressed people. One of the ways that I avoid depression is through exercise. When I move, when I walk, when I exercise, the depression lifts. That and activism are the two best anecdotes for depression as far as I’m concerned. I mean, unless you have chronic depression, which is a different thing.

The work you do now will help later: I walk a lot, and that helps me. I didn’t realize when I was young, the young never realize how important it is to keep your body strong because there’s nothing wrong with them. Their body works. They take it for granted. As you get older, you realize the importance of it. I mean, every day when I get out of a car, I thank the goddesses that I have strong thighs, that I’ve worked out to keep strong thighs. When I’m backing a car up and I have to look over my shoulder, I’m thankful that I’ve kept flexible and I can turn my head and it doesn’t hurt. Just basic things like that you take for granted when you’re younger but can’t do anymore when you’re older unless you have remained strong and flexible. My motto now is not for the burn. It’s slow down. Everything is very slow.

On aging: I want young people to stop being afraid about getting older. What matters isn’t age, isn’t that chronological number. What matters is your health. My dad died six years younger than I am now. He seemed so old because he was ill. He had a heart disease. I’m not ill. So I’m almost 85, but I don’t seem that old. So getting young people to stop being afraid of being old, helping people realize that just because you’re a certain age doesn’t mean you have to give up on life, give up on having fun, give up on having boyfriends or girlfriends, making new friends, or whatever you want to do. It’s still in the realm of life possibilities for you. I think that Grace and Frankie gives people, especially women, a lot of hope. That’s why I always tell people what my age is because I want them to realize it.

Money doesn’t always help: Now as those words are coming out of my mouth, what I’m thinking with the second part of my brain is, Yeah, Fonda. You have money. You can afford a trainer. You can afford plastic surgery. You can afford facials. You can afford the things that help make you continue to look young. That is true. Money does help. Good genes and a lot of money, as somebody once said. But then as I’m saying that, I’m thinking we all know a lot of women who are wealthy who’ve had all kinds of facelifts and things like that and they look terrible. I had a facelift and I stopped because I don’t want to look distorted. I’m not proud of the fact that I had [one].

On if she would do it again: I don’t know if I had it to do over if I would do it. But I did it. I admit it, and then I just say, okay, you can get addicted. Don’t keep doing it. A lot of women, I don’t know, they’re addicted to it. I don’t do a lot of facials. I don’t spend a lot of money on face creams or anything like that, but I stay moisturized, I sleep, I move, I stay out of the sun, and I have good friends who make me laugh. Laughter is a good thing too.

[From Vogue]

I really like Jane’s answer about taking the fear out of aging. I also tell anyone who’ll listen my age like Jane because I want my kids to see how proud I am of it. The woman my husband dated before me wouldn’t let him tell anyone her age and I tell everyone. Poor guy gets so confused. I did appreciate Grace and Frankie for exactly the reasons Jane mentioned, that the women never resigned that they were done with any part of their lives.

As for Jane’s thoughts on plastic surgery, I agree, and I don’t. There are people with a lot of money who get too much done and it isn’t the best look on them. But there are people with access to the best surgeons who look great. I don’t know this for a fact, but my guess is the time money is the most helpful is when you’re older. Not even just for the cosmetic stuff, but for comfort and care. Going through my parents’ twilight years has convinced me of this. Much like Jane’s thoughts about preparing physically for aging, I think the face creams, SPFs and efforts she went to as a younger woman probably helped her in her 80s. Jennifer Garner talked about the advice she got for skin and that sunblock in your 20s will reward you in your 50s (or something like that). Maybe that’s the issue with the rich broads whose facelifts look terrible – they didn’t do any prep work as younger people. They leave their skin to elasticity and try to fix it all in the 60s and 70s.

Photo credit: Avalon Red, Cover Images and Instagram

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38 Responses to “Jane Fonda: ‘We all know women who’ve had… facelifts and they look terrible’”

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  1. laalaa says:

    I LOVE Jane, and I do her videos (dvds) almost every day. I have 5 of them and I can never get bored. They really work and there are no shenanigans, plus the 80s music and fashion are just adorable. She is the reason why vhs became popular as a medium!!!

  2. Harla A Brazen Hussy says:

    I remember trying out her exercise video 6 or so weeks after having my 2nd child in the late 80’s, got tendinitis in both knees and could barely move for 2 weeks.🙄. That said now that I’m pushing 60, I really appreciate the active lifestyle I led when I was younger and continue to lead today.

  3. Lolo86lf says:

    Ms. Fonda is one of the few lucky people to have everything: Good health, beauty, good genetics, healthy lifestyle, good outlook on life and tons of money to pick the best plastic surgeons to tweak her face. In the last picture she looks like an older Lisa Rinna doesn’t she?

    • North of Boston says:

      She’s also got intelligence and cognitive health, which makes a *huge* difference when you’re aging.

    • elle says:

      She does! She’s reached the point in cosmetic procedures where she no longer looks like herself.

      • damejudi says:

        Sadly, I agree.

        I had a hard time getting through the last episodes of Grace & Frankie because it was such a distraction.

        She looked older, yet still stunningly beautiful in the earlier seasons of G & F.

  4. HeyKay says:

    Agree 100% Lolo.

  5. The Hench says:

    I’m no expert on plastic surgery but, as a casual observer it seems to me that many of the women who look best as they are (Fonda, Mirren for eg) are those who seem to have gone down the facelift route rather than the filler route. Whilst fillers may seem like the easier, less invasive option, at the end of the day a facelift leaves you with your face but younger whereas so often, fillers end up making their recipients look like weird, overstuffed versions of themselves. People lose the definition of their natural bone structure. One example imo is Lauren Graham from Gilmore girls. I think she would have aged much better if she’d just left her face alone.

    Any CBs who have experience of facelifts want to chime in?

    • Jacqueline Bruhn says:

      My mom had one, one close friend – some less close. It is a long and tough recovery. My friend did hers around 60, maybe 55? And she looked great into her late 70’s. There can be cognitive decline afterwards – something to be aware of. Not sure how long it lasts but have heard (friends of friends) a year. I would make the decision with care and only if one could afford the best surgeon.

    • Jenn says:

      I’ll tell you what, the best facelift I have ever seen was on my 4th-grade elementary school teacher. This was in a tiny Texas town, and I was a teenager. I finally asked my mom, “Did Betty XXXXXXXX get a facelift?” and my mom gave me a sly smile, and I was just like “…it looks terrific?!” It wasn’t super obvious — I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me — but she went from looking 72 to probably 58. I don’t think any of the other kids/teens noticed. (No fillers involved, just a good ol’ fashioned yank skyward.)

    • Geegee says:

      I call it play-doe face. You can tell who has had it. Their face starts to look like a half melted candle.

  6. Happy_Fat_Mama says:

    I have difficulty reconciling my respect and appreciation for JF’s art and her activism and honesty…with the way her workout videos were such a big part of fat phobia in to 80s. JF was very invested in thinness, and she’s always had a lot of resources. The women in my family at the time were among the very many hard-working, overweight women who had to deal with the stigma of fat phobia. I can recall how fat phobia led to unhealthy practices, like extreme diets, anxiety, and poor treatment by doctors. Of course we all need healthy movement. But in fact, fat phobia does not encourage healthy movement.
    I wish JF, would talk publicly about that. If anyone has heard or read an interview where she has, please share?

    • Southern Fried says:

      Did Jane advise bad dieting or extreme exercise or what, I honestly don’t know. I did one of her exercise tapes 4 days a week for a few months after being bedridden for a long period and I don’t remember any negatives, it helped me immensely get back in shape. I didn’t go at it full force but started off at my own pace until I could keep up.

      • NorthernGirl_20 says:

        From what I’ve seen, she advocated staying in shape and eating healthy not fat phobia. Being fat is detrimental to your health.

    • Vicki says:

      Jane has admitted to being bulimic during the workout years, and talked publicly about how she got past it. There are unhealthy thin people, there are unhealthy fat people. There are healthy thin people, there are healthy fat people (no really, there are!). There are so many factors that make up an individual’s morphology and health status, lots of continuing research in this area.

    • Jenn says:

      She semi-recently proclaimed that she planned to never buy any clothing “new” ever again — there’s so much waste in the world, she planned to shop from her own closet and, I guess, supplement with pre-worn clothing? — so her about-face to promoting a fast-fashion brand has me dyinggggg. I don’t like her any less for it, I’m not calling her a hypocrite, but she has never been shy about changing her mind!! And I think that’s great! But yeah, the grand pronouncements every few months… that’s just Jane, lol

  7. NorthernGirl_20 says:

    I just love her so much

  8. LightPurple says:

    I love jane. This world needs more Janes.

    • Honey says:

      I agree. To me, she has always come across as vulnerably human. She loved who and what she loved. She has always advocated for the causes she believed in and has always seemed open and reflective about those things and why she chose a certain path. I’ve always liked and admired her. Plus, I love her clothing style and dress. 😂

  9. Southern Fried says:

    She’s a force to be reckoned with for sure.. a fabulous one. I’d be interested in a fashion line from her that isn’t just workout gear.

  10. HoneyBear says:

    I saw Jane Fonda in 1995 walking by herself down Lexington Ave and she is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. She had dressed for a nice fall day in very elegant Western looking Turquoise and a coat poncho style south West Indian multi colored wrap. She’s mid night , beautiful hair skin and eyes, just perfect. This was probably when she was with Ted. She was probably 50 then and looked about 30 ! If she had had her first face lift then it wouldn’t surprise me.

  11. TwinFalls says:

    She’s not wrong. You can’t overstate the importance of good genes and a lot of money to ease the effects of aging but her dad had both and didn’t take advantage of that by also staying active and healthy. You still have to put in the effort to care for your body as it ages because shit changes. The comments about being thankful that her body can still do everyday tasks hit home. That truly is a gift as you get older.

    I’d take a one time good facelift over the constant filler/Botox/laser cycle.

  12. TeamMeg says:

    National Treasure! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  13. Blithe says:

    Re: Telling your /my age. I rarely tell anyone my age — although I value all that I’ve accomplished and much of what I’ve experienced during my years. My reason for this is that I get tired of feeling and being constricted by other people’s reactions and stereotypes— on top of the reactions and stereotypes that I already deal with as a WOC who looks the way I do and talks the way I do, and interacts with the world in the ways that I do. Being told that I “don’t look” my age or “don’t act” my age feels like falling prey to other people’s stereotypes about the boundaries that someone my age should face. It gets tired, and I try not to feed into it unless there’s a good reason to do so. For the most part, curiosity about my age feels like curiosity about my race — and I don’t benefit from being burdened by other people’s random curiosity.

    Good on Jane, and those of you who handle this differently— which will, perhaps, help to crush some of the stereotypes that I’m railing against.

  14. Susan says:

    She must be kidding. Maybe one facelift but loads & loads of fillers and Botox. I had to stop watching G&F because her face got more & more distorted. I’m amazed she would give interviews like this when she has so obviously had so much work done on herself. I always liked her but 🙄

  15. Elsa says:

    I’m almost 61 and I had a facelift. I loved it and would do it again! It’s probably good that I don’t have more money! I think I would be tempted to overdo it.

    • Fascinating Fascinator says:

      Ooo Elsa tell us more! I’m considering – how was your recovery? What procedures? So glad you love your results!

  16. jferber says:

    Jane looks AMAZING and she’s over 80. Just wow!

  17. Eleanor says:

    I’m a fan of hers. I hope she’ll use her voice to urge H&M to continue to improve their business and environmental practices.

    • kirk says:

      Thanks for the link Eleanor.
      Big fan of Jane. Never bought any of her videos back in the day, but recently discovered 2 workouts for free on Roku. Don’t spend much on clothes, especially after retiring last year and having multiple sizes of things in closet. But workout clothes in video looked super comfy and perfect for non-workout too.

  18. Valerie says:

    Granted she’s one of the ones who’s had better work done, but it isn’t as if it isn’t obvious. I don’t think she’s pretending that she hasn’t had help, so that’s in her favour. And we know she takes care of her body. I just can’t help but wonder what these women would look like if they didn’t start with the fillers in the first place. Probably fine, but not in a way that would be acceptable where they live and work.

    I don’t think getting them makes her a hypocrite, though. I think she’s a victim of the system. She’d be damned if she did and damned if she didn’t. It’s nice to say that women should just stop doing x or bending to y, but it’s never that easy, especially in her line of work.

  19. Renae says:

    Been a RN for over 40 years.
    While I’ve seen some great plastic surgeries, I would NEVER, no NEVER get a facelift.
    The surgery is GROSS! Most of the time the docs either do too much (generally because thats what the patient wanted) and the result is weird, or, they do so little that there are almost no improvements besides loss of some crows-feet.
    Nothing like going into an OR and watching a face being peeled off and then stretched and pulled and sewn into place. Yuck!

  20. Katie Beanstalk says:

    I knew she couldn’t stay modest for ever.

  21. Granger says:

    I think her comments are awesome and I wish more women with her means would be honest and open about their privilege. She’s clearly had lots of work done and it’s a bit disingenuous not to admit to fillers, etc., but hey, that’s her prerogrative. She works in a particular industry in a particular country where long-term success for women is 90% due to appearance (I don’t think it’s quite the same for actors in Great Britain — there are a lot of successful character actors there who’ve never had work done and who absolutely look their age), so I don’t expect her to be totally immune to wanting to maintain a certain “standard.” But overall, she’s saying all the important stuff: move as much as you can, keep your thighs strong and work on your flexibility, laugh and be social, stay curious and engaged. And walk lots, if you can. The long-term benefits of just walking every single day are SO underestimated.