Special Interview with Cameron Diaz
In her late 30s, Cameron Diaz recalls how journalists would often ask her if, as an actress, if she was scared about turning 40.
"They were saying, 'Aren't you afraid that the death of your career is imminent because you don't look 25 any more?'” Instead of trying to fight the inevitable, the actress focuses on understanding what we might expect as we get older, and how we can live better, stronger, healthier lives as we age.
"Why is everybody so scared of ageing? I feel better than I ever have," says Diaz, "It's not just physical. I feel different mentally as a human being."
So it’s all about changing priorities. “I'm not trying to have the best body in Hollywood. I'm very happy maintaining my wellbeing, which is a priority in my life. That's important to me. As you get old, at any point in your life, the only way you can have success is if you focus on what you gain, not what you have to give up.”, claims Diaz.
Unlike the many actresses who bemoan the lack of good roles for older women, Diaz has a different perspective. She has said: "The most interesting parts are for women who are over 40. We don't see it that way, because they're not the sexy parts. Look at the Oscar nominees in the last decade. "We're not giving those women enough credit for what they're accomplishing, which is beautiful performances."
In the age-obsessed movie industry, she admits she has tried all sorts of age- defying make-up combinations over the years. “I've visited my fair share of dermatologists' offices exploring their anti-ageing arsenals, from creams to lasers to Botox and fillers, all for the sake of maintaining a look of youth and beauty. Believe me, I know that it's easy to get caught up with what you see in the mirror and use it as a metric for how well you are ageing. But don't be fooled - just because you look younger than your friend, doesn't mean your body isn't experiencing some wear and tear. This ageing thing is a process, and we all have our own individual journey through it.”
So what needs to change?
“Let's push the mid-life crisis off a bridge and throw ourselves a party instead. The mid-life celebration: a personal holiday that celebrates the journey we've made to get here, and the unexpected places we have yet to discover.” Happiness leads the way for Diaz and personal life is definitely the most important thing, “my husband is the most loving and meaningful relationship I have ever had. He is one of the pillars of my wellbeing and we get to build our life together," she happily states.
"I just think it's a privilege to get older. Not everybody gets there. I've lost plenty of friends, who died in their 20s and 30s. We're looking at ageing as a bad thing, but if you're doing it, you are really lucky. We're living the longest we've ever lived. I can live longer, but I don't just want to be alive. I want to spend the next half of my life healthy in body, mind and spirit."
So how does she see her 40s and 50s planning out?
"I don't even know if I'm going to be acting. I don't know what's going to happen, but I haven't given up on acting," she admits. “It wasn't so long ago that I could skip a few days of working out and, while my energy level and mood might be affected, my body was still pretty resilient. It only took a few days of hard workouts to snap it back into place and regain a feeling of strength. It doesn't seem like anything snaps back into place as it used to," she reflects.
She practices what she preaches though: Transcendental Meditation on a daily basis, regular exercise, healthy food and lots of laughter and rest. "If I don't sleep well, if I miss breakfast or eat something that looked rich and delicious on a menu but turns out to be too rich and delicious, if I miss my workout because I have a stack of meetings that seem more pressing at the moment - well, I suffer for it. I believe that we would all be a lot happier, feel a lot better, heave a big sigh of relief, if we could just answer, 'How old are you?', with the truth. Without fear. Without hesitation. Without shame."