Jane Fonda opens up about sexism and ageism in Hollywood and shares her secrets on how she stays fit, confronts the pitfalls of aging and defiantly remains youthful. The legendary actress addresses this and more with her characteristic candor in a new interview.
The 77-year-old Oscar-winning actress may win accolades for defying stereotypes about aging, but as she reveals in a new interview, both her career longevity in Hollywood and her youthfulness are not without much effort. From the 1960s ‘Barbarella’ bikini girl days to her rise to fame in notable roles in such iconic 1970s movies as ‘They Shoot Horses Don’t They?’ as well as’Klute’ and ‘Coming Home’ for which she won the Oscars, to the 1980s aerobics and fitness guru, she’s been a fixture in our pop culture.
In an interview with the UK Mirror she denounces the sexism in Hollywood that make her such a rarity, saying, “I’m surprised I’m still getting opportunities because, for women, once you reach 40 or 50 it’s very difficult to find work.” And indeed, she is once again in a starring role, opposite another icon, Lily Tomlin, in the Netflix series, ‘Grace and Frankie.’ The hit comedy reunites her with her 1980s ‘9 to 5′ costar.
She denounced the disparity, saying, “The perception of men as they get older is vastly different from women. Men are seen as becoming elegant and more desirable, whereas women are seen as having lost their beauty and attractiveness. It’s as if we become devalued because only our beauty defines us.”
She continued, saying, “That’s what puts all this terrible pressure on women to look as young as possible. Society values youth – and particularly so when it comes to women. It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is.”
And she herself, in the interview, speaks with candor of her health problems which she has overcome which she has now allowed to slow her down. She said, “I’ve always remained very physically active…You don’t have to accept any limits beyond what your body allows.”
She went on to note, “I’ve had hip and knee replacements but can still do an intensive workout. I believe that as you get older your mind can overcome a lot of the failings of your body by maintaining a youthful spirit and a passion for everything life has to offer.”
As for staying so youthful that she continues to stun and turn heads on the red carpet — let’s face int in part, because she defies the stereotypes — she said, “It’s not a secret formula…I make sure I get eight or nine hours’ sleep a night. I try to stay out of the sun to protect my skin.”
She went on to say, “I work out almost every day and eat the healthiest organic food I can find. I’m certainly much more confident and happier than I’ve been in many years.”
Indeed there’s much to celebrate, as the hit series, which sees Lily Tomlin and her cast as best friends whose husbands — portrayed by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston — fall in love.
Not least, she made headlines for becoming the oldest cover star for W Magazine. She continues to be an inspiration for many and to challenge the damaging and limiting stereotypes that affect not just women’s psyches but their careers as well.
You can see the full interview with Jane Fonda here.
Photos: Jane Fonda
Credit: PR Photos
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