Actress Cameron Diaz has released a new lifestyle book encouraging women everywhere to embrace everything about getting older.
The 43-year-old feels that the best part of growing older is the knowledge she gains through new experiences, and she says she no longer has any fears when it comes to ageing.
The Longevity book, a follow-up to Cameron’s best-selling 2013 offering The Body Book, is described as a personal, practical, and authoritative guide that examines the art and science of growing older, offering steps women can take to create health and resilience as they age.
“As we get older, there are phases of life that we enter into,” she said. “And I was entering the phase of 40 when I started getting a lot of questions like, “Are you scared to turn 40?” and I started asking myself, “Why should I be afraid of turning 40?
“I realised people were afraid of ageing because they just didn’t understand it. And I was like, what is ageing?
“We live in a very self-obsessed, narcissistic society, and it’s focused on the superficial, it’s focused on what we see in the mirror, instead of what is on the inside.
“I think that if all we’re concentrating on is what we see in the mirror, it’s very dangerous. We’re going to be very lost.”
Getting older is obviously a fact of life, but Cameron has a point in saying that the way we approach it, makes all the difference.
Yet according to a 2010 survey conducted by Bupa, women around the world seem to worry about ageing more than men do.
Their biggest fears are:
Losing attractiveness and inheriting wrinkles and grey hair, as well as weight gain
Being left alone after a spouse dying, or losing friends when they relocate for retirement
Becoming a ‘bag lady’ and being left with dramatically less money
Getting cancer – this tops the health concerns women fear most, according to a 2005 study by the Society for Women’s Health Research, in particular breast cancer
Becoming too dependent on others – Men too dread becoming a burden, but for many women who have traditionally been caregivers, the prospect of a role reversal is especially uncomfortable.
Better than the alternative
But if we take a leaf out of Cameron’s book, getting older is actually a really lucky thing. Surely it’s better than the alternative? So why not embrace it and understand what ageing really means.
Cameron adds: “Sure, we have wrinkles, maybe bad eyesight, and I can see the changes in my body and that it’s different than it was 10, even two, years ago.
“So I think okay, what does this mean and what is ageing?
“One of the things that was really interesting during the research process [for the book] was acknowledging that we are ageing and you can do that in a hopeful way.
“With the menopause, we found that women who were informed and more accepting of the transition typically experienced milder and shorter symptoms.
“The stress of not understanding it, or hiding it from the people around you, or not being able to talk to your girlfriends, or be able to help your partner or children understand what you’re going through, makes it physically harder.”