Older and wiser: Stars share biggest lessons they’ve learned about aging, sex and beauty in 2022

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Celebrities share their unique perspectives on what aging means to them. (Photo: Getty Images and Nadeen Nakib)

Celebrities share their unique perspectives on what aging means to them. (Photo: Getty Images and Nadeen Nakib)

Whether it’s advertisements for anti-aging skin care products or yearly 30 under 30 lists, the world often places a great importance on youth. Yet the truth is, aging is a gift — one not everyone gets to experience. It’s also one that comes with wisdom, new perspective and plenty of life experience. This year, Yahoo Life’s series Unapologetically spoke to individuals who have walked many different paths and have a unique outlook on what it means to get older. For some, aging includes a hotter sex life. For others, it’s about caring a lot less about what people think of them.

While youth may be applauded, there are plenty of reasons to embrace the aging process — just read what these stars have to say about it.

Donna D’Errico

“I don’t focus on age. Age is so irrelevant. Who cares about how old anybody is? I could tell you that I’m 30 or I could tell you that I’m 70 — I’m still the same person sitting here. I don’t think that age has anything to do with anything. I’m just me. I’m just Donna.” — Donna D’Errico

Jodie Sweetin

“It’s important, particularly for women, to claim every day that they have been on this earth because it’s not easy … I am so much happier in my own skin as a 40 year old woman than I have been at any point in my life. I think something happens in your mid to late thirties where you just start realizing like, ‘Oh, I don’t have to give a s*** about what anybody else thinks about me … I’m not here to do anybody else’s work or anybody else’s job. I’m not here to live anybody else’s truth. I’m just here to fully, 100% be me.’ And I finally feel like at 40 years old, I’m really embracing that and loving it and enjoying it.” — Jodie Sweetin

Celebrities speak out about what aging means to them. (Photo: Getty Images and Nadeen Nakib)Celebrities speak out about what aging means to them. (Photo: Getty Images and Nadeen Nakib)

Celebrities speak out about what aging means to them. (Photo: Nadeen Nakib)

Elizabeth Hurley

“There’s plenty of women my age who really love going on vacation, prancing around the beach, wearing whatever they want to wear and not being afraid of other people making sneering comments. So I think it’s just about really saying, work out what you’re comfortable with, work out what you believe in. And whilst always being open to new opportunities and to change, stick to your guns when you know something you feel strong about.” — Elizabeth Hurley

Vanna White

“I’m not a young spring chicken anymore and, it is what it is. I do the best I can. I eat pretty good. I exercise. I just try to stay healthy, and be the best I can at my age. That’s all you can do.” — Vanna White

Sherri Shepherd

“Sex after 50 is amazing…You know why? Because you take your time. There’s no Energizer bunnies going on after 50. After 50, you know what you want and you’re not afraid to say it.” — Sherri Shepherd

Tia Carrere

“The mantle of sex symbol is quite a heavy one decades later. You’re frozen in time in celluloid history at the peak of your beauty and at your goal weight. You can’t help but chafe at the thought that people are comparing you favorably or unfavorably to what you look like when you’re age 23 — but you have to let that go.” — Tia Carrere

Jane Fonda

“I have ridden my sexuality along into my older age and very happily so, and I’m grateful for that … It takes courage and a willingness. What’s important is to know that you don’t have to stay sexually active, [but] you can stay sexual. We always have those vibrators that are getting more and more sophisticated every year. And, um, boy — do I get sent a lot of vibrators.” — Jane Fonda

Melissa Gilbert

“We need to provide examples for young women of what aging well looks like, and what being healthy looks like, as opposed to telling them that it’s OK to lose 16 pounds to fit into Marilyn Monroe’s dress. I think that is a dangerous destructive message. Hopefully, I’m here to inspire other women to join this movement, to be who we are and know that this is not only is this enough, it’s more than enough.” — Melissa Gilbert

Rebel Wilson

“Now that I’m in my 40s, what I’m most unapologetic about is the times when I’m ‘feral.’ It’s an Australian word — it’s when you’re not put together, your hair is a mess, you don’t have makeup. Before, I used to be like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t want people seeing me like that.’ Now I’m like, ‘You know what? If you’re coming around to my house, I’m just going to be feral, in my natural state.’ I’m not going to [have] any pretenses, or anything like that.” — Rebel Wilson

Celebrities speak out about what aging means to them. (Photo: Getty Images and Nadeen Nakib)Celebrities speak out about what aging means to them. (Photo: Getty Images and Nadeen Nakib)

Celebrities speak out about what aging means to them. (Photo: Nadeen Nakib)

Jane Seymour

“I don’t feel any different, really, then when I was 40 or 50. Am I younger in spirit than I am in age? Probably — until I, you know, run and jump and suddenly realize that I don’t land quite as well as I did before.” — Jane Seymour

Loni Love

“The thing about ageism for women in Hollywood is that it’s changing. Women are making their own projects. We’re writing our own stories. Those projects aren’t just for young women and men, they’re for people that are experienced and seasoned. That’s why it’s so important that we get more creative people in the process to write different types of stories that don’t just focus on one body type or culture, or one age or gender … A lot of people over 50, they want to see themselves.” — Loni Love

Brooke Shields

“I believe that it’s a misconception that women can’t be sexy over a certain age … The acceptance of our bodies comes at a later date. I live much more in my body now than I ever did. My body actually feels like it belongs to me and I can’t say that about my youth … My 30s, it wasn’t really about being sexy. It was having your body work to create something. So that, that was like a 10-year kind of journey. And it wasn’t until my 40s that I started thinking of sex as my experience, not someone else’s experience that I just navigated.” — Brooke Shields

Katherine Heigl

“I’m about to turn 44 and I’ve started looking back a bit, because you’ve got enough to look back on. And I have a lot of regrets. I get frustrated with myself for not knowing better, and I didn’t know better. So I don’t know how I could have made different choices, not having any better understanding. But I wish I had known better, I guess, and that I had not spent so much time in this dark place of fear.” — Katherine Heigl

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