Iconic American actress and activist, Jane Fonda, has never shied away from speaking her mind on a range of social and political issues. Now, Fonda is turning her attention to a subject that is both deeply personal and universally relevant: ageing.
In recent interviews and public appearances, Fonda has shared her candid thoughts on growing older, from the challenges and joys of the process to the importance of continuing to learn and grow throughout one’s life.
As Fonda continues her crusade to highlight the positives that come with ageing, the 85-year-old recently joined fellow actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus on the Wiser Than Me podcast to delve deeper into the subject.
“I feel 85 in my body, and mentally I feel much much younger,” Fonda said.
“Spiritually and mentally and psychologically, I’m way younger than 85.”
Fonda proceeded to articulate the insights she has gleaned about the ageing process from her own personal experience.
“One of the things that I’ve learned as I’ve gotten into serious old age is when you’re inside it as opposed to looking at it from the outside, it’s not nearly as scary,” she said.
“The chronology of age is not what’s important, it’s health.
“I’m fine, I’m healthy, I’ve had cancer but it’s in remission… If you’re healthy, 85 can be quite young.
“Even at 85, I am strong.
“I’m surprised at how hard things get even when you are strong, but I have made peace with my body. It has gotten me a long ways, it’s stood up for me, so I appreciate my body.
“I don’t criticize and hate on it anymore.”
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Despite her positive approach, the Grace and Frankie star admitted she does have her moments when she feels insecure, revealing that she would find it difficult to “get undressed in front of a new lover”.
“I don’t have to show [my body] to anybody. I’m vain enough so that it would be hard for me to get naked in front of [someone],” she said.
“Not if i I lived with somebody 50 years — which I wish that had been my fate — but, you know, I wouldn’t be able to get undressed in front of a new lover.
“No, I’ve got too many nicks and, you know, scars and holes and all kinds of things. I mean, I’ve got two fake hips and a fake knee and a fake shoulder and even a fake thumb.”
In 2022, Fonda spoke further regarding her perspectives on ageing and staying young at heart during an interview with CBS Sunday Morning.
“I’m super-conscious that I’m closer to death. And it doesn’t really bother me that much,” explaining that for her, age was more about how you feel rather than the birthday you’re celebrating.
“I want young people to stop being afraid about getting older. What matters isn’t age, isn’t that chronological number.
“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,” she continues.