Our beauty editor was the only journalist from Africa to meet Sharon Stone in Berlin, Germany, where the 57-year-old actress was launching the Restylane Proof in Real Life campaign as its brand ambassador. We asked her what keeps her going:
Do you fear ageing? How do you feel about ageing gracefully?
No, I would not fear ageing. I had a massive brain hemorrhage in 2001 and I nearly died. I have the experience of knowing what it is like to consider the possibility of not ageing.
In reality, it is a stupid concept to fear ageing. Ageing is a beautiful thing. Ageing is a gift, a gift that we need to embrace. We don’t have to embrace it by thinking it would just be great to shrivel up, and bend over and then fall down and die.
We can embrace ageing valiantly; we can embrace ageing gracefully. I love the saying ‘gracefully surrendering the things of youth’. I think that is a beautiful thing. Sometimes when we surrender the things of youth, we surrender them wistfully. We have moments of sadness, moments of little heartbreak for not having the things we had when we were younger. It is a fact. You see them go by, and there is a wistful sadness when they go, but you have to let them go. It is ridiculous to try and keep them. It’s beautiful then to look at who you are.
And if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom with a bottle of booze and stay in there until you get it, it is a good thing to do! Make friends with the one you are right now, and your former self. You have to do that, because that is the now that you are, and you want to stay in the now and move forward.
If you keep looking backwards, you are just going to fall down. All you have is the possibility of looking forward.
What is the campaign about and why did you get involved?
Proof in Real Life is a project I am working on with the pharmaceutical company Galderma to challenge misconceptions that aesthetic treatments create extreme results.
Many people are interested in aesthetic treatments but some are put off because they only see one side of the story – the images in magazines of extreme looks and altered facial features.
People these days want more subtle enhancements so they look like a healthier version of themselves, just taking off a few years or refreshing their appearance.
I got involved because I was excited and interested by the idea of providing first-hand evidence that allows people to judge the results for themselves. I myself had fillers to rebuild my face after my stroke.
I really support the concept of encouraging greater openness and awareness of aesthetic treatments. Although it is becoming a much more accepted practice, people can find the choice daunting and are scared of making inappropriate decisions.
I hope that this project will improve awareness of aesthetic treatments and the results so that people are better able to make an informed decision.
[Ten sets of identical twins were used in the Proof in Real Life campaign. One twin of each set had treatments since February. They were introduced on stage by Sharon Stone to compare and prove how good and natural the results of aesthetic treatments in real life can be. Restylane fillers helps add volume and definition to the skin, whilst Restylane Skinboosters increase hydration.]
What would you tell a younger woman about growing older?
‘Don’t try so hard.’ I think, when we’re young, we try way too hard. We don’t realize simply being young is enough. There’s nothing wrong with being young and not knowing – that is the beauty of being young.
Now that we are living so much longer, we over-think age, but we have to stop and reframe it. A lot of us, we buy into the concept ‘this age means that’. But we have to put a pin in that and step back and realize: a certain age just doesn’t mean what we were told it was going to mean.
You have to think: I really could live a whole lot longer than I depended on, my life could be a whole lot different. I’ve got a lot more life ahead of me than I thought I was going to! So if I want energy, and I want to have hope and dreams, I actually can. I have to reframe this now. In order to get my energy, how do I take care of my health and wellbeing, to get this all back together again for this piece of my life that I’m going to have.
Because this is the age where we didn’t think we were going to have another big chapter of our lives. And we have – we can have another career if we want. We have an opportunity to look at the world and shape the world.
When we were children, women weren’t out there fighting to see if we could shape the world. Women that were ahead of us were out there trying to fight so that we could break the glass ceiling with our heads, and our generation did break the ceiling with our heads. Guess what, we didn’t just get a broken head, we get to have another chapter.
This is what is very exciting for me: If we’re going to have another chapter, let’s look damn good while we have it. Let’s look great, let’s feel great and let’s go get it. And let’s not blow up the f*^$#g planet while we’re doing it. Let’s see how we have a peaceful future; let’s see how we have a feminine reality. How can we create a beautiful future, let’s see what we want to do with this next piece, because we have it, and I don’t think we knew we were going to.
We’re going to have to blast that engine again, and it is just such a great opportunity, because we’re up to that. It’s like they are calling our name. We’re the women who have experience, we’re the women who have the education and we are the women who have wisdom.
We all know, because we all were younger, that there is a power in looking good. It is not a secret, but it is a secret we never openly said: If you look good, you get your power. You get stuff done! However you do it, there is a power in looking good. We want to look good, because there is stuff we need to do and we need to get it done!
What is your best treatment before a red carpet appearance?
Before a red carpet, I put my makeup on, and then I get into the bathtub. It makes my skin look radiant and my makeup look really good after it has been a bit steamed up.
If you have fillers or an aesthetic procedure, what would you ask the doctor beforehand?
I would ask: How much downtime? Will it bruise? Will it hurt, because I am a real baby?
Aesthetic procedures have improved and evolved enormously over the years: For example, think back to our parents’ generation, when women got these horrible facelifts and they would look like they’ve been sucked through a wind tunnel and their hairline would recede – we can all see the evolution. We’ve been through the phase where everyone wanted gigantic lips, and now everyone wants gigantic butts, right? All these different phases…
The thing, for me, that you want to stay true to, which never goes out of style, is classic beauty. And that is a subtle thing. It’s staying true to your own self.
I tell my children (they are boys) that boys are like trees and girls are like flowers. You have to remember every flower is not a white rose. There are a thousand flowers in the garden and it is important to remember what flower you are, and try to turn yourself into a different flower.
We need to keep ourselves fresh and make ourselves into the best flower that we are. I think that is the key here with these aesthetic treatments. It allows us to stay fresh, but who we are. The best evolution of aesthetic treatments is that it allows us to not change ourselves into someone else. It allows us to stay who we are, and make a subtle change to feel fresh and happy. I noticed with the treated twins in the campaign that they just felt happy; they didn’t feel different. That is a good thing.
Do you have a secret to beauty?
It’s a mystery to me. My parents were gorgeous, they were so good-looking, it was just crazy. For me to be good-looking was no mystery, my parents were just beautiful.
I think, as you get older, it’s not as much about the looks you were born with. It’s about the way that you live your life. If you are a mean person, you look like it when you get older. It is about having happy thoughts. You never look bad with lines around your eyes – I think everybody with lines around their eyes looks great because you know that person lived their life laughing and they had a happy life. But happiness is a discipline. Pleasure is a thing you have for a second and it goes away. Happiness is a choice that you make that sustains you. If you go two-three days and you’re unhappy, you have to stop and look at your life and think ‘what do I have in my life that is crushing me?’ And cut it loose. A person, situation, food, drink, whatever it is. You’ve got to stop it. You have to stay with the discipline of happiness, it is like burning at the gym, it’s a real thing.