Gwyneth Paltrow on Turning 50: ‘I’ve Earned My Wrinkles’

It sounds like not caring about what other people think.

It sounds like that, which I already feel like I’ve made a ton of progress with. Not caring sounds like an act of defiance or something. The way she was talking about it, it was like this utter liberation. If someone is criticizing you, it just doesn’t register whatsoever.

That must be a nice prospect as someone who’s grown up in the public eye, who’s been a celebrity for so long.

Oh, my gosh, I know. Exactly.

And apologies for just quoting yourself to you, but—

Feel free.

Something you said on The Beauty Closet podcast in 2019 I also found interesting. You said, “What does it mean to get wrinkles and get closer to menopause? What happens to your identity as a woman if you’re not fuckable and beautiful?” That made me think about how the image of your younger self is so iconic. I feel like every time I log on to Instagram, I see photos of outfit inspiration from movies you’ve been in or your Oscar dress. And I was curious if you see that image of your younger self a lot, just out in the world, and if that does affect how you think about aging.

I definitely run into those images once in a while. To me, I just see this young, slightly lost girl really trying to make heads or tails of things. So exposed, so in the public eye, trying to figure out so many things. Now there’s so much distance from it. If I think about some of the iconic images from The Royal Tenenbaums or something like that, there is a part of me that thinks how cool that I was part of the visual lexicon at that time. And like, Wow, that’s interesting, and my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be able to access these things and draw conclusions about their great-grandmother.

I think as human beings, we all want to feel that we’ve left a mark in some way. And so I guess that’s proof on some level or empirical proof that I did make a contribution. But I would never want to go back and be that person. I’m so happy with wrinkles and my life.