Gwyneth Paltrow is celebrating her golden year, as the actress turns 50 years old. While many women are hesitant to admit their age, Paltrow is happy to share her story. Not only is she shouting from the rooftop that she’s 50 and proud, but she’s speaking her truth about what aging means to her.
Glowing In Gold
As she enters her 50th year, Paltrow is full of life and joy. A quick scroll through the actress’ Instagram posts reveals just how much she’s celebrating this milestone. In one picture, she’s smiling and laughing, frolicking amongst a field in just a bikini. In another, she’s baring even more. On her birthday, September 27, she shared a photo that most people would be too insecure to post, regardless of their age. As she celebrated turning 50 years old, Paltrow appeared in her birthday suit, painted in gold from head to toe.
‘On Approaching 50’
Obviously Paltrow is embracing this milestone. In fact, she recently shared her thoughts on Goop, writing about what turning 50 means to her and what life will look like after 50. As Paltrow reflected on her birthday, she shared, “I strangely have no sense of time passed … I understand on some level that life is linear, that I have lived X number of days thus far and I have more in the basket under my arm than I do in the field before me. But there is something about the sweetness of life that exists deep within me that is unchanged, that will not change.”
However, the actress recognizes that even though time has not seemed to pass, her body bears the evidence of living a full life. From oven burns to smashing a finger in a window to giving birth to two children, Paltrow identifies the scars that many women have accumulated in life.
As she reflects on these scars, the actress shared how she really feels about getting older and what these experiences mean to her: “I accept the marks and the loosening skin, the wrinkles. I accept my body and let go of the need to be perfect, look perfect, defy gravity, defy logic, defy humanity. I accept my humanity.”
Her Biggest Regret
Though Paltrow accepts all the evidence of the 50 years she has lived, she does have one major life regret. “Most regretfully, and so often, I have not spoken my truth to spare some perceived consequence, that hurting someone will tear us both apart,” wrote the actress. “My most lasting mistakes and the mess that comes with them have all stemmed from me not standing fully in my truth and speaking from it, come what may. Saying the words that could have spared seasons of heartache and repercussions.”
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Many women can relate to Paltrow’s biggest regret in life. For Paltrow and many women in Generation X, pleasing other people and not ruffling feathers were simply expected. However, those expectations have slowly started to dissipate from cultural norms. In fact, Paltrow quickly turns from writing about her biggest regret in life to admitting that even if given the chance, she wouldn’t go back and redo any parts of her life.
Focusing On What’s Ahead
As Paltrow turns 50, the actress is now focused on the simple things, slowing down, and being more honest. She isn’t focused on the past or what might have been. As she noted, “People often ask, ‘If you could go back to your 21-year-old self and give her some advice…’ Well, I would know my boundary and hold on to it more tightly than my life itself. And yet, perhaps the more important question is what will I do going forward.”
Paltrow is a model for how many of us women can approach milestone birthdays. Instead of focusing on what might have been or on the regrets we have in life, we should follow her example. Let’s celebrate life and focus on what’s in front of us.