When model Paulina Porizkova began posting photos of herself in bikinis well into her 50s, she never envisioned the backlash to be so cruel and vicious. However, she has risen above her naysayers to stick to her guns in advocating beauty at any shape, age or station in life – even a grandma of five with naturally graying hair.
Some may remember Porizkova in her heyday when she was an in-demand model in the ’80s and ’90s, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell. The Czech-born stunner turned 58 on Apr. 10, 2023, and used the occasion to post a daring photo showing much of her trim body on Instagram to declare she was beginning “58 with nothing but sunshine and a smile.” While fans lauded her confidence, many also slammed her. However, for Porizkova, that just comes with the territory.
Porizkova has long been an anti-aging advocate who has encouraged women – and men – of all ages to embrace themselves through the passage of time. She does a lot of this by walking the talk and posting photos of herself going make-up free or in bikinis. Speaking to “60 Minutes Australia” in March 2023, Porizkova lamented:
“I am a 57-year-old woman, and it seems to mean, in society, when you go into your middle age, you sort of lose your license to be able to show up in bikinis.”
She also told the program she had settled comfortably into the aging process and wasn’t looking to modify her features unnaturally.
“What I like about my face now at 57, it’s that it’s like a really good novel of the history of my life, like it’s all written into my face,” she said and added, “My desire is to be an unaltered older woman.”
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Despite the harsh and brutal comments Porizkova elicits from her social media posts, she remained determined to advocate for self-love at any age.
“We have to make older cool, I’m really trying, but we need more women to sort of embrace age and keep trumpeting it out there, going ’look at what I’m doing at my age,’” she told “60 Minutes Australia.”
However, this doesn’t mean Porizkova isn’t affected by the hurtful feedback she receives. She told the program some of the most painful things she’s been called are “desperate grandma,” an attention-seeker and someone who was embarrassing her children. The criticism only served to fire up her rebellious nature and she continued to post her supposedly risqué photos in defiance.
On Apr. 29, 2022, she posted a bikini photo she had recently shared alongside a screenshot of a particularly disparaging comment that read, “getting old and ugly is hardest on the pretty people.” In response, Porizkova wrote in the caption:
“This is the ageist shaming that sets my teeth on edge. … People who believe prettiness equals beauty do not understand beauty. … There is no such thing as ugly and old. Only shortsighted and ignorant.”
The next day, Porizkova shared that her post had unexpectedly set off a movement in which older people were posting natural photos of themselves, tagging her alongside the hashtag “#oldandugly.” She wrote:
“I ended up in tears at well past midnight, still scrolling and commenting on this wave of affirmations of one another. For one night, the world seemed a beautiful place.”
With such strong support from fans the world over, Porizkova’s mission to normalize aging doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
Do you agree with Paulina Porizkova’s sentiments on aging? If so, be sure to pass this along to all the other beautiful people in your life as well!
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