This article was shared with permission from New Beauty as part of an empowerment campaign, “Wear Yourself In,” led by eco-luxe skin care company Kari Gran. In response to the beauty industry pushing an impossible idea of flawless youth for years, the campaign encourages women to be kind to themselves, and their skin, as they reflect on beauty, aging, wisdom and self-acceptance.
“No matter what I do, I’m not going to look 20, or 30. I just want to look great for 50. I exercise, eat healthy and take really good care of my skin. There’s pressure on women to do the undoable, which is not age. But it’s about looking great for however old you are, regardless of what that number is.”
When it comes to changes in her face, she says that while it has become much thinner, her skin texture has also changed. “Everyone thinks about your face and the actual texture of the skin. But Dr. Sebagh (Crawford’s anti-aging skin guru) always talks about how skin ages in three different ways, and the first one I saw was a change in volume,” she says. “I have a very round face, and over the years, it’s like all of a sudden, I’ve got serious cheekbones that can make my face look severe if I’m not careful. My face doesn’t have a lot of lines yet because I really take care of my skin. In some ways, I have more confidence about my skin at 50 than I did in my 20s.”
Living your life in the spotlight, unfortunately comes along with the unwarranted criticism about growing older. While some of us can’t accept the aging process, Crawford knows exactly where she stands. “I don’t need everyone on Instagram pointing out that I don’t look the same way I did when I was 20. I know that. Sometimes when you’re in the public eye, it can be hard, and that’s where you kind of have to work on yourself.”
While we may have an idea in our heads of what an older version of ourselves will look like regardless of what we do to intervene, there’s something Crawford says she had no idea she would experience. “Some things you expect, like gray hair. But what I wasn’t expecting was the texture of my hair to change so much,” she reveals. “It’s gotten much coarser over the years. I look at my daughter and I’m always like, “You have my old hair and I want it back!” Her hair looks great even if she goes to sleep with it wet. She wakes up in the morning and it’s just like perfect and I’m jealous of that.” Despite the metamorphosis she’s seen, she hasn’t let it get the best of her. “I think the sanest way to age is to accept it.”
For as much as she has adapted to who she is today and all that she’s learned along the way, Crawford’s biggest message to women is to not be hard on yourself, especially when it comes to growing older. The pressure we put on ourselves—we all do it to some degree—to constantly look perfect and ageless isn’t what we should be doing. “The 50-year-old Cindy would tell the 30-year-old Cindy not to be so hard on herself. And, probably and hopefully, the 75-year-old Cindy would for sure be saying that to me. So I should get the message soon!”
While only she can change her outlook on aging and beauty, perhaps she can set a new trend and lead by example. “My focus is on accepting the inevitable part of aging while trying to feel good, be grateful for good healthy and enjoy being 50. I love Nora Ephron’s book, I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman. I love when she says, ‘If you’re under the age of 35, put on a bikini and don’t take it off.’ No matter what you felt about your body at 30, at 50, you’re going to be like, ‘Ugh, if only I wasn’t so hard on myself.’ So when I’m 70 and 80, I’m probably going to look back and ask what was I being so hard on myself for. I think if my approach was to be less hard on myself, then maybe the world will follow it, too!”