Confidence Amid Aging
- Canadian-American actress and model Pamela Anderson, 56, recently shared a powerful message on self love, encouraging others that “there is beauty in self acceptance, imperfection and love.”
- The mom of two now sports a more natural appearance, something she took on after her makeup artist passed away.
- Aging, or cancer, can certainly affect one’s self-esteem and body image. And Pamela Anderson’s determination and confidence is an inspiration to anyone going through changes or tough times in life.
- Some things older adults can do to boost confidence and self-esteem is eating healthy, staying active, and creating strong relationships.
Anderson, known for modeling in Playboy magazine and for her role as “C.J.” Parker on the action drama TV series “Baywatch,” has opened up about how “freeing, and fun” it feels not to wear makeup like she often did in the past.Read More
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Anderson opened up to ELLE last month about her new, almost unrecognizable look featuring less makeup, an appearance she took on after her makeup artist Alexis Vogel passed away at age 61.
Vogel, a celebrity makeup artist who worked with Kelly Clarkson, Carmen Electra, and Sharon Stone, died on April 15, 2019.
Her death was initially said to be from respiratory complications from breast cancer, but her brother Ronny Vogel told Monsters & Critics she actually passed away from cardiovascular disease.
Commenting on how Vogel’s death impacted her, Anderson said, “She was the best. And since then, I just felt, without Alexis, it’s just better for me not to wear makeup.”
Anderson, admitted she didn’t have much of a say in her look during the height of her career, adding, “I just went along with what people were telling me what to do.”
However, now that she’s made a change in her appearance, Anderson has dubbed her new look as “freeing, and fun, and a little rebellious too.”
Explaining why she feels that way, she said, “Because I did notice that there were all these people doing big makeup looks, and it’s just like me to go against the grain and do the opposite what everyone’s doing.”
“I think we all start looking a little funny when we get older. And I’m kind of laughing at myself when I look at the mirror. I go, ‘Wow, this is really…what’s happening to me?’ It’s a journey,” she continued.
“I feel rooted for. I feel good. I’m in a good place.”
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Her natural appearance comes after her memoir “Love, Pamela” was published earlier this year, a book which has brought her more attention.
She told Elle, “I get a lot of people walking up to me on the street, saying, ‘I had no idea who you were, and I’m sorry for all the ways I thought about you before, because I like you now.’ I’m just like, ‘What did you think of me before?’
“You don’t really think about it in the moment. You’re raising two kids, you’re trying to survive, your heart is broken, you’re trying to fill up your life with people and making mistakes. We’re all just trying to live every day.
“So, I guess, decades got away from me. And it was nice to come home, full circle. I’m working more than ever, when I thought I was retired!”
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Anderson also spoke to ET News last month about how she’s taking hold of her “natural beauty” more than ever before.
She told the entertainment news outlet, “The 90’s was the 90’s, and now it’s 2023. I like to do things that are different, I feel like… [and] this is a new chapter of my life.”
However, she also admitted that, “Natural beauty still takes two hours in front of a mirror.”
Self-Esteem and Body Image
Aging, as well as disease or cancer, can certainly affect one’s self-esteem and body image. Though Pamela Anderson is not a cancer survivor herself, the acceptance she as as she ages, along with the confidence she exudes along the way, is an inspiration to anyone going through changes or fighting disease.
Appreciating your body and all that it has overcome is a beautiful thing, just as Pamela Anderson shows. We only get one body in this life, so we might as well love the one we’re in.
According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology on confidence and self-esteem, the amount of confidence or self-esteem a person feels “gradually rises during the late teen years, peaks during middle age, and tends to decline after age 60,” Harvard Health Publishing reports.
The reason behind this change in confidence could is that older adults often lose their positions of power, status or importance when they age.
Fred Silverstone, a licensed mental health counselor and founder of the SAGE (Successful Aging through Group Engagement) program at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital, urges anyone aging, “Don’t feel badly if you can’t do everything you once did, or at the same level or intensity.
“The goal is to focus on what you can do now and build from there. This will help show you that you have much to offer and can still enjoy an active, satisfying life.”
According to support organization Mary T Inc, older adults can do the following to increase self-esteem as they age:
- Create strong social bonds
- Practice good personal hygiene
- Don’t listen to negative stereotypes
- Exercise and eat healthy
- Practice independence when possible
Achieving body positivity is, of course, easier said than done. And cancer survivors may struggle more than others during or after their cancer journeys.
Take Ann Caruso, for example. She underwent 12 surgeries to treat her breast cancer and told SurvivorNet about how all of the changes really impacted the way she saw her body.
“You’re not the same carefree person that you once were, and it was very hard for me to look at myself every day,” Caruso said. “It was like I was a totally different person and didn’t fit into any of my clothes for so long.”
However, as time passed, Caruso healed. Looking back on her breast cancer experience has helped her redefine femininity and body image.
“Femininity is a state of mind,” Caruso said. “And I think that’s something that we have to remind ourselves.”
Jaclyn Kaczynski, another breast cancer survivor, had a similar experience after her diagnosis at 37.
“My confidence was gone,” she told SurvivorNet. “My confidence was destroyed. I was always vain about my appearance and my weight, let alone losing a breast, or both.”
Some people find empowerment in going “flat” after losing their breasts to the disease, but Kaczynski found confidence in reconstruction. There’s no right or wrong answer for breast cancer survivors, but it’s important to consider all your options and go forward with whatever path is best for you.
“I just had my reconstructive surgery. My favorite doctor was able to make it happen for me,” she explained. “It’s amazing how much more confidence I have within the past three weeks.”
Contributing: SurvivorNet Staff