Sharon Stone: Aging, Positive Energy & Female Power
The invitation from Galderma, an international dermatology company that innovates skin disease solutions, and aesthetic and corrective products, was an intriguing one: come to Berlin to discover the Proof in Real Life. Sharon Stone, who recently gave her celebrity backing to Galderma’s Restylane campaign, would be the host.
Stone has a history with Restylane fillers and knows firsthand what a skilled aesthetic doctor with a handful of filler injections can do. In 2001 she had a stroke and bleeding on the brain, which caused partial paralysis and left her with a speech impediment. Though rehabilitation, hard work and medical assistance over a period of two years, the actress survived her ordeal, what she has described as a humbling journey.
It was this experience that opened her eyes to aging, and the blessing that she still could age – as gracefully as she could. She used Restylane fillers to rebuild the damage done to her face, saying that it helped her to heal not only physically, but psychologically too, as it felt as if she looked herself again.
It is this message that she wants to share in the new global campaign.
Which is how we found ourselves at the global event held in Berlin recently, holding our phones up like groupies as Ms Stone walked the red carpet – a gracious, highly intelligent woman, activist, humanitarian and mother. Having welcomed the elite group of international media and invited guests, and introduced her co-host, Dr Per Van Heden, associate professor of plastic surgery at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, and head of plastic surgery at Akademikliniken in Sweden and the UK, Stone went on to reveal the true stars of the night: 10 sets of identical twins – one of whom had been treated with fillers and skin boosters, the other not.
The study is an interesting one: the twins were recruited through a twins modeling agency. It was the twin who was more reticent to receive aesthetic treatments who was chosen to have the treatments done. Each set of twins still lives close to each other and was exposed to similar environmental factors.
When interviewed, the twins all had similar stories to tell. They knew very little about aesthetic treatments such as fillers and skin boosters, and needed to be fully educated on what to expect.
They all had the image of that one treatment gone bad, and were concerned that would happen.
They were unsure whether they would look plastic or overdone. However, they are all pleased with the outcome (and the twins who didn’t have treatments done have all chosen now to undergo their own treatments). During the event, Stone took time to answer some questions:
How Do You Feel About The Term Aging Gracefully? Do You Fear Aging?
No, I would fear not aging. I had a massive brain haemorrhage in 2001 and I nearly died. I have the experience of knowing what it is like to look at the possibility of not aging. And, in reality, it is a stupid concept to fear this. Aging is a beautiful thing. It is a gift, a gift that we need to embrace.
We don’t have to embrace it, by thinking it would just be great to shrivel up, and bend over and then fall down and die.
We can embrace aging valiantly; we can embrace aging gracefully. I love the thought “gracefully surrendering the things of youth”. I think that is a beautiful thing. Sometimes when we surrender the things of youth, we surrender them wistfully. We have moments of sadness, moments of little heartbreak for not having the things we had when we were younger. But you have to let them go. It is ridiculous to try and keep them. It’s beautiful then to look at who you are.
Make friends with the one you are right now, and your former self. If you keep looking backwards, you are just going to fall down. All you have is the possibility of looking forward.
Why Did You Get Involved With The Proof In Real Life Campaign?
Proof in Real Life challenges misconceptions that aesthetic treatments create extreme results. Many people are interested in aesthetic treatments, but some are put off because they only see one side of the story – the images in magazines of extreme looks and altered facial features. People these days want more subtle enhancements, so they look like a healthier version of themselves, just taking off a few years or refreshing their appearance.
I got involved because I was excited and interested by the idea of providing first-hand evidence that allows people to judge the results for themselves. I really support the concept of encouraging greater openness and awareness of aesthetic treatments. I had fillers after my stroke to rebuild my face.
Although it is becoming a much more accepted practice, people can find the choice daunting and are scared of making inappropriate decisions.
I hope that this project will improve awareness of aesthetic treatments and the results, so that people are better able to make an informed decision.
If you look at our parents’ generation, when women got the horrible facelifts, they would look like they’d been sucked through a wind tunnel and their hairline would recede. But now, we can all see the evolution.
The thing, for me, that you want to stay true to, which never goes out of style, is classic beauty. And that is a subtle thing. It’s staying true to your own self. I tell my children (they are boys) that boys are like trees and girls are like flowers. You have to remember that every flower is not a white rose. There are a thousand flowers in the garden and it is important to remember what flower you are, and not to try and turn yourself into a different flower. We need to keep ourselves fresh and make ourselves into the best sort of flower that we are.
What Advice Would You Give A Younger Woman About Growing Older?
“Don’t try so hard.” I think, when we’re young, we try too hard. We don’t realize that simply being young is enough. It is okay to be young; it is okay not to know. There’s nothing wrong with being young and not knowing; that is the beauty of being young.
Now we are living so much longer, we over think this age thing, but we have to stop and reframe it. We used to think that this age was a different thing. A lot of us, we buy into it – “with this age means this”. But I think we have to put a pin in that, and step back and realise it doesn’t mean what we were told it was going to mean.
You have to think: I really could live a whole lot longer than I depended on; my life could be a whole lot different. So if I want energy, and I want to have hopes and dreams, I actually can.
I have to reframe this now. How do I take care of my health and wellbeing to get this all back together again, so that I have the energy for this piece of my life that I’m going to have?
I feel that I’d better have hopes and dreams, because I’ve got a lot more life ahead of me than I thought I was going to! Part of not having energy, and hopes and dreams, is that we were sold a bill of goods that this was the other side of the Sisyphus climb, and it isn’t. What it is now is that we climb this mountain to look around to see what other mountain we’re going to climb. We didn’t climb this mountain to roll down the side. We climb this mountain, particularly as women, to see: where am I going to climb next?
And so, we ask ourselves: are we in shape to climb that next mountain? Are we mentally ready? Do we have ourselves together? How am I going to do that? What am I going to do? And get it together.
This is the age where we didn’t think we were going to have another big chapter of our lives. And we have; we can have another career if we want. We have an opportunity to look at the world and shape it.
When we were children, women weren’t out there fighting to see if we could shape the world. Women who were ahead of us were out there trying to fight so that we could break the glass ceiling with our heads, and our generation did break the ceiling with our heads. We didn’t know, and guess what? We didn’t just not get a broken head; we get to have another chapter!
And this is what is so exciting for me. If we’re going to have another chapter, let’s look damn good while we have it! Let’s look great, let’s feel great and let’s go get it. And let’s not blow up the f*#$ing planet while we’re doing it! Let’s see how we have a peaceful future; let’s see how we have a feminine reality.
Let’s see how we create a beautiful future; let’s see what we want to do with this next piece, because we have it, and I don’t think we knew we were going to. So, we’re allowed to go O-h-h! And, wait a second, we’re going to have to blast that engine again, and it is just such a great opportunity, because we’re up to that.
It’s like they are calling our name. We’re the women who have experience, we’re the women who have the education and we are the women who have wisdom. And you know what? You don’t have to be 32; you just don’t!
Sharon Stone on her Secret To Beauty
It is a mystery to me! My parents were gorgeous; they were so good-looking, it was just crazy. My aunt was a model; she was some kind of a legend in her beauty. I think, as you get older, it is not as much about the looks you were born with. It is about the way that you live your life. If you are mean person, you look like it when you get older. It is about how you live your life. It is about having happy thoughts. You never look bad with lines around your eyes – I think everybody with lines around their eyes looks great, because you know that person lived their life laughing and they had a happy life. We respond to that, inside. We’re attracted to joy and happiness. We don’t look at someone with the look of a life well lived and judge the wrinkles.
That is the purest truth: if you let yourself down, happiness is a discipline. Pleasure is a thing you have for a second and it goes away. Happiness is a choice that you make that sustains. If you go two or three days and you’re unhappy, you have to stop and look at your life and think, “what do I have in my life that is crushing me?” And cut it loose. A person, a situation, food, drink, talking to some neighbour who is an asshole – whatever it is. You’ve got to stop it. You have to stay with the discipline of happiness.
It is not easy; it is like burning at the gym. It is a real thing. If you hear yourself saying negative things, you have to cut it off and get yourself together. Otherwise it will take you down.