This week, Michelle Obama joked that her buzzed-about bangs were the result of a "midlife crisis" — and she's not the first famous female to reflect on reaching middle age. Over the years, Hollywood icons like Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and Julianne Moore have talked about the benefits and challenges of moving through their 40s, 50s, and beyond. Take a look at what famous women have said about beauty, self-doubt, joy, and wisdom in middle age.
"I wouldn't go back to being 20. Because here's the thing . . . there is something wonderful about coming to terms with time — that it is finite. You want to have as much joy in your life as possible, and you take responsibility for your own joy."
"I just have the best family. So, the idea of getting older just, to me, is having more adventure with them, and getting to know my kids better, and getting to, you know, intertwine my life with my husband more."
"I went through a horrible midlife crisis during Doubt. I was just in a quandry, in my own doubt. I thought to myself, 'Okay, I've kind of seen my dreams come true but why don't I feel fulfilled? . . . And I didn't know that when you come to the midpoint in your life anyway, that there's a certain amount of disillusion that comes with that. The disillusion is that all the things that you thought defined success and could fill you up have been defined by other people and not so much by yourself."
"I'm so happy with my life, my relationships, my family, my job. You can make something difficult by bringing attention to it, by saying, for instance, 'I have a really big behind — have you noticed?' Then everybody's going to turn around and look at your behind."
"I'm more proud of my longevity than anything else. There's a lot to be said for endurance. I'm trying to find the beauty in the whole picture rather than the crow's feet . . . I always find it funny that so much skin cream advertising features, like, Jessica Alba. She's gorgeous, and 12! Okay? They're all that age! . . . And you're kind of like, what happened to the middle here? You're nubile or you're age-defying!"
"As I was approaching my late 40s, when I would wake up in the morning, my first six thoughts would all be negative, and I got scared. I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I'm going to become a crotchety old lady. But now that I'm actually smack-dab in the middle of my own third act, I realize I've never been happier."