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Reese Witherspoon in January 2011 Glamour

Confusing Growing Up With Aging in Hollywood

In January's issue of Glamour, Reese Witherspoon becomes the latest celebrity to declare she's getting sexier with age.

"Sexuality and femininity is an accumulation of age and wisdom and comfort in your own skin. I feel better — so much better now than I ever did in my twenties. I am calmer; I know who I am. And as a result, I feel much sexier."

Of course, she's only 34. Ask her again in 10 years, and her answer might sound more jaded. At 43, Julia Roberts wishes she appreciated her youthful beauty more, and 42-year-old Laura Linney calls aging a privilege because the only alternative is to die young.

While Reese has the stature to act into old age, leading roles for women go down as age goes up — you need to be Meryl Streep to lead a rom-com after 60 — so Hollywood is far from a friend to aging.

But as celebrities like Kristen Bell, Jessica Simpson, and Kim Kardashian turn 30, they're asked to reflect on their age. All report feeling confident, sexy, and so comfortable in their skin, but isn't that normal? Because the difference between 20 and 30, or 24 and 34, isn't growing old, it's growing up.

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