There are people who cringe at past mistakes or relive faux pas over and over again to make sure it doesn't happen in the future. Then there are others, like Sarah Jessica Parker, who welcome all the mess. In fact, "I relish the things that were uncomfortable, went poorly, I got wrong, I messed up, I was hurt romantically, professionally, whatever," she tells POPSUGAR. "[Because] look at me now."
Parker has lived many lives with a career that has spanned over four decades. While she is probably best known for her role as iconic New Yorker Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City series, she has also starred in many fan-favorite TV shows and movies such as "The First Wives Club," "The Family Stone," and the Halloween classic "Hocus Pocus" (which is finally getting a sequel this fall after nearly 30 years).
In that sense, and through all these experiences, she could talk about what advice she'd now give her younger self, but that, she says, doesn't make sense to her. Instead, she's all about looking forward to what comes her way in the next chapters of her life. "I don't tend to think of aging — or living, as I would prefer to call it — as a negative," says Parker. "The optimism comes simply from what I hope I experience in the future."
It is with this same optimism that brings her to a partnership with skin-care brand RoC and the launch of the Look Forward Project campaign. Along with a limited-edition kit ($70, originally $100) full of Parker's favorite RoC products, like the Hydrate + Plump Serum Capsules, Eye Cream, and Moisturizer with SPF — in which all proceeds from the first month of sales will go to the Seek Her Foundation, which supports women's mental health initiatives — the campaign is also an initiative encouraging women to, as the name suggests, celebrate getting older.
"We want women to feel good about themselves; we want them to feel excited about the future and not to believe that there is something wrong with another calendar year having passed," she says. "[There's so] much you gain from living, working, experiencing, and parenting — that has far more value."
Image Source: Illustration by Aly Lim
These days, society is constantly pushing the narrative that looking younger is the key to happiness, which in turn has made many people feel nervous about the next stages of their lives. That's the perspective Parker is hoping to shift with this campaign (but not in a toxic or unrealistic way). Parker says that when something feels uncertain and disappointing, she doesn't pretend those feelings away; instead, she creates the space for them.
"Optimism isn't always something that you can find or capture; sometimes it seems impossible to feel optimistic," she says. "I want women to know that we know that and that we're hoping that there is a time and a place where they feel hopeful, where they feel valued, where they feel as if they have a huge amount to contribute. The older they get [and] the more they know, the even richer their contributions become. All the years are important, and it's an accumulation. It's scar tissue."
Looking forward to the future can mean many things, but the hope is that everyone celebrates the milestones along the way — no matter how big or small. For Parker, personally, it means looking forward to the 10th anniversary of her Fall Fashion Gala and the second season of "And Just Like That." It also includes watching her daughters finish their last year of middle school, fall in New York (which she loves), and finishing what she says is the biggest stack of books in front of her as we wrap up our phone call.
And while Parker says she has no beauty regrets — past or present — there is one beauty rule she concedes that she has learned to live by: "I did learn to use sunscreen," she says. "I should have done that sooner."