Hollywood is tough world to make it in. The competition is fierce, and especially for women, the focus on looking young and beautiful, at any cost, can be particularly destructive.
For actress and beloved star of Friends Courteney Cox, who is 55 years old, the pressure of preserving her looks all became too much to handle. Now, she’s sharing a message of self-acceptance and openly embracing her age.
"You have to accept getting older, and that’s something that I had a hard time doing."
For Courteney Cox, who grew up in Alabama, how people looked was always a subject of conversation in her childhood home. Her late father, in particular, “talked about looks a lot.”
As Cox explained to New Beauty: “He felt that was an important topic in our family—what people looked like and who didn’t look so good. That’s not a great thing to reveal about your childhood. What are we going to eat and what do people look like, but that’s what we talked about.”
Cox’s mother was very beautiful. As such, beauty standards were very much a part of her identity.
When Cox found stardom as Monica Geller on Friends, she was already 30 years old. That’s a far cry from many other actresses who have become famous not long after leaving university or even as teenagers.
By the end of the show, she was 40, an age at which many actresses have difficulty maintaining roles as romantic leads and start to get cast as moms or “older women.” She became a mother herself, giving birth to her only child, Coco Arquette, in 2004.
Cox herself played with the stereotypes about women having difficulty getting older in the show she starred in and produced, Cougar Town, which ran from 2009 to 2015. The show focused on Cox’s character, a woman in her 40s increasingly uncomfortable with the way her body looked and trying to get back in the dating world.
But even as she was making a show about the struggles women face while aging, Cox was desperately trying to fight the effects of aging herself. “I would say it’s a common thing you go through as you age, especially in Hollywood,” she told People.
As she said to New Beauty, “I was trying so hard to keep up, and I actually made things worse.” Cox started getting cosmetic treatments to help keep her face from getting wrinkles and showing the signs of aging. As she shared with New Beauty, doctors would tell her: “you look great, but what would help is a little injection here or filler there.”
Then she would hear of another doctor proposing another treatment until she had gone too far. “The next thing you know, you’re layered and layered and layered. You have no idea because it’s gradual until you go, ‘oh [expletive], this doesn’t look right.’”
— Courteney Cox (@CourteneyCox) February 10, 2016
The breaking point really came when Cox saw her images and thought, “I didn’t look like myself,” as the actress told People. This was the beginning of a long process that has led Cox to embracing her natural beauty and shunning cosmetic surgery.
She has since embraced the changes that time has brought for her. “So now I just embrace who I am and getting older with what God gave me, not what I was trying to change,” she explained to People.
Courteney Cox on Why She Stopped Using Fillers: ‘I Didn’t Look Like Myself’ https://t.co/7WA4AGGwY1
— People (@people) February 14, 2019
These days, Cox focuses less on her appearance and more on being a good mother to her daughter Coco, who is now in high school. “I’ve had all my fillers dissolved. I’m as natural as I can be. I feel better because I look like myself. I think that I now look more like the person that I was,” she told New Beauty.
As for her daughter, Cox wants her to learn about beauty but accept herself as she is. “Coco loves makeup and she expresses herself through it. One of her favorite shows is RuPaul’s Drag Race. She thinks it’s beautiful artistry and she’s really good at it,” Cox told New Beauty.
As a parent, she tries to make sure that Coco isn’t getting bombarded with images of stereotypical women’s beauty. “I care more about what she’s watching than what she’s putting on her face.”
At 53, Courteney Cox has gone all-natural.
“I am think [sic] I am at a stage of my life where it’s very easy to be comfortable with who I am and who I’ve become and who I strive to be,” Cox said to People. She hopes to pass these lessons on to her daughter and let her know she’s beautiful just the way she is.
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