Hollywood is always on a quest for the impossible: to stay forever young and to look on the outside like you feel on the inside. In many ways celebrities reflect and influence aging anxieties for the rest of the population. The quest for perfection and time reversal can lead to a dark spiral of chasing after illusions. 53-year-old Friends alum Courteney Cox knows this cycle all too well, and has opted to step out of it.
“I’ve had all my fillers dissolved,” she said in a refreshing interview with NewBeauty. ‘I feel better because I look like myself.’
“I grew up thinking that appearance was the most important thing. That’s kind of sad because it got me in trouble. I was trying so hard to keep up, and I actually made things worse,” she explained.
She started off small with cosmetic procedures, so the change in her appearance was gradual. By 2015, there was such a noticeable change in her facial features that people started commenting about it. Not only did she not notice how much filler she was getting, she explained that cosmetic doctors can be very convincing at up-selling their products and procedures.
“Well, what would end up happening is that you go to a doctor who would say, ‘You look great, but what would help is a little injection here or filler there.’ So you walk out and you don’t look so bad and you think, no one noticed — it’s good. Then somebody tells you about another doctor: ‘This person’s amazing. They do this person who looks so natural.’ You meet them and they say, ‘You should just do this.’”
“Things are going to change. Everything’s going to drop. I was trying to make it not drop, but that made me look fake,” she says about the inevitable aging process.
“You need movement in your face, especially if you have thin skin like I do,’ she says she realized. ‘Those aren’t wrinkles—they’re smile lines. I’ve had to learn to embrace movement and realize that fillers are not my friend.”
Part of the pressures of turning back time on the skin is that the sensation of the self getting older psychologically doesn’t usually match up with the biological processes of aging. The older we get, the more we learn. We can go through extreme changes of thought, opinion, and personal growth, but still retain that ‘young’ feeling inside. “I think getting older is just hard in general. I feel like I’m 34, so the thought that I’m not just doesn’t seem natural,” Cox said about that kind of experience. “I don’t get it. I feel better than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I take much better care of myself now.”