On Beauty: How to age as well as Jane Fonda

Fonda wants women to reclaim the middle period of their lives and to take pride in their age and wisdom

Jane Fonda turned 77 a few weeks ago and looks incredible. In recent red carpet appearances she has been radiant, with looks that women half her age would envy. So how is she achieving it?

In her book Women Coming of Age, Fonda tells us that "our lives end up consisting of three phases: being young, pretending to be young, and old age. The whole rich middle period is lost."

Fonda wants women to reclaim this period of their lives and to take pride in their age and wisdom. She advocates exercise and a good diet to stay as youthful and healthy for as long as possible. That said, she is not averse to plastic surgery and has undergone several procedures, from full facelifts to tweaks such as eye lifts, Botox and fillers. This, however, is a Hollywood level of maintenance that most of us can’t afford or don’t aspire to. What interest me most are the things Fonda does that we all can replicate.

Genetic constraints aside, Fonda believes ageing is negotiable and dependant on how well we look after ourselves. She is a huge believer in working out, avoidance of alcohol and cigarettes, having a positive and healthy attitude and getting lots of sleep.


Fonda has not lost the faultless posture and trim figure that made her synonymous with fitness in the 1980s, and now, with her Prime Time workout DVDs, which are aimed at an older audience, she continues to practise what she preaches. Fonda suffers from arthritis, and, having undergone hip and knee replacement surgery, credits exercise for keeping her moving and preventing her hands from developing "into claws".

Much like Helen Mirren, another seemingly ageless beauty, Fonda generally keeps her make-up natural-looking and is a fan of red lipstick. She is not afraid to experiment with cosmetics; red-carpet appearances have seen bronze-toned smoky eyes paired with nude lips and shimmering shadow on the lids of her eyes. Her make-up artists like to add light to her face with illuminator on the cheek and brow bones to create a youthful glow.

Fonda has worked a variation of the “short shag” for years, and a flattering combination of tousled locks, balayage highlights and toners to add shine and condition is probably the strongest contributor to her ageless style.

We could be set for a Fonda fitness revival too, as her original workout videos have been re-released for download and on DVD. Have those leg-warmers and high-cut leotards at the ready and be prepared to feel the burn.

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Twitter @aismcdermott



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