The AARP awards were last Saturday. I know, but come on, let’s not pretend like Old Farts aren’t currently having a moment! And that moment was beautifully celebrated in Beverly Hills with Jamie Lee Curtis, Michelle Yeoh, Brendan Fraser, Alan Cummings and Elvis Presley all getting their due. (Arguably Elvis was kind of cheat since Austin Butler who played Elvis is only 31. But Baz Luhrman who accepted the award is 60 so it balances out.) Sheryl Lee Ralph was awarded Best TV Actress, and rightly so, for her work on Abbott Elementary. But let’s be real, Hollywood is just playing catch-up for having slept on Sheryl for way too long. Sheryl talked to USA Today about being a natural beauty at 60. She said her face and body are the ones God gave her. She told young folks not to sweat aging because not everyone gets to do it.
“Abbott Elementary” star Sheryl Lee Ralph, who won best TV actress, spoke to USA TODAY about embracing aging.
“This is my natural face,” she said. “It’s not pulled, it’s not tucked, it’s not filled or anything and it’s my 60-year-old face. My body is still my body, it’s still me. And the way I’m aging, is it different? Absolutely, but I respect it.”
She said she thinks about friends who died young. “I wish they had gotten the chance to live, to grow older, to be a grown-up. But they didn’t. So don’t turn your nose up on growing older because not everybody gets to do it.”
There’s an argument to be made as to what you would pull on Sheryl’s face, it’s perfect the way it is. But I understand her point. I wore makeup for the first time in a while the other day. While my undereye bags were less visible, my crows feet were on display, as happens when I wear eye makeup. I look my age but as unbelievable as it sounds, I like it. I earned this age, I don’t mind looking it. And if I looked like Sheryl, I’d flaunt it any chance I got. Yes, we’ve heard her sentiments before, that getting older is a blessing because the alternative is death. But it’s something we all need to be reminded of, especially after a worldwide pandemic that claimed so many lives.
Sheryl is not only looking her fabulous 60 self, she’s living her fabulous 60 self. After a long and successful career, she still at the top of her game and the rest of the industry is recognizing her for it. As I said above, it’s about time. But it just goes to show you, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. (Of course, if I keep using grammar like that, my writing career will be over fairly soon.)
I need to stop there because Sheryl is one degree from Quinta Brunson and her Eagles just destroyed my Niners in the playoffs so… whatever.
Photo credit: Getty for AARP