Paulina Porizkova spent the ’80s defining what it meant to be a supermodel, appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated and starring in advertising campaigns for brands like Chanel and Christian Dior. Now 57 years old, she’s looking back and reflecting. “At the time, I was just a young girl who was supposed to be perfect, the prototype of a woman. I could never live up to that,” she tells Cut editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples on this week’s episode of the In Her Shoes podcast. “You were just never good enough.”
While she’s embracing her age, it has been a process. “You can either take that shame and do something about your face to escape that shame and get things done, or you can work on the shame part. I’m trying to work on the shame part, because I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with an aging face,” says Porizkova. She’s offended by filters and calls out seeing very few faces on social media with pores, wrinkles, or any imperfections. Her book, aptly titled No Filter: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful, is meant to feel like “a companion for you in recognizing aspects of yourself.” It not only tackles the physical experience of aging but the real-life indignities that all women face as they get on in years, from grief to shame to betrayal.
“It always feels good when you know you’re not the only person feeling like this,” Porizkova says. “If I wasn’t hopeful about the future, I probably would have killed myself, quite honestly. I’m nothing but hopeful for the future because I feel like I’ve finally come into my power as a full person and I know what I’m capable of.” With all that digging deep and learning about herself, Porizkova is basking in gratitude as she embarks on this chapter of her life. “The reality is I’m really proud and happy to be 57. I think I’m a better woman than I’ve ever been; I’m the best human I’ve ever been … the most powerful and the most forgiving to myself.”
To hear more about Porizkova’s supermodel life, how she’s navigated grief, and her approach to aging, listen and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen, below.