Friday, July 1, 2022

Nia Long on Being ‘Ageless’ in Hollywood: ‘I Am a Work in Progress’

Nia Long
Honoree Nia Long accepts an award onstage during the 2022 15th Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on March 24, 2022, in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

*Veteran actress Nia Long is speaking out about being “ageless” in youth-obsessed Hollywood. 

“…there’s so much pressure in this industry to stay beautiful and to stay young. And I’m really not interested in leaning into this idea of perfection,” Long, 51, says in an interview with PEOPLE

“I am a proud 51, and eventually I’m going to age in a way where it’s obvious and I want it to happen beautifully and gracefully. I don’t really want the pressure of feeling like I have to be beautiful and perfect because I think beauty comes at any age,” she said.

READ MORE: Nia Long Recalls Disastrous Date with Chris Rock

 

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Instead of “trying to live up to a version of myself that was 20 years ago,” Long puts her focus on her skincare routine.

“I don’t do anti-aging things, or use products because I think I look old or am trying to avoid aging,” she said. “I use products to stay healthy and to keep healthy, vibrant skin. There’s a difference.”

Long’s skincare treatment includes cutting back on wearing makeup.

“The skin gods have definitely blessed me,” she said “I’m always grateful and thankful for my good, clean, healthy skin. But I don’t take it for granted. And in order to maintain healthy skin, you have to do the work.”

She continues, “But I honestly think the real beauty comes from within. And I know for myself, I am a work in progress. I mean, we can use all the creams, all the lotions, all the makeup in the world, but if you’re not feeling good on the inside, the beauty just isn’t radiant. It becomes sort of this superficial mask.”

Long tells PEOPLE she would tell her younger self to “be more patient with myself and that perfectionism is actually boring.”

“The business is very different now from when I was 20 years old,” she said. “I don’t even know that I was aware of the amount of pressure that I was putting on myself to be perfect. I don’t know that I was able to articulate that as a young woman. And so what I know now is grace and patience and acceptance are much more interesting to me than perfectionism.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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