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There are few things we love more than boss women telling it like it is and owning who they are. Come to think of it, the only thing we might love more is boss Canadian women telling it like it is and owning who they are. You know, like Jann Arden, Marilyn Denis and Lainey Lui who recently talked all things aging and fabulousness in the October-November issue of Chatelaine. 

The spread showcases strong female voices and each of their unique perspectives on aging–some love it and embrace wrinkles and grey hair; others are more inclined to get into cosmetics and surgeries in an effort to stave off the physical effects; some do what they can with Insta filters and makeup; and they’re all very willing to talk about it.

Jann, Marilyn and Lainey were joined by five other women in the issue—Devine Brown, former Olympian Waneek Horn-Miller, writer Leah Rumack, journalist Leah McLaren and editor Christina Vardanis— with each woman providing a personal essay on her own experience and outlook on “middle-age.”

“Life is becoming more ourselves”

Jann Arden, 57, has become so much more than a singer in recent years, candidly using experiences in her own life to produce a TV show, Jann, and several books, most recently Feeding My Mother about her mom’s battle with Alzheimer’s. In the Chatelaine article, she writes with that same candor, this time about giving up drinking both for her mental and physical health.

“Was I an alcoholic? I don’t know. I know I used alcohol in a way that was unhealthy and debilitating,” she revealed. “I wasn’t able to control it, and the toll became greater the older I got.”

She adds that realizing the impacts of alcohol on her body helped her feel more like herself once she stopped drinking.

“I’m proud of myself. At age 57, I feel good about myself and in my body, which is something I never could have imagined,” she said. “For most of my life, my body was the enemy. Now I think of it more like a loyal and trusted friend. I want to be good to it and nourish it.” She concluded that the realization was really just part of becoming more herself.

“That’s what life is: constantly evolving and trying to become more ourselves,” she continued. “You have to go through it. That’s the purpose of life, and I get that now. I feel so lucky to have the life I have, including all of the experiences that made me who I am.”

“It’s called an Instagram filter”

Marilyn Denis, 61, just started season 10 of The Marilyn Denis Show and opened up about getting cosmetic surgery and owning it. She also lauds the strategic use of a good Instagram filter for a similar effect.

“I was taking good care of myself and feeling great, but I’d see myself in the mirror or on camera and think, ‘That woman looks like she hasn’t slept in a decade,'” she said. “I’ve had a few nips and tucks—nothing too drastic and not in a long time… One of the big realizations around getting work done is that it should help you look like yourself. Not like some perfect version. I’m never going to look like Jane Fonda.”

Funny enough, Marilyn recently interviewed the ageless queen herself both on her show and in a conversation for the Toronto International Film Festival. At 81, Fonda has been open about the cosmetic work she’s had done and it seems Marilyn has taken her lead.

Marilyn also emphasized figuring out what your individual body needs and taking responsibility for it.

“I’ve learned to listen to my body. People say that all the time, but I really pay attention and then act on it,” she said. “I know I’m no good if I don’t get eight hours of sleep, so I stick to that. We had Sheryl Crow on the show, and I wanted to see her concert so badly, but it didn’t start until 9 p.m., so I couldn’t do it. Simple as that.”

If Marilyn can turn down Sheryl Crow, we can get off Twitter and get to bed before 1 a.m.

“High school for life!”

Some women want to age gracefully and embrace their wrinkles but The Social and etalk‘s Lainey Lui, 46, isn’t about to conform to your aging standards. The host writes about resisting society’s idea that once she hits a certain age she’s not supposed to wear the trendy clothes she likes and keep her hair as long as she does. As if!

“We talk about how important it is to express ourselves, but the truth is only certain forms of expression are deemed ‘acceptable,'” she said. “No way—my philosophy is ‘high school for life!’ I love teen dramas, I read young adult novels, and I love to kick it in baggy dresses and sneakers, and wear my hair in pigtails.”

 

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Lainey added that with running a gossip blog, she’s done her fair share of “judging” people but what age has taught her is that a more constructive way to age is to question why she made those judgments in the first place rather than perpetuate narrow viewpoints.

“For me, aging is about evolving, learning and questioning our preconceived notions and the way society has been shaped by certain people being in power,” she said. “Today, I understand that it’s more complicated—that we need to have a conversation about a system that tells women they are only valuable if they look a certain way.”

Oh and BTW, she’s never had cosmetic surgery but if she does, you’ll know.

“Some women want to embrace their wrinkles—good for them, but that’s not me. Maybe I’ll get fillers in a few years or cool sculpting. If I do, the one thing I can say for sure is that you’ll know about it.”