Paulina Porizkova Says “Ageism” in the Modeling Industry Has to Change

Paulina Porizkova has been in the modeling industry for a long time and while she knows that she’s only getting better with age, she says that ageism is still rampant throughout her profession.

On Wednesday, the supermodel told PEOPLE (the TV Show!) that she’s always felt like she was a “reluctant model.” She explained, “I always felt like being a model was literally being an apple in a still life. You just kind of get polished, placed, be quiet, look pretty…it was a little frustrating to me.” She noted, however, that since she began her career at age 13 in the late ’70s, modeling has “gotten a lot better now.” For example, “I love the movement of body inclusivity and color inclusivity and celebrating different beauty as beautiful,” she said. “I’m so behind that!”

Her industry may have made a lot of progress over the last couple of decades, but she added that it still has a long way to go. When it comes to what still needs to change, Porizkova said, “Ageism, babe,” pointing to her own gray roots. She continued, “I felt ashamed to be aging, and then on the other hand you go, ‘But, I’m smarter, I’m better, I’m funnier, I’m more patient!’ Overall as a person, I’m the best I’ve ever been. So I’m not ready to be dismissed.” The model concluded, “You don’t get to dismiss me because I have some wrinkles and sags and gray hair now, when I’m kind of fabulous, the most fabulous I’ve ever been. In fact, I’m going to just put it out there and go, you know what, this is me at my best. Deal with it!”

More Great Stories From Vanity Fair 

— Grimes on Music, Mars, and Her Secret New Baby With Elon Musk
— The Vanity Fair Oscar Party Returns: Fill Out Your Ballot and Watch the Livestream on March 27
— Netflix, Drive to Survive, and the New Cult of F1 Fandom
— Allegra Gucci on Her Mother, New Book, and House of Gucci
— Melinda Gates Says Bill Gates’s Work With “Abhorrent” Epstein Led to Divorce
— The Birth of Celebrity Outrage Over Vaccines, Masks, and Mandates
— 29 Killer The Batman–Inspired Items for Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz Fans
— From the Archive: How Intense Loathing Brought Down the Gucci Dynasty
— Sign up for “The Buyline” to receive a curated list of fashion, books, and beauty buys in one weekly newsletter.