Jewel celebrates feeling 'sexy' as she turns 47: 'Don’t be bullied out of enjoying your own life’

·3-min read

Jewel is ringing in her 47th birthday with a powerful message.

On Nov. 19, the “You Were Meant For Me” singer shared a photo of herself sporting red heart sunglasses to Instagram alongside a message about what her latest milestone means to her.

HERSHEY, PA - DECEMBER 21, 2017
Singer-songwriter Jewel in a dressing room at the Hershey Theatre in Hershey, Pennsylvania on December 21, 2017 before taking the stage on the last night of her Handmade Holiday Tour.
(Photo by Eileen Blass, for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Jewel celebrates her 47th birthday with a powerful message about aging. (Photo: Eileen Blass, for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“47 and feeling myself today,” she began her caption. “I wasn’t sure what getting older would feel like. I was never afraid of it, luckily I’ve loved every year. But in my business and the world, really, is not kind to aging women.”

Jewel wrote that she made a “promise” to herself young to “do no harm” to herself, and “try to be kind to myself in a business notoriously shitty about women’s bodies,” which included people calling her a “chubby Renée Zellweger” when she first rose to fame.

“I wouldn’t let myself be bulimic or anorexic because I felt that was letting bullies win,” she continued. “I had to learn to be healthy my own way and find my way to self love. And that takes time. I never fixed my teeth or my nose because I felt like I wanted to know how to love myself no matter what. And to be thankful for the looks I do have, and not take them for granted just because I wasn’t classically perfect.”

The musician, who previously opened up to Yahoo Life about her experience with agoraphobia and other mental health issues, said that now that she’s getting older, she’s had to navigate aging in the same industry that was so harsh on her body.

“When it came to aging, I knew where I stood on it: take care of myself. Eat well. Drink water. Rest. And bring it on,” the four-time Grammy nominee wrote. “My skin is changing. Gravity definitely takes its toll. But I’m surprised by how good I feel. How vital. How happy. How healthy. And yeah, I feel sexy.”

She concluded her post with, “So to any young women reading this: be kind to yourself. Enjoy the hell out of your life. Sleep with who you want, because you want to. Not because you need to feel validated. Eat what you want because you want to — not because you're afraid of how it will look on you. Your worth lies in your wisdom and your joy. Don’t be bullied out of enjoying your own life! Feel the sensuous joy of being alive. And absorb every single bit of pleasure out of this life — you're worth it!”

Jewel joins a chorus of women in Hollywood who are fighting back against the pressure to look a certain way as they age. In an interview with Vogue earlier this month, Sarah Jessica Parker called out critics of her gray hair in her new Sex and the City spin-off And Just Like That, reminding people that male stars are allowed to age in ways women are not. Paulina Porizkova, who appeared in a recent Los Angeles Magazine article about agism, posed nude this week on Instagram as a way to hit back at a commenter who told her she should settle down and stop acting like a teenager.

"An older woman is allowed wisdom, humor, patience — but not sensuality. Not sexiness," she wrote on Instagram in response. "This is a major societal taboo which is precisely why I post what I post. I may be 56, but I'm as fully a woman as I was thirty years ago, in fact, I'd argue: more so. I'm finally fully inhabiting this body of mine, I fully appreciate it, and I am fully celebrating it.”

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