Written by on April 12, 2022

Whether she may have been your woman crush at the breakout of her career or still to this day, Nia Long has been the epitome of “black don’t crack.” The actress has had a successful two-decade-long career in Hollywood and is recognized from your favorite classic movies to television shows.

In a recent interview with PEOPLE, Long opens up about the pressures behind being referred to as “ageless,” explaining that it creates unrealistic beauty standards for celebrities in the industry. “I so appreciate the compliment,” Long begin. “But I have to tell you, 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.”

“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 continued.

The actress then shared that she finds herself being extra hard on herself before major events because she is “trying to live up to a version of myself that was 20 years ago.”

Even though it is common for Hollywood figures to resort to cosmetic procedures and anti-aging products, the 51-year-old actress shared that she has never used them herself and believes that God blesses her.

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

 “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.”

In hindsight, Long shares that she wishes she could tell her younger self to “be more patient with myself and that perfectionism is actually boring.” What are your thoughts on beauty standards in the industry?

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