Katherine Heigl Opens Up About Turning 40 & Embracing Aging

Katherine Heigl is not here for age discrimination of any kind. The actor, who turned 40 on Saturday, took to Instagram to share her candid thoughts on aging, how we talk about aging as a society and what it means to her to have hit this milestone in her life. What Heigl had to say was pretty inspirational.

More: Julia Roberts Gets Candid About Age Discrimination in a New Interview

Heigl and her husband, Josh Kelley, both shared photos from her big day, including sweet snaps with each other as well as the food they enjoyed, gifts she received and their beautifully decorated and candlelit home. In Heigl’s post, which featured several photos of her standing in front of silver balloons in the shape of “40,” she wrote, “I know you’re going to think I’m full of it but the truth is…I’m pretty damn thrilled to be 40.”

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Well…I am officially 40 years old. I know you’re going think I’m full of it but the truth is…I’m pretty damn thrilled to be 40. For one thing, as my mother always says “Getting older is better then the alternative.” Too true mother, too true! For another thing 40 feels to me like a certain kind of freedom. Freedom from all the self doubt, insecurities, self loathing, uncertainties and anxieties of my 20’s and 30’s. Not to say I don’t still have those moments but I just feel like 40 makes me older and wiser. Steadier in my convictions. More certain of my strengths. More forgiving of my faults. I’ve spent the last five years of my 30’s doing the work to evolve my mind and spirit. To move my heart towards a more profound and loving expression of my best self. I’ve read, studied, explored and practiced ways to expand my understanding of myself and the world around me. I’ve clarified my deepest desires and found that all I really crave is well being. For myself and those I love. I know there’s a certain stigma attached to 40. I’ve had plenty of well meaning acquaintances and even strangers tell me not to worry I still look great. Or soon you’ll be 50 and then you’ll really feel old. Or youth is so fleeting isn’t it. I guess I kind of feel like it’s all about your frame of mind. And I’ve made up my mind not to let a number determine how I feel about the way I look. Or what my value as a woman in society is. I’ve decided I will let the number and every one after it determine the strides I make, the enlightenment I seek, the compassion I show, the beauty I radiate from within that grows and expands with life experience. I’m a stronger, better, more grounded and courageous woman today and I will do my best to continue to grow so I can say the same thing at 50, 60, 70 and beyond. It doesn’t hurt that I am surrounded by so many inspiring people who love me and support me through this life. Without them…well I’d still be floundering around in uncertainty. Ok, I’m done pontificating now. 😏❤️ #thoseheavenlydays are making every year of your life matter as best you can.

A post shared by Katherine Heigl (@katherineheigl) on

Heigl went on to note the truth of something her mother often says: “Getting older is better than the alternative.” She added, “For another thing 40 feels to me like a certain kind of freedom. Freedom from all the self doubt, insecurities, self loathing, uncertainties and anxieties of my 20’s and 30’s. Not to say I don’t still have those moments but I just feel like 40 makes me older and wiser. Steadier in my convictions. More certain of my strengths. More forgiving of my faults.”

Also in her caption, Heigl noted that she’s done a lot of work over the last several years to reach a better understanding of herself and the world and found that all she “really crave[s] is well being.” Of course, that doesn’t mean she’s immune to the stigma associated with getting older, especially for women. As a celebrity, Heigl is especially visible in that regard — which she said she’s especially felt in the lead-up to her birthday.

“I’ve had plenty of well meaning acquaintances and even strangers tell me not to worry I still look great. Or soon you’ll be 50 and then you’ll really feel old. Or youth is so fleeting isn’t it,” Heigl remarked on Instagram. “I guess I kind of feel like it’s all about your frame of mind. And I’ve made up my mind not to let a number determine how I feel about the way I look. Or what my value as a woman in society is.”

She also thanked her loved ones for helping her stay grounded. Among them, we’re sure, is Kelley, who made Belgian waffles for her birthday at Heigl’s request and shared a photo on Instagram, writing, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sweet lil partner in crime @katherineheigl !!”

More: This Is How Katherine Heigl Landed Her Role on Suits

It seems like Heigl had an amazing 40th birthday. Beyond the day itself, she also seems to be enjoying every aspect of her life, age included, which is amazing. We’re so here for self-love and breaking down toxic ideas about the effects of getting older.

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