Home » Fashion icon Bethann Hardison shares her secrets to aging gracefully

Fashion icon Bethann Hardison shares her secrets to aging gracefully

by The Grio

According to model and activist Bethann Hardison, age ain’t nothing but a number. In a recent interview with People magazine, the 1960s runway model, former agent, fashion activist and co-director of the documentary “Invisible Beauty” revealed her unique approach to aging. Though she does not confirm her actual age, casually disregarding multiple reports that she is now an early octogenarian, Hardison has become one of a growing number of ambassadors for aging gracefully. 

“I seem to make a lot of people feel like, ‘I wish I could be you when I grow up. … You have such a great life,’ or, ‘I love the way you just move around and you do things,’ ” she told People. “And I have a good amount of doctors, too, that are always so impressed and they think, ‘Oh my goodness, we need to clone you. You don’t even take medication.’…I approach things in a very different way.”

After making strides on some of the most renowned runways in the world, including the famed “Battle of Versailles,” Hardison became an advocate for diversifying the fashion industry, eventually co-founding the Black Model Alliance. Just as she inspired generations of models and fostered several careers through her acclaimed eponymous agency, Bethann Management, Hardison enjoys challenging people’s perspectives on growing older, sharing some of the practices that help her make the most of every day. 

“Our bodies are the shell that sort of supports everything we have … If the Grim Reaper is going to get you, it’s going to get you. …The most basic [thing you can do to stay young] is be happy, eat well, exercise,” she said, noting how curiosity also fuels an ageless spirit. “What is it that you like that you would be interested to know? What is it that you’re curious about or you think someone probably has or you admire or you look at? …People still want your advice… your guidance, and it’s nice to be able to have that.” 

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