Sally Field Rejects Ageism in Hollywood: “I Won’t Be Shamed for Gray Hair”

Actress rejects Hollywood's pressure for plastic surgery, embraces natural beauty

These days, it’s rare to see a celebrity who has not had surgery, mainly because of the pressure that often weighs on famous women. It’s hard to be a woman in Hollywood, but Sally Field – even at 76 – has defied most of the “rules” that have been laid down.

We love Sally Field’s work in films like Forrest Gump and Steel Magnolias. However, some of her favorite work is not on screen, but in her personal approach to fighting ageism in her career.

Born in Pasadena, California in 1946, Sally Field first rose to fame in television series such as Gidget and The Flying Nun.


The now 76-year-old star developed into a formidable actress and activist and switched to film not long after her television career.

The actress recently received the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in February 2023, where she gave a graceful acceptance speech honoring her impressive and storied career.

Field has already received a number of awards in her career: two Academy Awards, two BAFTA Film Award nominations, three Primetime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globes, two SAG Awards, including her most recent Life Achievement Award, and a Tony nomination.

Field is a vocal activist who is often described as ageless and talented. Her speech at the SAG Achievement Award ceremony was humble and helped describe her complicated acting history.

“Backstage I felt shy and cautious and hidden. But on stage, I never knew what I would say or do. I would surprise myself. I wasn’t going for the applause or the attention, even though that’s nice,” she confessed. “For me, acting has always been about finding those precious few moments when I feel totally, completely and sometimes dangerously alive. The task was always to find a way to get there.”

In a beautiful black dress and with her naturally gray hair, Field looked the picture of beauty and grace.

“They opened up and revealed parts of me that I would not have known otherwise. I’ve been working my whole life. In all these almost 60 years, there’s not a day when I am not quietly happy that I am an actor,” she explained.


When Field played Doris Miller in 2016, she spoke to NPR about her role – an aging, eccentric woman:

“I’m an old woman, 70 is old, and that’s okay. I’ve gathered strength behind my years, I own it, I’ve earned it, I deserve it, I am entitled to it. And I don’t like my neck, I don’t like a lot of things, but that’s okay.”

It’s not the first time Field has spoken about the idea of natural aging in an interview. In a 2009 interview with Good Housekeeping, she explained how she resisted the urge to work throughout her career:

“I look at myself on TV and say, ‘Oh, I wish that wasn’t happening to my neck. And your face is falling down, and your eyes are so puffy.’ But then I see some of the women (who have had plastic surgery) who I thought were so beautiful when they were younger. Now I think: Oh dear, don’t do that! And it seems terribly disrespectful to who they are now”

We think Sally Field is beautiful at any age, especially because she’s stayed true to herself! What do you think of her decision to stay natural?

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