In the past few weeks, Cameron Diaz has emerged as a serious new body-positive, anti-ageism role model. She just came out with a book called The Body Book: The Law Of Hunger, The Science Of Strength And Other Ways To Love Your Amazing Bodyand, in promoting it, has said all kinds of sorta controversial stuff about pubic hair, acne, and her diet as a teenager. Well, her comments and the content of her book are considered controversial (aka weird, gross and TMI) by E! News. I think they’re pretty awesome.

I’m particularly struck by the comments she made to PEOPLE about aging:

“I don’t want to look like I did when I was 25. I like the way that I look now better than when I was 25. I can’t help that other people may be uncomfortable with that, but that’s not my responsibility to make them feel okay with the fact that I’m getting older. I’m okay with it. I like it.”

It’s powerful to hear a Hollywood actress speaking this way about getting older, especially in light of the ridiculous ageism that continues to plague both the entertainment industry and society in general. I seriously love how she says it’s not her responsibility to make others feel ok. That’s the truth about basically everything related to being a woman in the world, but it’s a sentiment we don’t often hear, especially from famous people. Cameron continued:

“There’s no such thing as anti-aging.There’s no such thing as turning back the hands of time, and it makes me crazy that we live in a society where that’s sold to women – that we’re supposed to believe that if we’re getting older, we’ve failed somehow, that we have failed by not staying young. I wish that women would let other women age gracefully and allow them to get older and know that as we get older, we become wiser.”

I think she’s right about this, but I’d venture to say that the blame should be placed much more on the media and the beauty industry than on “other women.” Of course, women contribute to the idea that women must stay young, hot and beautiful at all costs, but it’s also something we constantly see in magazines, on television, in the movies, in advertisements, on the internet, and in the aisles of the drugstore. Still, changing attitudes, like Cameron is trying to do, is certainly a worthy cause. It’s a start, at least.

Before this, I had no idea Cameron Diaz was so body-positive, or so invested in helping women feel better about themselves and their bodies. I mean, I always kind of liked her and thought she seemed laid-back and fun, but she never struck me as a celebrity who was particularly critical (or even aware) of the beauty standards in our society, those perpetuated by the industry she works in. Happily, I guess I was wrong!

Photo: Getty Images