Ellen Pompeo Is Changing the Conversation About Aging in Hollywood

Ellen Pompeo - Welcome to the Age of Cool - Getty - P 2016
Courtesy of Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

“We get better, stronger, confident, more beautiful,” says the 'Grey’s Anatomy' star.

“I am a 46-year-old woman who is enjoying my life and celebrating my life, living out my dreams and helping people and holding down a personal life and a career,” announced Ellen Pompeo at Philosophy’s Age of Cool event at Quixote Studios in West Hollywood on Thursday night.

The Grey’s Anatomy star was being feted as the face of the beauty giant’s new #CoolAger campaign, designed to redefine aging, and the launch of the new Uplifting Miracle Worker Collection. The celebration also coincided with the season 13 premiere  of Shonda Rhimes’ beloved ABC medical drama series in which has seen Pompeo play the role of its main character, Dr. Meredith Grey, since its debut in 2005. If anyone knows anything about aging gracefully both on camera and off, it’s Pompeo, whose focus has always been “being the best version of myself,” she says.

 “[Aging] has a negative connotation because society put that on us [women]. It was most likely men,” she added. “It’s another glass ceiling we have to break, and nobody will break it for us. We have to do the breaking ourselves.” Who does she think is leading the way? “The whole town is. Everybody is, you name it,” said Pompeo, who was joined by guests including television personality Mario Lopez, and actress Garcelle Beauvais for the evening. “My boss [Rhimes] is one of them. I am another. The list goes on.”

So when Philosophy approached the actress and mother with the #CoolAger campaign and its Hope & Grace Initiative — which donates a percentage of profits to community-based mental health efforts — the actress had a hard time saying no.  “Empowering older women and donating money to woman’s health are two super important movements,” she added. “ I was happy, happy, to be involved.”

When it comes to beauty advice, Pompeo relies on her own intuition rather than words from others. “It’s common sense. You get rest, you drink a lot of water, you take care of yourself,” she said.

For Pompeo, the campaign is so much more than just a beauty movement, she explained. “The overall connotation that’s been put on women is that men get better with age and women are no longer vibrant — that’s all complete bullshit,” she said. “We get better, stronger, confident, more beautiful. It’s probably been men who have put all these things upon us because they are afraid of our power.”