Gwyneth Paltrow on turning 50: 'I accept the marks and the loosening skin'

Gwyneth Paltrow has penned a poignant, contemplative essay about embracing life - and change - as she turns 50

Gwyneth Paltrow has penned an essay on turning 50 years old
(Image credit: Brian Stukes/Getty Images)

Gwyneth Paltrow is days away from celebrating a major milestone, and the Hollywood icon has shared a personal, poignant essay to mark the occasion.

On September 27, the Goop guru will turn 50.

If, by divine luck, any of Gwyneth’s nearest and dearest are reading this, we’ve a guide on the best 50th birthday gift ideas for a memorable moment.


But Gwyneth might not need many gifts to make this birthday a special one – the Shakespeare in Love star has opened up about her thoughts about turning 50, and she seems full of hope.

A post shared by Gwyneth Paltrow (@gwynethpaltrow) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Sharing a snap of herself leaping into the air in a bikini, the Oscar winner got contemplative on the changes she’s seen herself go through, and the changes the world has witnessed.

In her moving essay, she begins by looking back at both her mother, actress Blythe Danner, and father Bruce Paltrow's respective 50th birthdays.

Whereas she recalls her mother being “full of life and joy”, her father took to the passing of time as if he was “swallowed by something.”

Speaking about her own attitude on the matter, the mother to Apple and Moses wrote, “I strangely have no sense of time passed… there is something about the sweetness of life that exists deep within me… It seems to be getting sweeter.”

She then acknowledges that, despite her zest for life only getting stronger, she is seeing the physical passing of time.

Gwyneth Paltrow is ready to accept not looking or being perfect at 50

(Image credit: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Baby2Baby)

"My body, a map of the evidence of all the days, is less timeless. A collection of marks and irregularities that dog-ear the chapters. Scarred from oven burns, a finger smashed in a window long ago, the birth of a child. Silver hair and fine lines.”

But, refreshingly, Gwyneth shares that she has a mantra to these marks of time and age. “I accept.”

“I accept the marks and the loosening skin, the wrinkles. I accept my body and let go of the need to be perfect, look perfect, defy gravity, defy logic, defy humanity.”

Gwyneth learnt lessons about turning 50 from her mother, Blythe Danner

(Image credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

On what she would like for her 50th birthday, and the next chapters?

“I would like to slow down. I would like to retreat a little bit. I would like to make my circle smaller. I would like to cook dinner more. I would like to see misunderstandings become understandings. I would like to continue to open the deepest part of myself to my husband, even though it scares me.”

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.


Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.