The actress and activist opens up about her life and what she’s learned along the way.

During her 83 years, Jane Fonda has lived quite the life. Born to a Canadian socialite mother and an actor father, she always had an interest in the arts, even as a child. Sadly her mother died by suicide when Jane was only 12 years old, which had a profound effect on her. “As a child, you always think it was your fault. Because the child can’t blame the adult, because they depend on the adult for survival. It takes a long time to get over the guilt.” She said, whilst opening up about the aftermath of the death.

Jane Fonda went on to become a model and then an actress, and also released iconic fitness videos that were wildly popular in the 80s. Jane was also always very vocal about her beliefs, and became an activist way back in the 60s. She threw her support behind the civil rights movement and has used to her voice and power to highlight many issues in the 60 years since then. And she is very much still an activist now, protesting, and getting arrested numerous times whilst doing so, to highlight the climate crisis.

She’s also prides herself on being open about her life, be it ageing, love or finally letting go of the idea of perfection.

Here we take a look at some of Jane Fonda’s words of wisdom.

“Instead of drifting along like a leaf in a river, understand who you are and how you come across to people. And what kind of an impact you have on the people around you and the world so that when you go out, you can feel you have made a positive difference.”

“We’re still living with the old paradigm of age as an arch. That’s the old metaphor: You’re born, you peak at midlife and decline into decrepitude. A more appropriate metaphor for ageing is a staircase. The upward ascension of the human spirit, bringing us into wisdom, wholeness and authenticity.”

“We can allow our various infirmities to define us. Or we can say to ourselves, ‘I want to stay independent as long as possible. I want to be able to sit on the floor and play with my grandchildren. I want to carry at least some of my own luggage and not take 15 minutes to get out of a car.’”

“It’s never too late – never too late to start over, never too late to be happy.”

“We’re not meant to be perfect. It took me a long time to learn that.”

“It’s a toxic desire to try to be perfect. I realised later in life that the challenge is not to be perfect. It’s to be whole.”

“I don’t want my wrinkles taken away – I don’t want to look like everyone else.”

“I spent a good deal of time going back over my childhood, my midlife, to try to understand who I was. We’re supposed to be complete and whole, and you can’t be whole if you’re trying to be perfect. Doing a life review helped me get over the disease to please.”

For more words of wisdom, click here: