Andie MacDowell is an American model and actress who rose to fame for films like Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989), Groundhog Day (1993), and Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994). She has long been known for her wild, curly dark hair and striking eyes, and has since embraced her changing appearance.
For many, aging comes with gray hair, and MacDowell felt it was time she let her natural silver shine through. She’s also spoken out in support of fellow actress Justine Bateman, who faced backlash after revealing she was against anti-aging procedures, such as Botox.
Growing up with an alcoholic mother affected Andie MacDowell
Born in April 1958, Andie MacDowell grew up the youngest of four siblings. She lived with her mother, who was a music teacher and an alcoholic. Seeing her struggle with alcoholism has kept MacDowell away from alcohol. She once explained how she “can feel it in my veins after the first sip.”
Steering clear of alcohol and smoking, MacDowell has aged quite gracefully. She says her childhood helped shape her into the woman she is today, remarking, “Of course, growing up with an alcoholic mother affected me. But I’m always constantly working on myself. I have done a lot of therapy. I can’t say I’ve always been guided in the right way to look at myself, but at least I have looked at myself, tried to be a better person and have better relationships.”
Graying during quarantine
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Andie MacDowell gave up on her hair-coloring routine, despite her managers telling her ‘”it’s not time.” She explained how she’d been touching up her roots since she was 40, but was unhappy doing so. “I was kowtowing to everybody else’s beliefs, but I truly want to be where I am and look my age,” she explained.
Ignoring the advice of her managers, MacDowell let her silver hair shine through beginning in 2021, during quarantine. She said, “I wasn’t coloring my hair… and you could see my roots, and my daughters kept telling me that I looked badass. And that idea that I could look badass really appealed to me.”
With her daughters’ support, she fully embraced her graying hair and debuted it at the 74th Cannes Film Festival.
Receiving positive feedback
Andie MacDowell wasn’t sure what the reaction to her hair would be, but she was surprised and pleased at the overwhelming positivity. Onlookers loved her new look, which was perfect for her, as she “always wanted to be salt and pepper.” She explained, “I was relieved people weren’t cruel. They could have been mean to me. But everybody was very loving and kind and I was relieved because I really like it. I feel more comfortable.”
For MacDowell, letting her gray hair come through felt right. “It was just so clear to me that my instincts were right because I’ve never felt more powerful,” she explained. “I feel like I’m not pretending. I feel like I’m embracing right where I am. I feel really comfortable. And in a lot of ways, I think it’s more striking on my face. I just feel like it suits me.”
Andie MacDowell still struggles with aging
Although she’s embraced her gray hair, there are other aspects of aging that Andie MacDowell continues to struggle with. For one thing, she’s constantly having to work on loving her stomach as it gets bigger with age. She even consulted a facialist about having a cosmetic procedure done to raise her eyebrows, but decided not to go through with it when told her eyebrows are “sultry and perfect.”
One of the ways she helps quiet her struggle with accepting aging is reducing the amount of time she spends in front of the mirror. The less she looks at her reflection, the less she focuses on the parts of her that have changed with age. “Don’t look at yourself in bad light,” MacDowell shared. “I just don’t have very many mirrors around. The ones in my bathrooms all have great lighting.”
Andie MacDowell ‘doesn’t feel less sexy’ at 65
In a May 2023 interview with PEOPLE, Andie MacDowell reflected on how much more confident she’s become with her aging appearance, saying she “doesn’t feel less sexy” at 65.
“There is this time period between 40 and 60 that I think woman in the business can struggle because they don’t know what to do. They’ve been seen as one way, but they’re not really seen as what I am now,” she explained. “I was struggling and I’m much more comfortable with where I am right now. I love being an older woman. I really enjoy it. And it doesn’t feel less sexy.”
She added that this perspective has actually helped her acting career. “I feel like my career is actually doing really well right now because I’ve dove into being an older woman and accepted it,” she said.
MacDowell also commented on the double standards between men and women, saying, “Men are seen as really sexy when they start to get wrinkles. I like all the terms we use for older men. I want to hold onto those terms. I want to be deboinair. Why not? What a beautiful term.”
Joining the ‘silver fox’ club
Andie MacDowell isn’t the first actress to embrace her graying hair, and she’s now joined a group of actors and actresses who’ve been dubbed “silver foxes.” Celebrities like Jane Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Jamie Lee Curtis have all welcomed their silver hair.
MacDowell even said, “I like to compare myself to George Clooney because why not?” For her, it was the perfect time to make the transition to gray, as it suits her personality and who she is now.
Backing Justine Bateman
When Justine Bateman received backlash for indicating that she’s against cosmetic procedures, Andie MacDowell spoke out in support. The Family Ties (1982-89) actress made headlines for her comments on embracing her natural appearance and not caring about what others think.
Shortly after, MacDowell was interviewed by Katie Couric and said it’s a lot of work to try and maintain a youthful appearance. She’d rather grow old naturally.
“I want to be old,” MacDowell shared. “I’m tired of trying to be young. I don’t want to be young. I’ve been young. And to be an older person trying to be young, what an effort. That’s a lot of effort.” She added women have “no time to waste feeling shame” about aging.