Reese Witherspoon Explained Why Her 40s Have Been Pretty Freaking Great

Health Information Relationships

As someone who has experienced many career and life pivots in the public eye, Reese Witherspoon has learned to let go of what other people think. And the more years that pass, the easier it gets, she recently told Harper’s Bazaar.

“I think you start to realize there’s a finite amount of time that you have to accomplish what you want to accomplish in this world, and that worrying about other people’s opinions of you is a waste of your precious time,” the 47-year-old actor and producer said. “It’s a liberation in your 40s to feel free of other people’s opinions. I mean, they’re always there. They just don’t matter as much to you, and it’s a great feeling.”

That attitude has come in handy amid one of Witherspoon’s most recent pivots: a divorce from her second husband, Jim Toth, which they announced in a joint statement in March. Breaking the news was an experience worlds apart from that of her first divorce from Ryan Phillippe in 2008, which was a feast for the tabloids, she explained. Still, as with any public separation, it hasn’t been easy—but her learned laissez-faire approach has kept her grounded.

“There’s speculation, but I can’t control that,” she said. “All I can do is be my most honest, forthright self and be vulnerable. It’s a vulnerable time for me.”

In a 2021 interview with InStyle, The Morning Show star elaborated on how freeing it is to age. “I’m 45. I know who I want to spend time with and who I don’t [want to spend time with],” she explained. “And that is one of the great things about getting older—it just clears out so much space.”

She continued: “I want to be with my mom, my kids, and the people who fill my tank. And everybody else, I wish them well.”

That philosophy allows Witherspoon to continue stacking her life with layered accomplishments, like her women-focused production company Hello Sunshine and the funds she helped raise with Hollywood’s Time’s Up movement. It’s also a sentiment that is encouraged by her good friend and Morning Show costar Jennifer Aniston, who, at 54, has adopted it herself.

“There’s something about getting into your 40s where you just go, ‘I don’t have to fight this anymore. I don’t care,’” Aniston told Harper’s Bazaar. “Fighting for your narrative? You are your narrative, so just trust in that.”



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