Charlize Theron: I'm Just Coming Into My Sensuality

08/27/2014 at 12:07 PM ET

Charlize Theron has a lot going on in her life right now: She’s settled into a romance with Sean Penn (with engagement rumors swirling), she’s got a huge blockbuster movie (Mad Max: Fury Road) coming out next year and she’s happy as a mom to Jackson, 2. And, of course, she gets access to some incredibly glamorous clothing as the face of Dior (and her latest fragrance ad is launching next week — no more air-kissing Marilyn Monroe on the astral plane, for those of you tired of that commercial!). She touches on beauty standards, feeling gorgeous at 39 and what she does with all that incredibly glamorous clothing in an interview with WWD.

Charlize Theron diorFoc Kan/WireImage


Theron has worn some stunning Dior pieces on red carpets, and she says she appreciates how lucky she’s been, while still feeling uncomfortable with the excess. “[Mine] is a really nice closet … I’m incredibly lucky, people are very generous and sending me stuff,” she says. “I never take that for granted, but I’m always very aware that I’m one person and I can’t wear everything. The idea of stuff just hanging in my closet and not being used — there’s a little bit of the African in me that gets bothered by that.”

She addresses her discomfort by passing on the good fortune to her friends. “My whole concept in life is if you’re not using it, you should give it to somebody else so they can use it. And so my girlfriends are really happy about my theory on that … We’ve called it “Narnia;” It’s like the closet that just keeps giving!” she says. “I’m so fortunate … But at the same time, I know what I’m capable of wearing in one lifetime and what I really need. So my girlfriends have it really good!”

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Another area in which she feels fortunate: Her 10-year partnership with Dior, which she says has supported her no matter how she’s had to look for her other job, acting. “There are very, very few brands that will be brave enough to really, completely take a step back and not to try and control what is considered beautiful,” she tells WWD. “There’s never been a moment — I have maybe gained weight or shaved my hair off or done something for a film — [that we couldn’t] integrate [that] into what we were doing here. There’s always been a celebration of what is that moment, whoever I am at that moment in my life. [It] is a very real way of looking at beauty.”

Theron herself has a strong perspective on beauty with her 40s around the corner. “I think that women find their strength and power in their sexuality, in their sensuality … getting older and being secure within that,” she says. “It’s ironic that we’ve built the beauty world around 20-year-olds, when they have no f–kin’ concept about wisdom, what life is about, having a few relationships below [their] belt and feeling hardships, to grow into [their] skin and feel confident within [themselves] and to feel the value of who [they] are, not because of a man or because of something like that. I think that’s such a beautiful thing. And that’s why I think people say women come into their prime in their 40s.” She seems to be example no. 1!

Read the whole interview here, then tell us: Do you agree with her take? Do you love that she calls her closet “Narnia?”

–Alex Apatoff

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Showing 17 comments

Chantel Keona on

Charlize is beautiful and I love the dress she is wearing in that photo.

Ugonna Wosu on

I read the article on the WWD link you gave, and she sounds very down to earth. I love that she cares about the world’s problmes and her African roots are never far from her mind. Thanks for sharing.

TEXAS13 on

I love Charlize…I think she is the most beautiful woman in the world…this is a REAL movie star

Mark on

For women like her, it is entirely possible that what she says is true. She has the looks, stays in shape, can afford a well balanced life of work and play, diet and exercise, the adoration of men, and so forth. For others, maybe even the majority of women, their greatest levels of power, sensuality, beauty, adoration, self fulfillment, are behind them, when they were single, without children, carefree, and most attractive. That is the problem with these kinds of interviews of celebrities, as if non-celebrities, middle class people, can be inspired in the same ways that they can when they don’t have the same advantages. This is not to say that middle aged women cannot find fulfillment in their jobs, children, appearance and sensuality. However, it is hugely more difficult and less likely, I think, than it is for women like Charlize or Gwyneth, who speak as if anyone can feel the way they do if they want to. She’s not just speaking for herself. She says, as if it is a general rule, that women come into their strength and power in the sexuality as they get older, late thirties and forties. I think most women wish this were true.

pakalani4748 on

Charlize Theron sounds very grounded and practical. It may well be due to her South African upbringing. I have friends from South Africa who became American citizens and they are unpretentious and real. Ms. Theron is a breath of fresh air in the entertainment world.

Just Sayin' on

I love her. I do wish she wasn’t dating Sean Penn though. Not a good choice for her.

Susan on

Good for her. From what I hear from my Mom and her sisters, she has about another 5-7 years of enjoyment, then things go south….

DDK on

First of all, I love the commercials for Dior that she’s done. They’re fun, classy, and that miniscule (though imagined) look back at history is just simply great.
When it comes to her own reality, I find it very refreshing that she steps up and says that 20 year olds dont’ have a clue about maturity. For the most part, spot on correct! There are a few 20 year olds in Hollywood that seem to be grounded, but they’re few and far between, and that is so sad, because the immature, self-centered, “me, me, me” mentality is so prevalent & such a poison in the waters of those trying to swim/dog paddle their way to maturity. Sincerely hope that she continues in her current successes and that she lives a very happy life.

stacy on

I know pretty much nothing about her- but I love the fact that she acknowledges the fact that she could never possibly wear all that clothing that she is lucky enough to have and doesn’t let it sit in her closet just cause she can!

Madison on

Charlize is a gorgeous woman and she is only 39, so she still looks great, but realistically women in their 40’s struggle to maintain their beauty because yes, we do have more wisdom, but by then, our looks start fading and for many women in their 40’s, it’s hard to deal with. I don’t know many celebrity women in their 40’s and up who have really aged naturally without any type of procedure like Botox, fillers, etc.

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