Living a joyfully expressive life. If there was ever an attainable goal we at any age can reach for, that sounds like a pretty good one. Bringing a smile to herself and to those around her by creating beauty in the world wherever she can find it — this is the central organizing principle of Lady Jane’s life. Why not make people smile by giving them the simple pleasures of a beautifully inspiring visual?
We can often think that a life of service is perhaps more in the ascetic vein than the aesthetic. Inspiring people with what is possible, giving people of all ages a model of how to live a life of beauty is also about service. It is about giving people hope, it is about giving people the permission to express themselves, and very much about refusing to become invisible simply because of one’s advanced age. Style counts. Beauty is important. Feeling wonderful about something as simple as one’s nail color has real value. We live in a time of momentous upheaval, and it is exactly at these times that these simple pleasures serve to remind us that life is good.
Reading through the heartfelt comments on her Instagram feed, I am struck by how important it is to have heroes and role models for any age. Social media is thought of as a younger person’s territory, but why does that have to be that way? The simple act of a woman of 94 putting herself out for the world to see is itself an act of age disruption, and one that we need far more of. Big thanks to Ari Seth Cohen for bringing Lady Jane to our attention.
How old are you?
I am 94 years old and will turn 95 on April 18th, 2022.
Where are you based?
Los Angeles, CA.
Before you retired, what did you do for work?
I was an actress and model in my teens and after I had my children I founded a company called My Lady Fair Charm School and was an interior decorator.
You’ve been called a “nonagenarian.” Can you explain the term and what your message is?
It sounds fancy but all it means is I’ve been fortunate enough to reach the advanced age of the 90s.
“When my companion Jeannie suggested starting an Instagram for me, it was just for the pure enjoyment of putting together chic outfits and photographing the results”
You have almost 20,000 followers on Instagram. When you first started posting on your account, were you hoping to create a large community like the one you have? How did you start?
When my companion Jeannie suggested starting an Instagram for me, it was just for the pure enjoyment of putting together chic outfits and photographing the results. The greatest hope we had was just to possibly brighten someone’s day for a moment. The fact that it has availed me of so many connections with a variety of kind, interesting people across the globe astonishes me daily!
How do you feel about having so many people following you? Does it influence what you post/say?
I only post and say the things that are authentically on my mind, but I am definitely inspired by my many interactions with followers.
Do you get any questions or direct messages from followers that might surprise us?
The messages I get are the standard types of things that all humans are concerned with: aging, the state of the world, and the more lighthearted questions and comments regarding my clothes and makeup. What is astonishing is the fact that they are following and messaging me at all!
“You can never do enough new things and projects, so keep going and never give up, never surrender!”
What advice would you give your 65-year-old self?
You can never do enough new things and projects, so keep going and never give up, never surrender!
You look so vibrant! Do you have any health or wellness habits?
I do not overeat. I try to eat healthy and in moderation and I get enough sleep. I work out daily and I try not to worry about things I cannot control.
What sort of exercise do you like to do?
I work out with free weights for my upper body and use resistance bands for lower body exercises.
What is your style advice to women your age?
Don’t dress your age. Wear vibrant colors and always wear lipstick. It keeps you looking bright and alert.
Matching lip color to nail color, or contrasting?
What’s your favorite lipstick brand and shade?
A real favorite of mine is Tom Ford’s Cherry Lush, but I also find myself reaching for Dior’s 999 which is a classic true red, and Nars Heatwave which is a bright orange-red. I feel my best with a bright lip!
What advice would you give a 30-year-old today?
Practically speaking, take care of yourself, which includes your body, mind and spirit. Your relationships are as crucial as your health and it’s always important to develop your intellect and your soul. My diet and my faith are both priorities.
Who is your style hero?
Lana Turner and Grace Kelly are two gorgeous, stylish women whom I have always admired.
What are your top guilty pleasures?
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate — especially Fannie May Pixies!
What do you think about when you get dressed in the morning?
Am I still alive?
What are your 3 life non-negotiables?
Integrity, Loyalty and Faith.
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