The Game Of Thrones star, who underwent brain surgery in 2011, after suffering her first haemorrhage, and then again in 2013, discussed the impact the life-saving surgeries had on her confidence and her thoughts on ageing during an interview with People.
According to the 34-year-old Clinique beauty ambassador, the procedures initially left her feeling “under-confident” and contributed to insecurities about how she looked. However, as she has gotten older, she said she has realised why inner beauty is much more important.
“After the surgery, because I felt so scared and under-confident, I was putting all of that into how I looked,” she said. “As I got older, I realised that people are at their most beautiful when they’re not thinking about themselves and considering their own beauty.
“The happy moments and being happy is what you’re going to see on your deathbed. You’re not going to remember the times when you took that super cute selfie.”
Clarke’s understanding of what makes one beautiful also means that she does not plan on undergoing plastic surgery to combat the ageing process, with the actor telling the outlet that she has no intentions to have “serious stuff” done on her face.
According to Clarke, in addition to her acceptance of growing older, the main reasons she does not see herself having plastic surgery are fear of dying and her career.
“The idea of me putting my face in the hands of someone else with a knife, no, no, no! Don’t come at me with that. It’s not going to happen,” she said regarding the topic of plastic surgery and cosmetic injectables. “Number one is the fear, and number two, I can’t do my job if I can’t move my face.”
While the actor noted that she “didn’t have a carpe diem ‘seize the moment’ situation” when she had her brain haemorrhages, she revealed that the medical emergencies left her “very scared of dying,” and considering: “What the f*** is wrong with ageing?”
“I didn’t have a carpe diem ‘seize the moment’ situation when I had my brain haemorrhages. It didn’t happen for me. I just got very scared of dying, ironically,” the Last Christmas star explained. “What the f*** is wrong with ageing? What are the two truths in life? Taxes and death. It’s happening. Getting older is a guarantee. I think the women who look most beautiful are the women who don’t look younger.”
According to Clarke, she also has no issue fighting back against those who try to convince her otherwise, telling People that she would tell someone who thought that she needed “something in order to be acceptable to the ridiculous beauty standards that society has set” to “let themselves out”.
“I’m not confident in how I look, but I am competent in telling someone who has an opinion on how I look that I’m not interested in hearing it,” she added.
This is not the first time that the actor has spoken about the pressures in Hollywood and from her peers to fight the ageing process, as she previously told Elle UK that she once had a facialist recommend fillers so that she could “have [her] face back” when she was just 28.
At the time, Clarke acknowledged that ageing is about more than growing older, with the star explaining that, at 34, she is “wiser, more intelligent, I’ve had more experiences, I’ve done all this stuff and I’m proud of that,” and that that only comes with time.
“You can only do that because you are the age you are. Time is the only thing allows you to do those things,” she said. “So, if my face is gonna reflect the time that I’ve spent on this earth, I’m down for that.”