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Paulina Porizkova said people wanted to ‘put her to pasture.’ She’s not going

Named one of USA Today's Women of the Year, the model opens up about Botox, aging and falling in love.

It's no secret that, in a world that prizes youth above just about anything else, women over 50 are considered past their prime.

"Accept it. Accept that you are no longer a viable woman. Like we are livestock. When we can breed, we are at our most valuable," Paulina Porizkova, 58, says during a sit-down interview with

And after that?

"They put us out to pasture so that we can comfort somebody – like grandchildren – bake them cookies and take care of people. It's like, 'Really?' That's supposed to be our whole life?" Porizkova asks.

While that may be the perception, it's a narrative that the supermodel and author refuses to accept. More than that, she’s been a vocal proponent of changing the stigma attached to "women of a certain age," earning her a spot on USA Today’s 2024 Women of the Year list.

One of 60 women recognized for their contributions, Porizkova joins Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and Toni Townes-Whitley, CEO of the tech company SAIC, among a host of others.

Paulina Porizkova
Nathan Congleton / TODAY

“I had no idea I was going to be bestowed this honor,” says Porizkova. But with it, she hopes to increase awareness around the messaging that suggests while men tend to grow more powerful and distinguished with age, women are often seen as losing relevance, purpose and above all, their sexuality.

"I think sexuality in the older woman is such a taboo still," Porizkova explains. "Like, OK, fine, we will accept you back at work, (you'll) take a little less money because you've been out of the workforce for a while. Maybe we'll accept you back in the accounting firm. But accepting you as a sexy woman? No. Those days are gone."

It's something Porizkova says she encountered firsthand upon returning to the dating scene after her ex-husband, Ric Ocasek, frontman of the band The Cars, died unexpectedly in 2019.

Musician Ric Ocasek and model Paulina Porizkova
Paulina Porizkova and ex-husband, Ric Ocasek of The Cars in 1990. Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

"So many men that I met would say dumb s--- like, 'I thought women after menopause got all dried up' and all this misinformation," she says of the experience.

For two years, Porizkova says she tried "every dating app in the United States," including Bumble, Raya and others. "I got rejected. I got ghosted. It happens to all of us," she says.

That all changed when she began dating TV writer and producer, Jeff Greenstein, in 2023, someone she says makes her feel like the luckiest person in the world.

"We wake up and we peek over at each other and we both smile, like huge smiles, because I'm like, 'He's still there.' And he looks at me and you can see he's feeling the same way," Porizkova tells

Creating relevance instead of seeking it

In recent years, Porizkova has become active presence on Instagram, unabashedly posting photos of her makeup-free face and nude body online — and has faced backlash for it.

Those poses were celebrated during her tenure as one of the original supermodels in the 1980s. Now, at 58, they draw the ire of commenters seemingly bent on shaming her.

"There are a lot of people that are like, 'This is great and hot.' And then the people that start weighing in like, 'You should be ashamed of yourself. You're too old to be doing this," says Porizkova. "I get a lot of 'pathetic,' 'desperate,' 'trying to stay relevant.'"

To the last point, Porizkova says that the haters aren't wrong.

"Yes, I am trying to stay relevant because I've been told that I'm not. So yes, that is what I do. I try to show you that I can be relevant. Therefore, you can be relevant. Therefore we can be relevant. We can all band together, stomp our feet and say, 'I'm not going to pasture, you go to the pasture."

Unafraid to show the reality of aging, Porizkova recently chronicled her double-hip replacement surgery to her one million plus followers, posting photos of her scarred hips and detailing the recovery.

She says that instead of feeling shame over the process, she embraced and accepted it.

"Having a bilateral hip replacement at 58 makes you feel like an old lady," she tells "So, I'm like, 'No,' I'm going to out it. I'm going to be like, ‘Bye old hips, hello new hips, and accept it and celebrate it. It is what it is. It’s part of my age. Other parts of my age are amazing.”

On Botox: ‘Clearly, I haven’t done any of it’

Along with parts breaking down, wrinkles also come with the territory of being 58. But unlike many of her contemporaries, Porizkova has opted to skip anti-aging cosmetic procedures like Botox in favor of going au natural.

"Clearly, I haven't done any of it. Clearly, I don't have any. I mean, look at all the wrinkles, I have plenty of wrinkles," she says. Not that she judges others who've opted for it. She thinks they "look amazing," but it just isn't for her.

"To me, Botox makes you look really wonderful, but at the cost of sacrificing your emotions because if you can't express them, people can't read them."

Past her 'prime'?

Beyond that, the kind of work Porizkova is focused on is the sort that comes from within and includes letting go of shame.

"After my husband died and I had money issues and my world fell apart and COVID showed up, I was at the lowest point of my life," she explains.

"The one thing that was weighing me down was this shame. Shame that I didn't make my marriage work. The shame that I haven't lived up to other people's expectations. Maybe I wasn't as good of a mother as I thought I was."

But then she made a conscious choice to let it go and do the work to embrace herself — as is — and encourages others to do the same.

Paulina Porizkova
Nathan Congleton / TODAY

"I have never felt this good about myself. Ever," Porizkova says, before addressing those who talk to her about when she was "in her prime."

"When I was 'in my prime,' I was a pretty, smooth canvas ... who was riddled with insecurities and unhappiness and desire to please and change myself over to whatever my partner wanted," she explains.

“How incredibly exciting is it that you can have another coming of age and you can do it right this time."

Paulina Porizkova

Now, she says, she knows exactly who she is, what she wants and how to get it.

"How incredibly exciting is it that you can have another coming of age and you can do it right this time. You can do it according to your own rules and not other people's rules. You can set your own boundaries and you can use your wisdom to know what is what.

"I'm immensely excited, I don't think I've ever felt this hopeful."