EXCLUSIVE: Ageless Beauty At 67—Gloria Diaz Says "Aging Doesn't Bother Me," So You Shouldn't Be Stressed About It, Too!
There’s a huge wall in the house of Gloria Diaz’s home, from floor to ceiling, of framed newspaper clippings, magazine covers, and print advertisements she and her daughters Isabelle and Ava have filled throughout the years. There’s no space left on the wall, but Gloria laments that she’s yet to update it with the latest billboards and ads.
But at the epicenter of that wall, right smack in the middle, is what started it all—a newspaper clipping of 18-year-old Gloria Diaz winning the title of Miss Universe, the first Filipina to bring home the crown.
Clothes by Ramon Esteban and jewels by JJ Jiao of Raffles Hotel
It's a title that follows Gloria around wherever she goes. Even decades after her win and a long withstanding career in showbusiness, she is still best known as our first Miss Universe.
One would think that she would be crushed under the weight of such pressure—pressure to look a certain way, in order to live up to the expectations of others on how a beauty queen should look like. But Gloria takes it all in stride.
She says, “Of course there’s pressure. Over the years, I’ve always thought that it’s important to look a certain way to be acceptable that way. But right now, the best way is to be relaxed, not to live up to everybody’s expectations. You don’t need to impress anybody. Right now, I think the only pressure I ever get is for my children to not get upset with what I say or do. That’s one of the main goals in the morning—not to say or do something that will embarrass them!”
Living in the age of social media (scrutiny)
Gloria is mother to three children—Isabelle, Ava, and Raphael. Out of the three, Isabelle, a TV host and an actress, is the one the public sees more often, and having bashers and haters is inevitable—something Isabelle warns Gloria about from time to time. Gloria—whose witty comments can be seen on the social media posts of her kids and her nieces Georgina and Jess Wilson—has only one reason for being on social media: “Para they’re aware that I’m alive!” she says, laughing.
Constructive criticism coming from a loving mother such as Gloria is completely different from one that comes from a hateful troll—things that a celebrity like Isabelle deals with on a daily basis, and one that Gloria now understands.
“During my time, when I was young, looks were not a priority,” she says. “It’s just now that there’s a big importance in looks. It’s like an important ‘addition’ (she says, doing air quotes) to getting a job, getting famous, or whatever. Social media has done that very much. In fact, one time, Isabelle and Ava were saying how some people get depressed when they keep looking at social media, asking 'Why does she have this?,' 'Why does she look so good?,' and then they look at themselves and it affects them. I was never aware of that, and it was my daughter who made me see that.”
Women of a certain age
It’s not that Gloria is devoid of any insecurities. There’s comfort to be taken in knowing that even a Miss Universe wishes for certain things to not look as they are. She confesses, “Before, I had very beautiful classmates, I was always looking at them and wanted to be like them. I wish I had thicker hair, no double chin, a flatter stomach—the usual. I would avoid doing my profile because I thought my lips were too thick in the past. But I deal with it. I tell the cameraman to watch out for my double chin, but if it shows, it’s not going to upset me. It’s not like I’m not going to be able to act.”
She states that she hardly, if at all, does photo shoots anymore, due to the simple reason that she’s been photographed since she was 18 years old, and “I’m 67 now,” she says. “And unless I have to, because I’m an artista 'di ba, but it’s because they’ve seen me na, what more can I do that’s new?”
But there is always something new with Gloria. In fact, she has her daughters to thank for it. She’s always updated with the latest skincare and beauty products, because Ava and Isabelle always give her the products that are in the stores now—plus some beauty advice, both solicited and unsolicited.
She says, “Ava always tells me, ‘Mom that’s not the way it’s done anymore.' Like eyeliner that’s so sharp, or how I like to use gloss or blush with shimmer. They tell me no need to shimmer anymore, use more matte, stuff like that.” A self-confessed hoarder, Gloria says she has all the lipsticks in all colors, and has a hard time throwing them away. “I have bad habits,” she says, laughing.
Her habits are passed on to how she wants her makeup done. It’s noticeable to see that even after having her face glammed up by her makeup artist, she will add on, on her own. She explains, “They do the basic things, then I correct things like eyebrows, if I see spots, or put blush—I have certain things. Hey, at my age, you have certain habits already. Habits never die.”
She laments over how some women of her age, perhaps even older, try so desperately to look younger. Gloria advises, “Never try to look young. Because I see a lot of women, they’re trying so hard. Nako, the other day nakita ko, lahat sila naka-false eyelashes, second, eyeliner, tapos naka-off-the-shoulder—and you’re what, 80? Even if I undergo everything under this world of science and medical procedures, I can never look as young as Isabelle or Ava. Dress for comfort, simple elegance, don’t spend so much time or money on yourself.”
Of priorities and self-care
Gloria’s day is chock full of a healthy living activities—workout everyday or perhaps play tennis, drink a lot of water, have a cup of coffee. “I go to the derma every so often, try procedures that aren’t painful or invasive. I never sleep with my makeup on, and take my vitamins. Parang you don’t do anything that’s going to be bad, like drinking, or sleeping pills, or staying up at night.”
She laughs when she says that it’s when she wakes up after a night’s rest that she feels like a senior citizen, indeed. “But, it doesn’t bother me. I mean, aging doesn’t bother me. It’s not my main concern. More than anything, I’m thinking of my children, about what makes them happy. She jokes that she constantly texts her daughters, saying that if she dies, that’s all they’ll remember of her. “All my texts to them!”
She says, “I’m constantly texting them to stay away from the sun, protect yourself, brush your teeth, clean your skin, do your hair, don’t eat too salty, not too sweet, clean your skin, drink your water. Ava says that to me all the time that by the time they’re so and so, they’ll have machines to take out all of that, that they have all the medicine. But I always tell them, stop. Take care of themselves more.”
Considering how good Gloria looks, one would think that she’s the quintessential, self-absorbed beauty queen who would do anything to maintain her appearance, no matter how many years are added to her birthday cake. But she’s the complete opposite of that. Yes, she has good habits ingrained into her routine that keeps her healthy and looking great, but she’s not obsessed with always looking picture-perfect.
She shakes her head and muses, “To me, physically, aging gracefully is just having good skin, maybe trying to lose weight. And all the rest, just developing your character, your supposedly inner beauty, maybe developing an interest in other things other than the physical. With me? It’s not me—I’m my last concern. I think you reach a certain age that you are not the priority, even for yourself.”
Produced by Jenica Chuahiock
Photography by Cyrus Panganiban
Art direction by Butchie Peña
Hair and makeup by Gerald Gloria
Styling by Ava Daza
Liaison Editor: Francis Simeon
Shoot assistant: Iya Ronatay