Taraji P. Henson on not fighting age and “aging gracefully” in Hollywood

HelloBeautiful/Dalvin Adams

Over 20 years into her acting career, Taraji P. Henson is embracing it all … even the roles that come with being an “older” woman in Hollywood. In HelloBeautiful’s recent cover story, she discussed her latest role as a mother, specifically Jeanine Teagues’ mother on Abbott Elementary.

“At first it was like, ah, mom? Why can’t I be her sister? Then I looked at her age and I said, ‘B****, because you old enough to be her mother,'” Henson says. “I’m not going to fight age. I’m going to age gracefully.”

Keeping that in mind, she’s been nurturing her health with a healthier diet, one she had to adopt after having leaky gut syndrome.

“I’ve been training on and off since I started in the film industry with Baby Boy,” she says. “That’s something that I kind of fall on and off the wagon, but … the biggest transition was diet. I hadn’t really leaned on and cleaned up my diet, as well as I had in the past. Understanding that food can heal, [but] it can also hurt.”

Taraji also welcomes her roles as founder of her hair care line TPH by Taraji; co-creator of a sitcom she and Kevin Hart are currently pitching; and mentor to Black women in the industry. “We need each other,” she says of being a mentor. “We ain’t s*** without each other. This world is against us. We are at the bottom of every pay grade, everywhere you go, the Black woman is the last to be thought about. We don’t have time to compete with each other, to go against each other, to fight with each other.”

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