Barbra Streisand says she’s ‘too old to care’ about criticism over how she dresses

Barbra Streisand says she’s ‘too old to care’ about criticism over how she dresses

Barbra Streisand has explained why she’s not letting any criticism about her appearance get to her.

The 81-year-old actor spoke candidly about embracing the way she dresses during a recent interview with The New York Times. During the conversation, she hit back at the idea that people should dress their age, acknowledging that one’s style isn’t linked to how old they are.

“People should express themselves and wear whatever they feel on any given day,” she said. ”And that has nothing to do with age.”

Streisand went on to reflect on the early days of her career, when she received scrutiny over some of her clothing choices. However, according to the former Broadway star, she’s at a point in her life where she’s not concerned about other people’s opinions of her,

“I was too afraid to be seen that way at that time,” she explained. “Now I’m too old to care.”

While discussing her style, she also recalled how, in 1993, she attended former US President Bill Clinton’s first inaugural gala in a grey, striped jacket, skirt, and vest. The vest had a deep neckline, which prompted a writer for The New York Times to call her outfit a “disturbing signal” and “coy mixed message”.

During her recent interview with the publication, Streisand responded to the criticism of the outfit, before hitting back at stereotypes that women in Hollywood have faced.

“I thought that writer was reading a lot into that outfit, and it said more about her than about me,” she explained. “Like I wrote in my book: ‘Why can’t women be accomplished and attractive, strong and sensitive, intelligent and sensual?’”

This isn’t the first time that the Funny Girl alum has opened up about the scrutiny she’s faced for her appearance over the years. During an interview with The Guardian in 2022, she spoke about her 1996 cover photo shoot for Vogue, as the pictures showcased her nose. She noted that while she was mocked for how her nose looked at the time, she didn’t take the criticism too seriously.

“I was thrilled about that!” she said, referring to the Vogue photo shoot. “[However], I was called embarrassing names.”

“Another critic said I looked like the Egyptian queen Nefertiti,” Streisand added, while laughing. “I thought, really? Maybe I’m both.”

After decades of working in show business, Streisand has also opened up about stepping back from acting. During an interview with People in December, one month after the release of her memoir My Name is Barbra, she noted that she hasn’t starred in a movie in 11 years, and doesn’t necessarily have plans to star in anymore.

“No, not really. I mean, it was 2009 that I was fighting for the rights to play Gypsy,” she said. “In other words, it gets exhausting, trying to come up with the structure of the movie and then have it not happen.”

She also reflected on the many movies she’s worked on throughout her career, before describing some of the reasons why she’s turned down acting opportunities.

“I had many movies that I wanted to make, and then I get lazy. I go: ‘Oh yeah, to do this one, I have to have all these fittings for period clothes. This one, I’d have to live in Arkansas to do this one,’” she said. “I don’t know. It’s complicated, but I am complicated, I guess… I get lazy.”

Streisand added: “Bette Davis made 80 movies. I made 19. She’s a wonderful actress and she liked working. I like time off.”