Eva Mendes is far from offended when people diss her for growing older.
Earlier this month, the mother of two responded to an Instagram troll who said “she’s getting old” by embracing the critique, even thanking the commenter, “for the reminder that I’m still here. ❤️❤️❤️.”
Speaking to PEOPLE at the Create and Cultivate event in Los Angeles on Saturday, Mendes, who turns 46 next month, explained her reason for delivering the classy clapback.
“I was excited by the reaction because in no way do I think that person that left that comment about me getting old was being malicious,” she explained. “I do not think it was a malicious comment, but I think it’s more dangerous because it wasn’t malicious because it’s just ingrained in society that getting older is something we should either fear or be ashamed of.”
“And I think the whole thing about not asking a woman what her age is archaic,” Mendes continued. “It’s like you can ask me my age and I will happily tell you, I’ll be shocked, somewhat shocked. I’m about to turn 46 and that’s somewhat shocking to me. But I’m proud of that.”
The fashion entrepreneur continued, “I wanted to make sure to get back to that person because I had something to say and I felt like, look, you mean this, I don’t think it was malicious but you mean it kind of like an insult.”
“I want to show you that I take it as a compliment because I’m still here,” she said. “And I have, you know, instead of saying I am 46, I wish we could change it and I wish I could say, ‘I have 46 years to me’ because in Spanish it’s very beautiful. It says you say, ‘Tengo cuarenta seis años’ I have 46 years and in English I know, it’s a little, you know it’s semantics but it’s important.”
“It’s like I don’t feel 46 but I do feel like I have 46 years of experience to me,” Mendes added. “I just find that so empowering.
Last month, the designer had a respectful response when a fan criticized the multi-colored patterned dress she wore in an Instagram video. “Don’t like these designs you need a better Designer you to [sic] pretty for these ugly patterns,” the commenter wrote underneath the video of Mendes showing off a new dress she had helped design.
I think I resemble a horse at times. It’s not a bad thing. It just is. If I was an animal I’d clearly be a horse. Or a Shetland pony. 💜⠀ Anyway here I am horsing around in my new favorite dress. The Natalya dress. I LOVE THIS DRESS!!! Thank you @alejandroblanco for creating this with me! Love love love this! 💜
A post shared by Eva Mendes (@evamendes) on Jan 4, 2020 at 11:33am PST
“I’m so sorry you don’t like this one,” she wrote. “It happens to be my favorite piece of my new collection. But I’m sure there’s other stuff you may like. If not @katehudson and @gabunion design some great things. So there may be something for you there. Sending love for 2020 ❤️.”