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The ultimate way to defy age, according to this French icon

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Photo: Instagram/@janebirkindaily

Imagine being such. an. icon. that the most coveted handbag—the Birkin—is named after you. Le sigh, as they say. Jane Birkin epitomizes the word, popularizing the whole T-shirt and jeans look (as a—gasp—woman, which was radical even half a century ago) and inspiring curtain-bangs on women all around the world.

So when such a figure divulges any sort of wisdom, women take notice. In a recent interview with Vogue, before a performance at Carnegie Hall, the 71-year-old singer-songwriter-actress revealed the way she firmly believes is the best way to be beautiful—regardless of age.

“Smiling helps for photos, anyway: You take off about ten years if you smile,” says Birkin.

“You take off about ten years if you smile.”

Of course, she affirms that she does feel the gravity of aging—but it’s clearly not hindering her badass sense of self-confidence. “You see magnificent faces, and that gives you great courage,” she adds. “Glenda Jackson is about 80, and she looks beautiful, but like a map—a wonderful map.”

At a time when “anti-aging” is becoming an antiquated term, it’s refreshing to hear such a wise and fresh perspective (and one that doesn’t involve topical tinctures to guard against the forces of nature). And, when all else fails, Birkin admits to trying the holistic practice of face yoga. “I started face exercises and went into it for about a year,” she says. “I’m sure it helps!” Namaste.

Speaking of the icon, these are the Birkin bags of fitness fashion. And to further channel the famous actress-model, check out the new Netflix series that could help you reach French-girl #goals.