When Iman Abdulmajid first arrived in New York City, it was October, 1975, and she was a university student in Nairobi. A photographer had taken pictures of her a few months before, and she never imagined that she might have a career in modeling. Soon after she came to the U.S., Iman signed with a large agency and never looked back.
Iman recently revealed that she actually lied about her age in order to obtain a passport to leave Kenya. She denied that the infraction would get her into any trouble now, as nearly 40 years have passed.
Now, as she turns 60, Iman has told Style she has little longing to return to her youth. Instead, she’d like to help change ideas about what it means to be in the sixth decade of life.
“I think there is a blind way that America thinks about youth, and that needs to change. Everything happens out of your own experience. And, let me tell you, a lot is happening to me now. I can never be 20 or 30 [again] and I wouldn’t want to be. I’m almost 60 and I would love to change the way people view 60.”
Abdulmajid celebrated her birthday with a series of Instagram posts that showed off her still-stunning visage.
Iman spoke further about her birthday to Zulekha Haywood, her daughter, in a piece for Yahoo! Style. Zulekha is Iman’s daughter from her marriage to basketball player Spencer Haywood. Iman also has a daughter with her current husband, musician David Bowie.
In the piece, Iman looked back on her 50th birthday and her refusal to accept the AARP membership card she received. At 60, she said she’s reached a positive new stage in her life.
“My looks have changed. I have laugh lines—not wrinkles. I walk slowly because I am finally in a place where I don’t have to rush from one place to the next. I can enjoy what I’m engaged in and be fully present rather than planning my answers to questions while someone else is speaking or thinking about my next appointment while my current engagement is still in in progress.”
Iman is focused these days on her cosmetics company and humanitarian work. She is among a small group of models who have found continued success in front of the camera after the age of 60. Yahoo! Shine posted last year about Catherine Deneuve, Lauren Hutton, and Christie Brinkley, all over 60 and all recently featured in campaigns for prominent brands.
[Photo by Michael Loccisano / Getty Images Entertainment]