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@Photograph by David Meffert, @meff_art_studio

Where ever you are, I hope you’re experiencing cooler temperatures and the leaves are changing from their familiar green to a cornucopia of reds, oranges and yellows. Today, it’s time for me and my friend Cindy to bring you our Ageless Style series where we each interview a different woman.

Seventy-three-year-old Danish model and actress, Pia Gronning, has always been an ageless beauty. Whether she was runner-up in the 1969 Miss Denmark pageant, discovered in the early 70s by famed modeling agency executive Eileen Ford, or had the leading roles in several Scandinavian films—she also appeared in The Two Jakes, the sequel to Chinatown with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway—Pia’s classic style has always been her trademark. 

BRENDA: You stopped modeling when you were young and then resumed it at the age of 52. What’s changed about the industry from the 1970s versus now?

PIA: It’s very different. Now, you don’t have to be beautiful or a classic beauty. It’s more about being an individual. They have rings in their noses and tattoos all over and pink hair. And of course, there’s the gray hairs: 50s, 60s, sometimes 70s. I’m lucky I’m still working, not as much as I used to, but it’s a whole different thing, and I like that. It makes the young people not want to be these perfect human beings like we were then. You had to be perfect. Perfect legs, perfect body. Things have changed 360 degrees from then.

BRENDA: How do you see yourself now as opposed to then? It sounds like it must be a relief not to be perfect.

Photograph by Jan Rickers @janrickers

PIA: Oh, yes! Wow! They still give me compliments for my age. I think I still look decent, but you don’t have to be so perfect. I remember times when you would do a job and a whole row of clients would be standing there, staring at you while you were on set. You always thought they were talking about you. They probably were not, but you’re insecure. When I finally stopped and moved to LA and got into design—I had my own interior design company for 13 years—I realized that my self-confidence was nil, and I had to build that up which is why it was so great to be praised for something else aside from the way I looked. 

BRENDA: Then you started modeling again at age 52.

Pia at the Miss Denmark pageant, 1969.

PIA: Yes. Do you remember Cindy Joseph?

BRENDA: Yes. A few years ago I did a commercial for her makeup line, but it looked so awful on me—no foundation but they used the same purple cream stick on my lips, eyes, mouth and cheeks—I asked them not to use it.

PIA: She was probably the first model with gray hair. She did J. Jill. I started seeing her and I thought I should see if they’d want me again, so I went into an agency in LA with my old portfolio, thinking they’d never want me, but they remembered who I was. It’s funny. I never had aspirations to be a model. Never, ever, ever. For me it was a job. A way of making money. I never aspired to being famous.

BRENDA: How do you approach aging?

PIA: When I’m working and I see pictures of myself, it’s sometimes a little hard because being a model for so many years, you’re very critical of yourself. That can be a little tough. I have a husband who adores me…I don’t look anything but beautiful, so that makes it a little easier. But looking at myself in the mirror and seeing the wrinkles and the loose skin is hard, but I’ve lived a fabulous life. The wrinkles I have I feel like I’ve earned them. I’m going to age as gracefully and healthy as I can for as long as I can. I don’t plan on doing anything. 

BRENDA: I always thought I would do something, but I’m not doing anything other than coloring my hair. There’s an upcoming event in Dallas, and I’ve been asked to interview model, Paulina Porizkova, in front of an audience about her memoir. Paulina’s not doing anything either and wants to age naturally.

PIA: She’s what? 56? 

BRENDA: Fifty-eight.

Pia and her husband, David Meffert. Photo by David Meffert, @meff_art_studio

PIA: I got married to my husband when I was 56, and I look at pictures of myself then, and I looked pretty darn great. I didn’t have any wrinkles. So sometimes those women in their late 50’s who say, ‘We don’t want to do anything,’ I want to say, just you wait. LOL! I’m sure you understand what I’m saying.

BRENDA: I do. I look at pictures of myself 10 years ago, maybe a picture I didn’t like at the time but now I say, ‘You looked great.’ What do you do to take care of your skin? 

PIA: My sister got me hooked on a brand. It sounds French, but it’s a Danish brand. Beauté Pacifique. They have a line for mature, more dry skin, and I am addicted to it. Once a year I go to the dermatologist for a checkup. They have a retinol cream. It’s way too strong for me unless I mix it with Cetaphil, and I use that some nights. I don’t know if it’s doing anything for me…I’m not one to slather myself with sunscreen. I hate it. I don’t sit in the sun like I used to in the old days. Like when you booked a bathing suit job in Bermuda, and they sent you down there three days before so you could get suntanned. I’m an outdoor person, and I have a dog I walk about 10 times a day. I like a little color in my face. I drink a lot of water, but that’s all I do. I try to eat as healthy as possible, but I love chocolate, and when I go to Denmark, I eat a lot of pastry and candy. LOL! I want to live! No, I’m not the same size I was when I came to NY, but that’s okay.

Pia wearing @benedikteutzon, a Danish brand. Photograph by David Meffert, @meff_art_studio

BRENDA: I think that’s probably a good thing. As my doctor reminds me, we need some extra reserves if we get sick, and I know that to be the case.

PIA: Also, as we get older, when we get thin, it shows in our face. You get sunken in cheeks. That’s not a good look for a 60, 70-year-old woman…Sometimes I think I should lose five pounds, but as long as I can fit into the clothes they give me I’m okay.

BRENDA: How has your style evolved over the years?

PIA: It hasn’t really changed that much. I’ve always wanted to be comfortable. I’ve always been a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. When I lived in NY, I wore a lot of vintage clothing. I would pair old ski pants with stirrups with a jacket or a sweater. It’s pretty much the same. I went to H&M yesterday and bought a pair of cargo pants and a sweatshirt and a t-shirt. It’s what I’ve always worn.

Pia wearing @benedikteutzon Photograph by David Meffert, @meff_art_studio

BRENDA: Do you have any go-to pieces in your closet?

PIA: Not really…I just want to be comfortable. I used to buy a lot of Zara tops and wear them over jeans, but now I wear them with cargo pants. I’m attached to my clothes, but if I lost them all, I wouldn’t cry. I don’t like to spend a lot of money on clothes. 

BRENDA: What about jewelry and accessories?

PIA: Same thing. I have my diamond studs…and I never take them out. I have some rings. One is from David’s mom when she passed away. I have three necklaces. One is a little peace sign I got from David and a little diamond that was my mother-in-law’s I wear all the time. I also have a longer one with a Danish cross my mom gave me. It’s a heart, a cross and an anchor. In Danish it means love, faith and hope. For me, jewelry is sentimental, so I don’t buy jewelry for myself. I’m grateful I’m still here to live and talk about things. Think of all the people who are no longer here.

I feel blessed I’m as healthy as I am, but I also want to live and enjoy certain things, and that’s my chocolate!

BRENDA: You can tell from the expression on your face that you have a joy for life. I’m wondering, who inspires you?

Pia for Catherine Robinson Cashmere, @catherinerobinsoncashmere, photograph by @dittechemniz_privat

PIA: My husband. We met late in life, online. He’s my best friend. We laugh every day. We balance each other out really well. He’s my biggest inspiration. He was a graphic designer and now he’s taken up painting…I don’t follow the modeling world. I never did, so I can’t say they’re my big inspirations. I’m a very normal, down to earth Danish girl. LOL!

BRENDA: And I love that about you. What would you say is the best part about being this age?

PIA: For me, having found my person in life. He’s my soulmate. I’m grateful I’m still able to get a job here and there and make money. I’m grateful for the good and the bad in my life, and I’ve had some really bad experiences, but I’m here. I survived them all. 

BRENDA: You have a great mindset.

PIA: It’s hard when you’ve had fame. I know women who are having a hard time aging and a hard time realizing they should find something else to do instead of hoping for a little modeling job here and there. It’s a tough world, and for a lot of us it was just right then and there when it happened, and it’s important to realize that…but there are some of us who can’t move forward. That’s sad.

BRENDA: I don’t envy fame at all.

PIA: When I modeled back in the day, I would do my job and come home and wash my face and be a normal person. I was never impressed with the whole bit. I’m still surprised they want me to model.

Being discovered and modeling and doing a few movies is not important. Doctors who save lives. That’s important.

BRENDA: You have such a great attitude about life. It’s been such a treat to visit with you.

PIA: Thank you, Brenda!

Thanks for reading Ageless Style with Pia Gronning. Please leave me and Pia a comment, and don’t forget to visit Cindy’s blog and discover who she’s featuring this month on her Ageless Style interview.

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Hi Girlfriends,

I’m proud to say that 1010ParkPlace™ has been voted one of the Top Ten Blogs for women over 50: the best-educated, wealthiest, most powerful demographic in history.

Here you will get a glimpse into the lives of other women, learn how they handled things life put in their path like divorce, the death of a spouse, serious health issues, low self-esteem, addiction and how to reinvent yourself after a major life change. You will find like-minded women and relevant conversations about finances, fashion, sex, books, music, films and food. We feature interviews with inspiring women along with straight-talk and bold conversations to reawaken your passions and make life count.

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Tell your girlfriends, sisters and coworkers about 1010ParkPlace. We have lots of exciting interviews planned and stay tuned for updates about my memoir! 

#WhereStyleIsAgeless   #MakeLifeCount   #WhatAreYouWaitingFor


  1. More than happy to leave a positive comment here Brenda.
    I’ve only recently subscribed to your blog but am enjoying it very much. Love to hear about inspirational older women and their thoughts on life.
    I’m 67 and trying hard to care for my health and mindset. Lots of ups and downs in the past ( like so many of us) but grateful to have found a renewed optimism going forward, now that it’s totally my time..

    • Renewed optimism! Thrilled to hear this, Karen, because it’s an illusive quality that’s often hard to find. Would you believe I got a jolt of positivity Saturday morning when I learned I didn’t have Covid? Instead, I had terrible allergies, but even though my body ached, my throat was sore and I had an awful headache, I drove home on cloud nine. I’ve never had Covid and the thought of how it would affect my asthma and chemotherapy compromised heart has made me somewhat of a hermit. But I came home and tore into organizing my office closet, and I’m still riding this “let’s get it done” high. I’m happy you’re enjoying my blog. Please let me know if there’s something you’d like me to write about. Sending you all my best, Brenda

  2. This is inspiring and I enjoyed meeting Pia. What a natural beauty with a sweet spirit. I liked when she asked about Paulina’s age lol, 58 seems young/old. I liked your questions and conversation, nice length Brenda. Love your vibe.

    • Oh, you’re sweet, Carol. Thanks so much. I’m happy you enjoyed meeting Pia and liked our interview. LOL! Yes, depending on which side of 58 you’re on, it can seem elderly or youthful. xoxo, Brenda

    • You’re welcome, Marsha! I love talking with all of these interesting women and learning a little bit about their stories. It’s inspiring to talk to women and realize we have many of the same issues and concerns. Brenda

  3. Omg…How absolutely refreshing to hear from someone who does not like to spend a lot of money on clothes and jewelry! Pia absolutely gets what living and aging is really about. Now SHE is an inspiration!

    • I agree with you, Beth. In our “me, me, me” obsessed world, it’s often difficult to find women of any age who’s me, me, me is all about living and loving and being down to earth. Thanks for your perceptive comment, Brenda

  4. ” I’m grateful for the good and the bad in my life, and I’ve had some really bad experiences, but I’m here. I survived them all. ”

    No matter a person’s looks, weight, color, age, health, income, education, country, sex, hair style, clothing, etc…., the ATTITUDE, above, always creates great beauty.

    Note to self, order Cargo Pants today. Hmm. Brand? Colors? Olive, white, & black? Answer me quick, Brenda !

    Used to be 5’4″, still petite, thin. Own no scale & no tv. My clothes are my scale.

    Off topic, a bit. Wore a classic white collared blouse, perfect fit, similar to the one shown above, recently. Untucked, well fitting tan jeans, simple gold jewelry. At gig for AWANA, the director came over, touched the sleeve of that shirt, and said it was amazing, looked so good, gave an ‘oomph’. She’s mom of 3, in her late 30’s. Told her, You’re Ready for This Shirt. Also, told her the shirt is no-iron, bought at local thrift store, half-price day, set me back $3.00 !

    We are still green here in middle rural Georgia. Still mowing grass. Better, the greens are wildly ‘summery’, decadent, lush, unusual compared to past decades. We’ve had a spring & summer with plenty of rains. Not too much, not too little. Temps moderate, kind, not extreme.

    Don’t forget to let me know which brand/s Cargo Pants !! Thanks.

    Enjoyed meeting your Pia………….

    • Always love hearing from you, Tara! My clothes are my scale as well. For decades I had a pair of jeans I wore in my 20’s, when I was my thinest, and they were my scales. No clue what happened to them, but fear not… I have another pair of jeans I’ve had for 20 years. Heavier than I was in my 20’s, but that’s probably a good thing. About the cargo pants. Think Pia was referring to shopping at H&M. Your white blouse, tan jeans and simple gold jewelry sound like the making of elegant simplicity. And no TV? I don’t know anyone else who doesn’t have a TV, but it fits with what I know about you. If you removed mine, today, I wouldn’t be broken hearted. My favorite time of the day is when Annie and I curl up in my bed an hour or so before we go to sleep. Love you! Brenda

  5. Oh I loved this post Brenda! Love you… always have, and Pia. You both inspire me to realize I am a woman of value no matter how I’m aging. I sure don’t want to be one of these young women who all look alike because I fear the road ahead of them will be difficult. At this point they’re not prepared to understand what matters. Xo Barb

    • Hi Barb, Truer words were never spoken. “I am a woman of value no matter how I’m aging.” Another sentiment that should be stitched on a pillow. I feel sorry for most of the young women I see at the mall and on Instagram because they’re clueless, but then some older woman may have said that about us. Somehow I don’t think so though. You’re a love! You have stopped by in a while. I’ve been worried about you. xoxox, Brenda

  6. I just recently started following Pauline I think that’s her name Anyway The Model who’s only 58 Pia said and buy recently I mean last week I watched her video on her simple every day make up and I watched it again and I watched it again and I ordered almost everything she used and I have to say the under eye cream is fantastic. I am waiting for the foundation to arrive, which Amazon says will be today!
    Pia I know from Catherine Robinson cashmere in England! it’s really is a small world of how we all get connected and tend to follow the same people. I enjoy this series so much you and Cindy are doing a fantastic job!
    Keep on finding the winners, Brenda! Now off to Cindy’s to see who she found today!

    • Elizabeth, I know. Isn’t it a small world? I think it’s further proof of why you become friends with someone: They like many of the same people you do. Catherine Robinson’s cashmere is where I originally saw Pia, although I’m sure I saw her beautiful face back in the day when she was modeling. Thanks for the compliment! I’m happy you’re enjoying the Ageless Style series. xoxox, Brenda

    • That makes me smile, Carol, and I know Pia will love it as well. Thanks for letting us know. Brenda

  7. I recognize her face! Yes, we wouldn’t forget this gorgeous woman. I love how she’s approaching getting older and her thoughts are particularly helpful to me right now. Felt like she was talking to me.

    • Thanks for telling us! That’s why I do the Ageless Style series. I try and have a varied group of terrific women in hopes that one of them speaks to us with something we need to hear. Thanks Marti, Brenda

  8. I so enjoyed learning more about Pia. I have long admired her. How wonderfully understated her attitude is. This was one of my favorites Brenda!

    • Thank you, Cindy! Pia will enjoy hearing this, and thank you for inviting me to join you! xoxox, Brenda

    • LOL! So do I. She’s a gem who reminds us of the important things in life. Thank you, Sarah! Brenda

    • Thank you for letting me know, Leigh. Now I need to start looking for more inspirational women like Pia Gronning! xoxox, Brenda

    • Yes, she’s “a down to earth Danish girl.” I love that comment from her. Thank you, Linda, for reading and taking the time to let me and Pia know you enjoyed it. Brenda

  9. We should all be so grounded and centered in knowing ourselves as Pia is. Thank you Brenda for this interview. You both inspire me so keep reaching for new things.

    • Thank you, Dolores. I haven’t seen you here before, so welcome! Obviously, everyone loves Pia. We appreciate you! Brenda

    • As are you, Doreen. Thank you. Your two books are in my new bookcase, which only holds my favorite books. xoxox, Brenda PS: I took a photo of them, but for some reason, they won’t load here.

  10. You and Cindy really hit it out of the park this month. Just another delightful and interesting women. Love her real attitude. Just wonderful. Yes, I want to know the brand of the cargo pants also. These real women are just fascinating!!! Now out the door to exercise! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Thank you, Sandy, but you know it’s you who is the inspiration. I love and appreciate you. We must meet sometime soon. I think the cargo pants are H&M. xoxox, Brenda

  11. Brenda I just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog. This interview with Pia, as with all of your interviews, is inspiring, refreshing, and gives us permission to love ourselves as we age. You cover topics that need to be covered, and those that just make us smile. Thank you for sharing yourself with the rest of us. You are loved!!

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