Paulina Porizkova has marked her 56th birthday by reflecting on this past year, saying it was ‘unquestionably the worst’ time in her life, but her darkest days have given her what she ‘needed.’
The supermodel took to Instagram on Friday to post a black and white portrait of herself posed with her sons Jonathan, 27, and Oliver, which was recently taken by Alexi Lubomirski, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s wedding photographer.
‘My 55th year was unquestionably the worst year of my life. I lost and had to let go of everything I had been building my whole life,’ she candidly wrote in the caption.
Looking back: Paulina Porizkova marked her 56th birthday on Friday be reflecting on her past year, saying it was the ‘worst’ time in her life
Hard: The past year and a half has been incredibly difficult for Paulina, who lost her estranged husband Ric Ocasek in September 2019. She recently shared this photo of herself crying
‘The low point was flying seven hours to a paradise destination with my boys to recoup my sanity, and getting sent right back because I forgot to check the expiration of my passport.’
Paulina had previously opened up about the moment in November, saying she had a ‘nervous breakdown’ in an airport in Costa Rica after she learned her passport was expired.
‘I, someone proud of never crying, was sitting in the San Jose airport crying so hard they had to put me in a wheelchair to roll me back on the plane. With a blanket over my head,’ she recalled in her latest post.
The past year and a half has been incredibly difficult for Paulina, who lost her estranged husband Ric Ocasek in September 2019.
Tough: Paulina (pictured with Ric in 2013) struggled with depression and rage after learning he had cut her out of his will, leaving her without any money, including her own earnings
Moving on: Paulina sold the townhouse where she lived with her late husband for three decades for $10 million in September
New life: The Sports Illustrated star now lives in a rental apartment in Manhattan
While mourning The Cars frontman, she struggled with depression, anxiety, and rage after learning he had cut her out of his will — leaving her without any money, including her own earnings as a model.
Paulina recently revealed that she was so strapped for cash following the rocker’s death that her friends had to buy her food to live off of.
This past September, she sold the New York City townhouse where she and Ric had lived for more than 30 years for $10 million. She still has her home in upstate New York and now lives in a rental apartment in Manhattan.
‘Today I am turning 56. I’m finally starting to get a hang of who I am,’ she noted in her birthday post. ‘I’m finally getting more comfortable in my admittedly looser skin. My life is taking on a new shape. It’s not one I wanted, but I guess I’m getting just what I needed. (Pun fully intended).
‘And although I don’t believe that hardships make you stronger, they do remind you of how strong you are. And they expand your world of empathy and understanding. And they remind you of how important love is,’ she continued.
Reflection: Paulina (pictured with Ric and their two sons in 2016) said she is finally adjusting to her new life, saying: ‘It’s not one I wanted, but I guess I’m getting just what I needed’
‘When all has gone to s**t — only love counts. The love of my friends, of my family, of my boys who unhesitatingly escorted me where I needed to go, and only said, “Mom, whatever you need.”‘
Paulina ended her post by thanking her 349,000 Instagram followers — a mix of fans and friends — for their ‘support’ and ‘encouragement’ this past year.
‘Perhaps you DO have an idea of how much I leaned on you all in the darkest days,’ she added, ‘but if you didn’t — you do now.’
The week before her birthday, Paulina appeared on the Tamron Hall Show to speak about the bitter backlash she faced for posting an at-home lingerie shoot on Instagram, for which critics called her ‘desperate’ and ‘sick.’
When Tamron, 50, asked her to weigh-in on why women ‘celebrating our aging in this empowering way rubs a nerve with some people,’ she noted that she was ‘celebrated for showing up in lingerie’ when she was in her 20s.
Opening up: The week before her birthday, Paulina appeared on the Tamron Hall Show to speak about the bitter backlash she faced for posting an at-home lingerie shoot
Double standard: ‘In my 20s, I was celebrated for showing up in lingerie,’ she pointed out, saying she now faces criticism for embracing her sexuality
Under fire: The model posed for a stunning shoot in her New York City apartment last month, but she was called ‘desperate’ and ‘sick’ after she posted them on Instagram
‘I was getting quite a lot of money for it, and everybody loved me,’ she recalled.
That waterfall of praise quickly dried up as soon as Paulina reached her 40s, however, and she began facing criticism whenever she tried to embrace her sexuality.
‘I still think I look pretty good in lingerie [in my 50s], but the reaction is reviled. Obviously not by everybody, but there is a fair amount of backlash about [it],’ she said.
‘I think it’s because, when you get older, there’s a certain sort of invisible boundary that happens maybe in your mid-40s, where you, I guess, don’t look fertile anymore? It’s [maybe] a menopausal sort of thing.
‘And maybe it’s because you’re starting to look like someone’s mom that sexy isn’t allowed. You’re allowed to be beautiful, you’re allowed to be handsome, you’re allowed to be present, you’re allowed to be even shocking or eye-opening, but you are not allowed to be sexy.’