Basic Instinct put her on the map, and 20+ years later her attitude toward confidence, aging gracefully, and society’s standards of beauty have kept her there.

Those are the ideas Sharon Stone discusses in this month’s issue of Shape magazine (well, those, and her own workout tips and tricks for staying fit).

The 56-year-old actress tells Shape that she hit a point in her 40s when she decided she was going to deal with her body issues — HER body issues — head on. So she went in the bathroom with a bottle of wine (red, I hope — hey, we women have to think about our hearts after all), locked the door, and vowed not to come out until she learned how to accept herself — HER body — and the way she looked at that moment.

She succeeded, and it seems she came out of that bathroom not just with a newfound understanding of and confidence in herself, but a little wisdom, too:

This idea that being youthful is the only thing that’s beautiful or attractive simply isn’t true. I don’t want to be an ‘ageless beauty.’ I want to be a woman who is the best I can be at my age.

How relaxed would you feel if you thought, “I want to look amazing at 35, 45, 55, or 65 years old,” rather than, “I have to pull off 25 at 45,”?

Adding to the topic of aging gracefully, Stone also touches on today’s standard of beauty, noting that so many young females look the same today (and no doubt, look the way more mature women feel they should look, too).

We’ve got 400,000 girls with beachy blonde hair, the same nose, gigantic lips, implants in their cheeks, and little Chicklets for teeth. Are they really prettier?

Ouch.

Yet, it’s true, isn’t it? Regardless of hair color, nose shape, or cheekbones, whatever’s in is in and if you don’t measure up to it, you’re out.

Everyone can look the way he or she wants to look — and if that means blonde hair and bright white teeth, so be it. However, no one at any age has to conform to today’s “standards” of beauty just because society says that’s what’s beautiful.

Be YOUR beautiful at YOUR age.

Even if getting there means locking yourself in your bathroom with a bottle of wine 🙂

Catch Stone’s cover story in the March 2014 issue of Shape, on stands now.

In the meantime, tell me, how do YOU define beauty at your age?