Charlize Theron on the Benefits of Getting Older

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Charlize Theron thinks women get better with age.

"It's ironic that we've built the beauty world around 20-year-olds, when they have no f****** concept about wisdom, what life is about, having a few relationships below [their] belt and feeling hardships, to grow into [their] skin and feel confident within [themselves] and to feel the value of who [they] are, not because of a man or because of something like that," Theron told the latest issue of Women's Wear Daily.

Theron called that kind of seasoning, which comes with time and age, "such a beautiful thing."

"And that's why I think people say women come into their prime in their 40s," said the actress, who is 39.

And then for some reason our society treats older women like "a dead flower," she said. "It's like we wilt for some reason. And men are like fine wines - the older they get, the better they get. It's such a misconception, and it's such a lost opportunity because that's when I think women are really in the true moment of their sensuality."

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It would seem the Oscar winner, who turns 40 next year, has already reached that moment. A single mother to 2-year-old Jackson, Theron has been dating Sean Penn since earlier this year. And she'll star in the latest "Mad Max" installment next year.

Theron commented on how motherhood has changed how she approaches her career.

"As far as creativity, it really didn't change me other than I want my son, of course, you want your son, your children, to be proud of you," she told WWD. "There's definitely an element of that. But I also know that that pride comes from a place of real acknowledgment that somebody's actually living their life for themselves, and I want to be that example for my son."

She added, "I want him to grow up with a mom that he could see and look at her life with all the mistakes and with all the failures and all the flaws and say, 'My mom lived an authentic life. That was the life she wanted to live.'"