Imagine your face being beamed to millions of TVs for the past 40 years. Imagine a good slice of the country watching you age from a girlishness to mature mother and icon. This is a level of documentation and scrutiny that most celebrities aren’t subjected to. But when you’re Vanna White, the world’s best letter turner and arguably the longest-lived female TV personality, this has been your lot.
I’m not a young spring chicken anymore and it is what it is.
And she’s not complaining. Maybe just cringing a little.
When she looks back at 25-year-old White who started on Wheel of Fortune in 198s, she sees “a baby,” she told Yahoo! Life, joking that it’s “depressing” to see how much she’s changed over the years. But she isn’t one to fight the aging process.
“I’m not a young spring chicken anymore and it is what it is,” said White, now 65. “I do the best I can. I eat pretty good. I exercise. I just try to stay healthy, and be the best I can at my age. That’s all you can do.”
Still Fitting the Role
White noted that her wardrobe for the show has experienced just as many changes as she has to accommodate the latest fashion trends. Since the beginning of her co-hosting role, she’s worn over 7,000 dresses.
I need to fit into the sample sizes. That keeps me encouraged.
“From the big shoulder pads to the skimpy dresses, I’ve worn it all,” she said. “The designers send their latest clothes every year and I wear them. So it’s really up to them. It’s their style and I’m modeling their clothes. So the pressure really isn’t on me.”
She rides her spin bike five days a week and does regular push-ups and sit-ups to stay in shape. “I’m still wearing these clothes that I’ve been wearing for the past 40 years,” she said. “I have to do a fitting every couple of weeks, so I need to fit into these sample sizes. That keeps me encouraged.”
But you’ll very rarely find White all glammed up when she’s not working. “I am who I am on TV. When I’m off TV, you’re just going to see me in jeans and no makeup,” she explained.
Here’s to Longevity
White has been a wonderful example of how a woman can continue to thrive as she ages.
We have to applaud the powers that be at Wheel of Fortune that they never replaced White for a younger model. With so much emphasis on youth in the entertainment industry, it’s perfectly conceivable that some other company would look for someone with smoother skin to be Pat Sajak’s sidekick. (Of course most any executive would have allowed Sajak to age without having his job threatened.) This happens in TV news all the time, especially the morning shows.
White has been a wonderful example of how a woman can continue to thrive as she passes through the major milestones of life and how age does not define us.