Iman Praises Sarah Jessica Parker for Embracing Her Gray Hair and Aging: 'She's a Beautiful Woman'

"I come from Africa — one of the things that we are taught is what a privilege it is to get old," Iman tells PEOPLE

Iman has no tolerance for ageism. In fact, she's applauding others for standing up to misogynistic criticism.

While opening up about love, loss and the launch of her new perfume, Love Memoir, in this week's PEOPLE cover story, the Somalian supermodel gets candid about the pressures — and double standards — women face as they get older, which recently happened to friend, actress Sarah Jessica Parker.

In a new cover story for Vogue's December issue, Parker, 56, recalled stirring the internet into a frenzy when she was photographed dining with Bravo's Andy Cohen out for lunch. Critics were quick to comment on the fact that Parker embraced her gray roots, while Cohen was also sporting a head of "exquisite" gray hair (as Parker put it). "Why is it okay for him?" Parker asked.

sarah jessica parker and iman

"There's so much misogynist chatter in response to us that would never. Happen. About. A. Man," Parker told the magazine, in defense of women.

"Everybody's commenting about how old she is. I was like, 'What do you want from her?'" Iman, 66, tells PEOPLE. "Somebody was saying it's probably more women [than men] who are [criticizing] and I said, 'Well, because that's how we are programed for years, that we have to look certain ways for men.'"

iman and bowie cover

Iman, who was married to rock legend David Bowie for over two decades, points out that in her culture, aging is an honor. "I come from Africa — one of the things that we are taught is what a privilege it is to get old. So, I have never lied about my age," she says.

RELATED VIDEO: Andy Cohen Praises Sarah Jessica Parker for Slamming Criticism of Her Gray Hair: 'She's Right'

Parker has also been slammed for her more mature appearance while spotted filming the Sex and the City revival And Just Like That, which will debut more than 20 years after SATC first premiered.

"'She has too many wrinkles, she doesn't have enough wrinkles.' It almost feels as if people don't want us to be perfectly okay with where we are, as if they almost enjoy us being pained by who we are today, whether we choose to age naturally and not look perfect, or whether you do something if that makes you feel better," Parker said of the noise. "I know what I look like. I have no choice. What am I going to do about it? Stop aging? Disappear?"

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Iman was quick to support Parker. She tells PEOPLE, "There were the ideas that she can't be in Sex and the City. Why not? She looks her age and she's the loveliest woman you'd ever meet," Iman admits. "She's a beautiful woman."

"The double standard of that — it's ridiculous," the supermodel points out. "At 50, you're going to go [in] some cave and die? I have no idea."

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