Kim Cattrall says it is "cruel" that women are not allowed to age.

The 54-year-old actress - most famous for playing maneater Samantha Jones in the 'Sex And The City' films and TV series - is disgusted by the apparent attitude In America which punishes women for getting older and also punishes them if they have cosmetic surgery.

Kim - who was born in Liverpool, England, and raised in British Columbia, Canada - told Psychologies magazine: "I think the scrutiny of women is obscene. If you don't do anything, you're like an old hag; and if you do, you're a plastic surgeon 'victim'. Where can we go to age with respect and dignity? People won't let us, particularly in America. It's just so cruel."

Kim is determined to grow old gracefully because she is not a "Barbie" doll.

The blonde star insists one of the main motivations for her taking on the lead role in her last film 'Meet Monica Velour' - in which she plays an ageing porn star who turns to stripping to make money and embarks on a relationship with a 17-year-old fan - was to show what women really look like as they advance in years.

Kim - who gained 20 pounds for the part - added: "One of the reasons I made 'Meet Monica Velour' is because I've had enough of it. I'm not Barbie, I'm not made by Mattel, I'm flesh and blood and it melts you know - get used to it. I'm not going to turn myself into the Joker in 'Batman' to get jobs. It's hard getting older - especially for an attractive woman, because your looks are something that were on your side - but you need to put in perspective."

Psychologies' August issue is out on Tuesday July 5.