Today’s culture is obsessed with youth and physical beauty. We monitor our crow’s-feet and the vertical eleven lines that etch themselves in-between our eyebrows as well as the marionette lines that sometimes look like they’ve been chiseled from our nose to our chin. We fret about whether our lips and our brows are full enough and whether our teeth are too yellow. But when we go back and look at women who didn’t have Botox and fillers, when facelifts weren’t as common, do we hold them to our same standards?
What is today’s definition of beauty?
I’m thinking in particular about Audrey Hepburn, the beauty who almost 70 years after we first saw her continues to capture our hearts. Even when she was in her 60’s, we thought she was beautiful, but she was more than beautiful and elegant. She had a generosity of spirit, and it was there for all to see along with her crow’s-feet and the bags under her eyes. The older Audrey had a beauty and an authenticity that can’t be duplicated by a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon.
When we think about all the things that made Audrey beautiful, the phrase “Beauty is as beauty does” comes to mind. It’s who we are, not what we look like that makes us truly beautiful. We can have all of the physical beauty in the world, but if we’re spiteful and unpleasant, physical beauty is worthless. True beauty comes from being passionate and curious about life, a refusal to give up, a sense of empathy and generosity.
Audrey Hepburn once said, “Happy girls are the prettiest girls,” but that’s not to say she didn’t have a beauty routine.
• Audrey understood the importance of drinking water and staying well hydrated, and she ate lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
• She applied moisturizers and oils to her skin. Her favorite moisturizer was fresh, Greek yogurt which she left on her face for 30 minutes, then washed it off. The lactic acid in the yogurt acted as an exfoliant while it hydrated her skin.
• Every morning and evening she washed her face with soap and water. Today most of us would be horrified to use soap on our faces, because it strips our skin of the natural oils that help keep our skin supple and young-looking.
Sometimes I think about trying Botox, but I fear it won’t turn out well: I’ll be one of the small percentage who windups with permanent forehead droop. And then there’s the fact that I’m allergic to so many things. I was in the room when a woman had a bad allergic reaction to Botox. In a blink she lost the color in her face, and she complained of feeling bad. A few seconds later she passed out and collapsed on the floor. Her reaction was rare, but with my allergy history, it scared me to death.
Next week I’ll be sharing all of my favorite skin care products. Actually I think I’m inching my way toward a Before and After makeup video. Eeek!