Monday, April 9, 2012

Classy Ladies 1

Sometimes Hollywood destroys our faith in the human race. I know it does for me. We see it take cute little girls like Lindsey Lohan and turn them into drunken rehab inmates. It's sad. And it makes us wonder if there's even hope left for the human race.

But there's a bright side. One that doesn't get much attention. All the tabloids want is a scandal story. No one looks at the good. There are people in hollywood that are spectacular, not because of being famous, but despite it. Who hold themselves well, even when the entire world is watching and judging.

Today's Classy Lady spotlight:

Jamie Lee Curtis

I was talking to a guy friend about this once. We were naming people that we respect in hollywood, and I said Jamie Lee Curtis. His reaction?

"Ew! She's a man!"

Exact words. I didn't tell him this, but I was actually a little offended. What does that say about our society? Even this boy, who is a normal, decent human being, couldn't see past the physical. I talk about respect, and he immediately identifies that with beauty.

Oh, but I forgot. You can't respect any female unless she's drop dead gorgeous.

Sadly, this isn't an uncommon reaction. People don't care who she is, or what she does. All they can see is that she isn't a barbie doll. And somehow, that offends them. It makes them mad that someone can be comfortable, happy, and even famous without conforming to the assembly line image.

Jamie is pretty. But it's the kind of pretty that isn't just about beauty. It takes in physical, personality, and poise. All of those things together transcend mere beauty. Jamie Lee Curtis is classy.

Let's talk about why.

First, physically. She takes care of herself. She looks good for her age. She acts her age. And she's not afraid of the gray.

That wasn't always true. For a while, she went through the same thing that practically everyone in hollywood does. The plastic surgery. The fear of aging. That even led to some drug problems (addictive pain killers.) But, unlike a lot of hollywood, she realized that it was stupid.

Here's what she said about it (taken from an online article):

"I've done it all and it doesn't work." 

The Freaky Friday star won't talk specifics, but says, "I did all of it in attempting to stave off [aging]." 

"It made me look worse and feel worse. What they say works doesn't." 

Self-acceptance. To make that point, Curtis posed in her underwear for More last September (below), without makeup or retouching. "I wanted to say to women, 'Hello? I look like this. Relax, we all look like this.' I'm 44 and I weigh 150." 

Now, (at 53) she spends a good bit of time campaigning about it. Her message is that aging is normal. Having a non-skeletal figure is normal. That it's okay to not be a barbie doll.

There are quite a few famous figures who say that. But not too many who honestly believe it, or who do anything about it.

Two, about those painkillers.

No, she isn't perfect. None of us are. And yes, she had a phase of her life where she was both an alcoholic, and addicted to pain meds.

The great part here is that she overcame it. She quit the booze. Quit the drugs. And she's been totally sober for a while now. She calls it one of the greatest triumphs in her life. And I personally feel like it's all the more reason to respect her. She was someone who fell that low, saw what was going on, and got up the guts and determination to climb back out of it.

Three, her family.  

She got married in 1984, and has actually stayed that way. Quite an achievement for anyone in hollywood. They have 2 adopted kids. In interviews she's mentioned that her family comes first. Always. She's good at what she does, but she calls it "moonlighting as an actress". If a movie interferes with her family life, she doesn't do it.

Four, she is one funny lady.  

That speaks for itself. She really is just a funny, happy, easy-going lady.

Five, picture books. 

Alright, yes. Half the people in hollywood, and 3/4 of the famous singers have written picture books these days. It's almost terrifying. Madonna. Cheech and Chong. Lachanze. Even some of the cool people like Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Whoopi Goldberg, Jane Seymour, and John Lithgow.

But most of those are just fun stories. Nothing wrong with that, but there's nothing really special about it either. Being famous does not inherently mean that your picture book writing skills are amazing. But Jamie Lee Curtis writes books with a purpose. They're all about growing up.

I know, I know. No one likes to read books with a blatant message. It's true. But I think that hers are in a good place. They can help kids get through the rough parts of growing up, and still be funny and fun. Most of all, though, I really respect the fact that she writes to help people, NOT to get royalties because of her famous name.

Summary: Jamie Lee Curtis is a classy lady. We'd all do a lot better in life if she was our role model, instead of so many of the barbie dolls.

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