Monday, January 13, 2014

A Recipe for Beauty

Have you ever known someone who is beautiful? As in gobsmackingly and you can't stop staring at them Nigella and Liz Taylor bewdy? After seeing photos of Nigella at Naomi's place and then viewing the brilliant Taylor and Burton movie on the plane (Helena Bonham Carter is a revelation in the Liz role - she's been doing the cliche witchypoo roles for so many years we'd forgotten she can really act)  and reading Beautiful Ruins - it just makes you wonder...what on earth must it be like to be that beautiful?


Nigella during her new cooking show, The Taste


Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


I have had three friends who fit the bill and maybe it was their mannerisms that made them endlessly mesmerising. One had boys at university follow her to the library and sit for hours watching her study. Taking public transport with her in London was an amusement in watching slack-jawed commuters watching her.

We've all read about the scientific proportions for beauty: wide set eyes for one; Jackie Kennedy has been described by one photographer as having such wide set eyes they were almost on either side of her head. But there needs to be also that indefinable ingredient, is that where demeanour or mannerisms come in?

The truth is there isn't many people we will agree are beautiful. When I was working at the Evening Standard in London I was asked to gather at least six people (non actor-models) who were beautiful and ask them: "What is it like to be you?" The article never got off the ground because there was no consensus in the office on any of the people I found.

Is there someone in your life you would have nominated...or maybe that person is you?


54 comments:

  1. For some reason the majority of my friends are stunners. Not because I like them rose tinted but proper. Call me superficial but I like looking at pretty. But one of my friends who I have known for twenty years auditioned to be a Bond girl - like i said - proper pulchritude - she is probably one of the most insecure people i have ever come across. So many people look at her that she constantly thinks she has spinach on her teeth. She can't look up straight. As she has gotten older I will admit that the stares are shorter and fewer but now she realizes that she was a rare beauty and now is insecure because she doesnt get as many stares. My friends who aren't as pretty have much more fun. PS my mother doesnt get Cindy Crawford so proves beauty isn't universal. Oh and ta for the mention :)

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    1. Funnily enough my friend was on a shoot (back in the olden days) for Cindy C and said she had a glow for the camera because she had a very downy face (they actually said "hairy" but I've euphemised) and apparently Marilyn has that same downy glow.

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  2. My college roommate in the dorm was a knock out. She had no clue how pretty she was, but she looked like Jaclyn Smith. Her kindness and intelligence made her even more beautiful so I'm sure she has done well in life :-)

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  3. I used to do some media financing and met a lot of Hollywood stunners and I'd have to go with that indefineable it factor as the difference. I have lots of beautiful friends but none of them shimmer like someone like Julianne Moore in person. I see the outrageous beauties as unicorns or mermaids whereas most of us fall into that range of approachable gorgeousness that comes with inner peace and a layer of slap :)

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    1. Oh fantastic! Always wondered what she was like and hoped she was lovely. I've met a few models briefly, Helena Christensen being one and was not bowled over by charm or shimmer

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    2. She was staying at my hotel in Paris and was a real sourpuss, I thought she was very ordinary looking.

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    3. I met Helena years ago, she was a goddess.

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    4. Maybe circumstances for me. She answered my questions ok but mentioned that she wore black so as not to take away attention from the art exhibition. As I was wearing a satin pink jacket, albeit Agnes B, I felt a complete idiot and hideous as I was a bulbous six months preggers. She took many photos of my colleague next with me saying she was fascinated by beautiful faces. Later Jade Jagger gave me a huge telling off for my questions and kept repeating "If you'd done your research, if you'd done your research!!" so probably I was not cut out with this kind of reporting. I do remember Matthew Williamson (standing next her) was incredibly sweet to me after my bollocking, really kind person.

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    5. Good lord, that sounds horrendous Jody!! No wonder you weren't seeing Helena's "glow"!!

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    6. That was when I realised I probably wasn't going to be a celeb reporter after all....need very thick skin

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  4. Interesting post Naomi!

    Hmm - I think all of my friends are beautiful, but I would say that I once worked with a woman who fit that bill to a T. Men were drooling fools around her!!!

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  5. Yes, very interesting. Conversely I read a piece written by Rachel Dratch of Saturday Night Live fame. Debby Downer was one of her characters. She spoke about how painful it was to be considered so unattractive. People are judged on their appearance, however good or bad that might be.

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    1. That is sad. Now I have to google that, I've never watched SNL, but the expression Debbie Downer is one I've heard a lot..

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    2. And thanks for popping over Teacups! See you soon

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  6. Beauty, you have some great ideas here. There is physical perfection but without a sparkle and some energy it can fall flat. There is something to be said for sparkling eyes or smoldering eyes-I'm intrigued by the drops they put in yours to make them shine like Nigella ;).
    Great post beautiful!!
    xx, Heather

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    1. They've reverted to my usual blurry, sadly. Need me a drop fix!

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  7. Most of the ones I've met were either dumber than a bag of rocks or out to lunch with their nose in the air, their looks were the only way they were surviving.

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  8. My identical twin sister ;) I kid! My sister in law. I can't stop staring at her.

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  9. I'd NEVER be in the running HAHA!
    I vote for Tabitha at Bourbon and Pearls....seriously a glam gal but she is so very humble.
    We'd need to coax her out of her Scottish lair and wait...

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    1. Totally agree. She has Liz looks and writes like Nigella.

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  10. Early in my working life I worked with Jerry Hall and although I have met a lot models and actresses since many who have been more beautiful but none more stunning than Jerry. Of the beauties I have met in person my top pick to trade faces with would be Keri Russell.

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    1. That's sp interesting about Jerry. Her Studio 54 was without peer at the time, though she kept that same style for decades. Bet she has stories to tell, wonder if she'll ever write her memoirs

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  11. My friends are all good-looking but none could be described as beautiful in the conventional sense. I once saw Joan Collins close up back in the 70s and she was pretty stunning but that's been my only contact with the beautiful people.

    Nigella is just gorgeous and she comes across as warm and fun.

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  12. Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's is the epitome of beauty to me, oh to look like that!

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  13. I've always thought the most beautiful women were brunette. I dated a man once who was stunningly beautiful. No other way to describe his looks. And it was no fun :(

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    1. A fashion photo from the Eighties I met here said of all the people he's photographed Christie Brinkley was the most beautiful, would not have picked her...

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  14. I've always wondered too and would be interesting to go a day or two to be that beautiful to make men drool and follow you like puppies.

    The most memorable beauty I've ever met was a girl from school. She had the most glorious head of long, golden auburn locks and large eyes of golden amber, I've never seen that color on anyone else, and long lashes. She was gorgeous. Unlike other popular, cheerleader types, she was also the sweetest, kindest person so you couldn't even hate her.

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  15. I think demeanor plays a huge part in beauty. At least that's from my male point of view. A woman's demeanor can truly make her breathtakingly beautiful to me.

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  16. Happy New Year! A little belated but I'm just back from a holiday in the sun to a very wet England (although we did manage to escape the storms) What an interesting post. That's a fabulous picture of Elizabeth Taylor and I think most people agree that she was stunningly beautiful. However, it's surprising how often people generally disagree when discussing beauty or attractiveness.

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    1. Isn't that an amazing pic of her? And to think it's just a casual snap. She's looking adoringly at him.

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  17. Whatever beauty is and today it is quite cookie cutter - there does seem to be a universal equation for beauty - it can fade in a instant for me depending on a person's actions and conversation. I have met many a beauty who had nothing behind it and their beauty just faded away for me.

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  18. I think I with Nigella it is not her looks alone rather her mannerisms , voice, voluptuous figure. She seems a warm person who you would like to have as a friend

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  19. I agree with the dame who said AUDREY HEPBURN………her beauty was inside and outside!

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  20. I've often wondered what it would be like to be really beautiful instead of just "attractive" - just love that word. (not)
    I have had quite a few beautiful friends over the years and they seem to fall into two different types. There are the gorgeous untouchables (Grace Kelly looks) that people stare at but the guys leave them alone, and then there are the sexy beautiful ones (probably the Liz Taylors). The Liz's tend to know what they have, which if fine. I mean you'd only have to look in the mirror to see.

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  21. When I think of beautiful, I tend to go to the sexy, exotic look. My hubs goes for the girl next door...good thing. I love Sophia Lauren. He loves Christy Brinkley. We both agree on Michelle Pfiefer. But a bitch is a bitch no matter the package.

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  22. Hello! I have about 5 real life stunningly beautiful friends and they turn heads but the weird bit is they don't really realise how divine they are! One has a special needs child and she says people stare at her when she is with him but I think they stare because she is exquisite!!!

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  23. A beautiful girl never has to carry her own suitcases at a railway station...someone always offers to help.....a truly beautiful girl will struggle along with her cases but laugh and look even cuter.

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    1. Actually funny enough there is a great story about my bewdy friend in Mexico forcing open electric train doors to get her (always copious amounts) of luggage in.

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  24. A girl I went to school with was stunning. Her skin was like honey - naturally lightly tanned, green eyes, naturally highlighted thick straight hair. A few years after school, I got a part time job at Esprit. Imagine how thrilled I was to find that behind the counter was a giant blow up photo of her face - she modelled that season for Esprit. Yes, the way the cards of life fell, she landed the national modelling campaign, and I got to work part time in the store.
    Recently she friended me on Facebook, and she still looks absolutely stunning.

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    1. Hilarious! Though I wonder if someone she wanted to back folding jumpers rather than in front of the camera... you just never know.

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  25. Old School: Lauren Becall (Key Largo), New School - Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation)

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  26. My best friend. She's a Nordic beauty/Jodie Foster type with a Hepburn like vulnerability added to her looks. And she's hands down one of the most genuine, deep and intelligent people I know.

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  27. There are just a very few that I think as just beautiful! Elizabeth Taylor is one of them.

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  28. Beauty is so subjective, I'm not surprised you couldn't reach a consensus in your office. But then beauty fades which must disappoint so badly. Good job it's not a problem I will ever have!

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