Smart, strong, beautiful, and incredibly talented, actress Halle Berry is a force to be reckoned with. At 48, Halle has won every major acting award (a Golden Globe, an Emmy, and an Oscar). She even made history in 2002 as the first and only woman of African American descent to win an Oscar for a leading role in the acclaimed Monster’s Ball. Not bad for someone who got her start in the pageant world (she was First Runner Up for Miss USA in 1986). In 2013 Halle spearheaded and passed anti-paparazzi legislation aimed at protecting the children of high-profile people from aggressive photographers. Halle has also spent almost 20 years as a Revlon brand ambassador, managing to look more radiant every year. How does she do it? Her approach to beauty, aging andresisting Hollywood’s plastic surgery pressure is inspiring.
Halle Berry: Hi, Bobbi, how are you? I’ve been a fan of you and your work for a long time. Nice to meet you!
Bobbi Brown: Nice to meet you, too. That’s so nice. I’m a huge fan of your work, too. I can’t wait to talk beauty with you. First up, who is your beauty icon? Who has influenced you the most?
HB: I would have to say my beauty icon is Dorothy Dandridge. That’s someone I grew up idolizing and wanting to emulate. And being a woman of color, she was the first woman of color that I saw doing what I wanted to do and being somewhat successful at it. That I thought was just beautiful. I find attractive anybody that does beauty in more of a natural, simple way.
BB: I agree. Mine has always been Ali MacGraw. Being beautiful was all about being blonde and blue-eyed when I was growing up, and Ali was this gorgeous dark-haired, smart beauty icon.
HB: Well, I have a blonde, blue-eyed mother, so I was always looking for images for myself, which is why I loved seeing Dorothy Dandridge. I remember seeing Carmen Jones when I was around 9 years old. That spoke to me, and that always stayed with me. Like, wow, there she is. That always has been an inspiration for me.
BB: And now you are a beauty role model for so many women. How do you handle the pressure? A lot of celebrities have done way too much to change the way they look, and I think the ones who have not done anything look so amazing.
HB: It is pressure. When you see everybody around you doing it, you have those moments when you think, “To stay alive in this business, do I need to do the same thing?” I won’t lie and tell you that those things don’t cross my mind, because somebody is always suggesting it to me. “You know if you just did a little bit of this and that, lift this up, then this would be a little bit better.” It’s almost like crack that people are trying to push on you. That’s what I feel like. I just have kept reminding myself that beauty really is as beauty does, and it is not so much about my physical self. Aging is natural, and that’s going to happen to all of us. I think of those women that I thought aged so beautifully, like Lena Horn. Even howJane Fonda is aging — I don’t know what she has or hasn’t done, but she looks beautiful as she’s going about her way. I just want to always look like myself, even if that’s an older version of myself. I think when you do too much of that cosmetic stuff, you become somebody else in a way.
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