Saturday, January 29, 2011
The Great Beauties of Our Time
1. Christy Turlington: Like cashmere, will never go out of style. When I was a teen, I thought she looked a lot like a cat and couldn't quite tell her race. Her beauty has evolved into a more pared-down style, which I love. A heavy smoker for many years, she is now a strong anti-smoking advocate. Her father died of lung cancer, and she herself had a health scare several years ago.
2. Iman: Super-genes is all I can say. She is now in her 50s and has nary a wrinkle. With those eyes and that bone structure, she gets more gorgeous with time. Coming from an industry that worships youth, she advocates women of all ages supporting each other. I'm constantly inspired by her makeup: She knows how to highlight and contour so that the face just radiates.
3. Jaclyn Smith: A 70s and 80s icon, she remains a beautiful woman who has an aura of grace hardly seen anymore. Her beauty doesn't scream at you. It beckons you quietly. She has long moved out of modeling and acting and into business for herself, developing a clothing line.
4. Niki Taylor: She was huge in the 90s, and I remember being blown away by her beauty. Her mole drew comparisons to Cindy Crawford. In 1995, she lost her sister suddenly and a series of bad events followed, including a car crash that nearly killed her. She has since recovered and gone into business developing perfumes.
5. Cindy Crawford: To paraphrase her, she once said the modeling industry uses, so she uses them back. Even in her modeling days, she didn't passively let the industry control her; she took control, branded herself, and has moved on to become a very successful business woman. Her fitness videos drew criticism, and her Meaningful Beauty line has its critics, but she represents a thinking woman's beauty.
6. Kelly Hu: The first time I saw her, I was taken. There are so few Asian women in the entertainment industry, they are memorable just by making an appearance. Her career has had its dips and never really blew up, but she exemplifies Asian beauty that doesn't attempt to be Westernized.
7. Kate Moss: She is almost supernatural looking, with extremely wide-set eyes and glacier-like bone structure. Somehow, though, the features all come together beautifully. She's now approaching her late 30s and remains a style-icon and active in the modeling industry. Her hard living somehow hasn't managed to dethrone her as one of the great models of our time.
8. Naomi Campbell: I'm hesitant to mention her, because as a person, her reputation is horrible. She's been long known for anger-management issues. When Tyra Banks was coming onto the scene, the idea of another black supermodel reportedly threatened her, rather than encouraged her. Still, her figure and face have remained one of the greatest of our time. Compare a photo of her from 20 years ago and today and you can barely see any time elapse.
9. Paulina Porizkova: She came onto the scene in the mid-80s and was the face of Estee Lauder for years. Her beauty was so remarkable, she once gave Cindy Crawford a complex when they met at a fashion show. She was known for being irreverent to the industry and her beauty in many ways: she chain-smoked and didn't work out. She has one of the most symmetrical faces I've ever seen, which is one of the markers of beauty.
10. Monica Bellucci is one of the few high fashion models to successfully transition into a career as a respected and honored actress. She epitomizes Italian beauty: curvy, ultra-feminine, and unabashedly sensual. Unlike many American actresses, she appears to enjoy pasta on occasion. Now in her early 40s, she is the current face of Dior, whose ad campaign featuring her extends into America. Her beauty has been described as ethereal, and one look at her shows it's no hyperbole.