I come from a film family. Growing up we used to go to the theatre or rent a movie nearly every Friday evening. My mom loves action films, my dad loves romantic comedies, inspirational stories and quirky comedies. My younger sister Christa was particularly fond of silly, teeny movies and I’ve always been most into dramas and indie/artistic films. All of us women have an interest in fantasy and some sci-fi. Of course, we had to come to a compromise; as a result we’ve acquired a taste for a wide range of movies.
Christa and I had the greatest influence on each other. Over the last few years, she’s become my go to person for movie recommendations. On her own, she’s acquired a taste for excellent foreign films. Last night I watched a French film she had recommended: “Heartbreaker.” (If, like us, you enjoy witty, absurdist romantic comedies it is a must-see and you can watch it on Instant Netlflix). Watching it I thought about how much more comfortable European’s are with imperfection.
Vanessa Paradis, the female lead in the film, has a gap between her teeth. Romain Duris who is the heartthrob of the film is rather unkempt and goofy looking but well dressed in fitted suits. This isn’t unusual in foreign films. Women’s faces are bearer, more natural. Yet these women retain their elegance and allure. Less make-up doesn’t equate to dowdiness. Men tend to wear clothes that fit them well (even in our films our men often wear clothes that are too baggy and boxy).
I’ve also been noticing this while watching Garance’s video blog series for Paris fashion week. I’ve enjoyed the subtlety of her makeup, Franca’s bare face, the cute litte gap between her friend Eliza’s teeth, Corinne’s naturally big hair, etc etc etc. These are all fashion conscious women who are in some way connected to the industry. All perfect in their imperfections. I find this refreshing.
The U.S. has picture perfect celebrities and a standard of beauty that is both unrealistic and high maintenance. It is no wonder that we tends towards extremes, we women here are often either overly made-up/worked over (plastic surgery in my generation is booming) or dowdy. While I do prefer our good orthodontistry, I hope that we might learn something from Europe on this point.
Most of my fashion muses, the women’s whose style and verve inspire me, are European. What I take from these women is that beauty is both natural and intentional. If you clothe yourself in confidence, with flattering styles that express yourself, and care for your body you will be undeniably alluring.