Actress Jenn Gotzon was once a small-town girl with big dreams. And while it may be easy to assume that those are big Hollywood dreams (she has, after all, landed roles in 500 Days of Summer, played the president’s daughter Tricia Nixon in Ron Howard’s 2009 best picture Oscar nominee Frost/Nixon, and stars in Doonby, out this year) her real goal is to make a difference in people’s lives – not only through her choice of movie roles, but also through her motivational mentor-outreach program, “Inspiring Audiences,” through which she encourages students to live their dreams.  Needless to say, this former competitor in the Miss America pageant system is a true, Real Beauty.

We sat down with Jenn Gotzon and asked her to weigh in on Real Beauty.

What do you think makes someone beautiful?
Beauty is a combination of attitude, behavior and physical maintenance with a focus on well-being, proper grooming and general beauty tricks and tips. When you have all of these aspects in balance beauty comes across in the external appearance… Personally, my belief is when the core heart of an individual is full of unconditional love, effortless joy and peace-filled hope, that individual radiates externally making their beauty radiate.

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When do you feel most beautiful?
A combination of primping with stylish fashion and quiet time of prayer is my combination that makes me feel beautiful. I remember heading to my first film premiere ‘Julie and Jack’ where I played the romantic lead and the anxiety quenched me feeling beautiful… including after spending over a few hours getting ready with makeup, hair, styling, pep talks from my friends and family…. Even after all of that I still didn’t feel beautiful. It wasn’t until I sat down, opened my bible and focused on God’s unconditional love and provision for me followed by reading some scriptures and prayer journaling surrendering my desire to be perfect into God’s hands… then for the first time I began feeling free of self-judgment, gracefully confident and glowingly effervescent which truly made me feel beautiful… (this feeling last all night long) I continue to do that same routine for any outing and when I don’t find the time to, I feel less complete and not as radiant. I always find that an interesting pattern…

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How do you deal with the pressure for body perfection in our culture?
Body perfection roars its face at me when clothing may be unflattering to the structure of my physique. Exercise and a healthy diet allow our bodies to sustain with good energy and toned muscles. I feel the most fit when I dance, kickbox, do capoeira, play volleyball, ski and weightlift… this helps build body tone and, as a bi-product, I feel clearer with ability to accomplish more in a day.

If you could give your younger self advice about beauty, what would it be?
Laughter makes a bad hair day less noticed because the joy of having fun becomes the focus.

What’s your one, can’t-live-without-it beauty product?
Mascara – love Lancome Mascara.

Who is your beauty role model?
Reese Whiterspoon.

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