Jennie Finch is softball’s sweetheart. And although she recently announced her retirement last month in order to focus more on her family, it is not without having first established herself as a remarkable role model, incredible athlete, powerful woman and Real Beauty.

With more awards won and accolades earned over the course of her college and professional careers than we can possibly recount here, Jennie, as even Time magazine declared, emerged as “the most famous softball player in history.” Perhaps most notably, though, Finch (who most recently pitched for the Chicago Bandits) helped lead Team USA to win the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics and the silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics; although, we have to say, we find it pretty darn impressive that she struck out baseball greats Albert Pujols, Mike Piazza and Brian Giles at the 2004 Pepsi All-Star Softball Game and was the first female correspondent on the weekly show This Week In Baseball.

A swimsuit model shares her fitness secrets!

Not only is she one of the best athletes, though, she is also one of the most beautiful – both inside and out. She modeled in the 2005 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition (gorgeously!), supports numerous charity organizations and, like we said, really is softball’s sweetheart.

So, we sat down with Jennie Finch and asked her to weigh in on Real Beauty.

What do you think makes someone beautiful?
I think beauty can be a lot of things.  I’ve met people from all over the world, and the most beautiful people I’ve seen are the ones that are smiling and welcoming.  I think that kind of warmth is beautiful.

How do you deal with the pressure for body perfection in our culture?
I really avoid it as much as I can.  My teammates and I are lucky because we’re more interested in what our bodies can do, and being perfect on the field.  I was so tall in high school, and so self-conscious, and then sports and more recently becoming a mom showed me that it’s not about how I look.  It’s about what my body can do.  I focus on that more than anything.

A plus-sizes model weighs in on body perfection – click here to read more!

If you could give your younger self advice about beauty, what would it be?
Not to take what I look like so seriously. To have fun with it! Make-up, clothes, accessories…all those things are meant to be fun. It’s working on beauty on the inside that’s the hard work, and most worth the effort.

What is your one, can’t-live-without-it beauty product?
Laura Mercier Foundation ($42).  I love it!

The razor we can’t live without!

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