To many of us, she was the quintessential beauty in young Hollywood – every girl wanted to be her and every guy wanted to date her. From her roles in The Karate Kid and Adventures in Babysitting to her Academy Award nominated performance in Leaving Las Vegas, it seemed to us that Elisabeth Shue grew up in our movie theaters and living rooms without a care in the world – let alone a blemish, bad hair day or body image issue. Yet, if we here at The Beauty Bean have learned anything that we hope to impart on you, it’s that even the seemingly picture-perfect not only feel the pressure for perfection but also feel that they fall short.
We sat down with Elisabeth Shue and asked her to weigh in on real beauty.
What do you think makes someone beautiful?
Someone who is accepting of him or herself, kind, respectful of all people (not just the ones they would like to be friends with), spirited, and determined – someone who tries to be positive about life and believes in themselves and the power of their potential.
How do you deal with the pressure for body perfection in our culture?
I did not deal with it very well when I was younger. I struggled with my weight and body image, like most teenage girls. Once my body changed into a more womanly shape, I did not accept that change because I was surrounded by boys in my family and assumed my body would be more like theirs and, as an athlete, did not appreciate the added weight and shape I then had to carry. Now, however, I deal with it by exercising. That way, I don’t have to watch what I eat as much and feel healthy and strong. I don’t need to look like a model or even what I perceive a person in the movies “should ” look like. I can finally just be me and accept my body as it is.
If you could give your younger self advice about beauty, what would it be?
I would tell my younger self to find a sport you love and work hard to get better at that sport both for the fun of it and for the way you will feel inside. Your body should be more than something to look at in the mirror. Rather, use it to play and challenge yourself athletically and your relationship with food will naturally balance itself out in a healthy way and you won’t become obsessed with how you look – you will be too busy using your body for what it was meant to do: running, jumping, swimming, flipping and hitting tennis balls.
What’s your one, can’t-live-without-it beauty product?
I cannot live without sunscreen. I love the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock, SPF 100+. Next would be black mascara.