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( Originally Published 1963 )
My next very unshakable conviction is that unless a woman feels beautiful from inside, no amount of money, effort or time consumed working with what's on her outside will ever be enough. In other words, a woman who is not radiating that something special from within cannot strike the eye of the beholder (where according to Shakespeare, "beauty lies") with her own loveliness.
THE INTANGIBLES OF BEAUTY
The mark of a beauty, whether you see her standing on a bus, wheeling a baby carriage in the park, sitting in the back seat of a car-in this or any other century-is the same. Her features are probably good, her body well-proportioned, but no more so than a hundred other women you will pass. What attracts and holds your attention is, though you may not be able to define it at the time, a quality o f aliveness, and, whether she is conscious of it or not, she is feeling inwardly beautiful.
Do you know that even the most beautiful women in the world can feel ugly on their off-days. And, feeling unattractive, communicate this sense of self-displeasure until they actually appear unattractive to people looking at them. I've seen Elizabeth Taylor sit in front of a mirror frantically combing her hair, convinced that she looked horrible. The image she wanted to see of herself was not there, and she was as profoundly disturbed as a less attractive woman might be about a larger imperfection. For many beautiful girls, a tiny flaw-a pimple, a run in a stocking, a chipped nail-makes them feel they look completely messy. Beauty is an impression. Haven't you seen girls, who on first view seemed unattractive, become quite lovely as you talk to them? And vice versa, girls considered beautiful can become ugly and dull as you get to know them. The desire to be beautiful can make the difference.
Some people appear to be overflowing with an awareness of life, while others seem to drag themselves along on the bare edge of living, just existing. This does not mean, however, that anyone has a corner on the market of life. What happens, I think, is that some people have learned or have been taught how to nourish a basic sense and joy of life (children have it) and how to make it grow. After all, no one knows how to water or take care of plants and flowers by instinct alone. But, if you can discover, capture, and hold onto a genuine love of life and of being alive, I promise you that you will never have to worry about growing old, or growing fat, or growing ugly.
Take away interest and a reason for living and the will to live fades with it. Inactivity is an ager, a crippler, even a killer. Our famous old-old men and women are incredibly busy and alive: Eleanor Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Senator Lehman, Winston Churchill, Picasso, Grandma Moses. These are people who have never stopped growing or doing.
Too many women settle after they marry. Feeling that they've accomplished their major goal in life, they stop thinking or doing new things. Sometimes they want to, but feel "it's wrong." Perhaps neighbors or friends will criticize them if they show interest in anything outside of their homes and children.
Being alive and excited about the world can only help you to be a better wife and mother. You will have that much more to give. Do indulge your interests wherever possible. The essence of life is change-newness-doing. Stagnation is the opposite of life. Do take up painting if you've always wanted to. There's a tennis court nearby; plan somehow to get to it for an hour in the morning. A knowledge of shorthand would mean a part-time job in the neighborhood and an extra $400 a week. Begin going to night school, or whatever. You may have much more original ideas. The important thing is not only to be stimulated by the world around you but to take part in it. In trying to further pin down this elusive elan vital (the vital impulse) so fundamental to beauty, I would have to be pretty dense if I did not put health at the top of the list.
AND BE HEALTHY
Sometimes 90 per cent of that radiance given off by beauties is sheer glorious good health. Swedish women like Ingrid Bergman and Viveca Lindfors specialize in this brand of very good looks. It's pretty hard for anyone who is immensely healthy to look bad. Nevertheless, I think a happy interchange of physical and mental health is about the finest foundation for beauty. In the last twenty years or so we have become highly conscious of the mind-body relationship. (The ancient Greeks were even more so.) Today we know that mental attitude is affected by our physical condition and vice versa. Doctors treating patients with nervous breakdowns or even more severe mental illness go to work immediately to build up their patient's over-all state of health. Recovery from physical illness is very much dependent upon the patient's state of mind.
A woman suffering from headaches, all sorts of tiny nagging little pains, or just a general sense of fatigue and malaise is unlikely to glow no matter what other causes for joy there may be in her life. And by the same token, no matter how healthy a woman is, if she is going through any kind of mental torture, no amount of health can turn her beauty on. But, feeling your physical best gives you a tremendous chance to cope with your problems and to change things for the better. If you're low physically, no matter how fine things may be at the moment, should difficult times come along you'd be unprepared to handle them. The ancient Arabs put it this way: "He who has health has hope; and he who has hope, has everything."
EATING FOR HEALTH AND BEAUTY
Right eating is absolutely indispensible to good looks. In many ways your body is like a savings bank. It contains everything you've put into it and you can't possibly take out what you haven't put in. Your body cells keep perfect count of what they've been fed, and if you haven't delivered good building materials to them they won't be fooled. They can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear either.
When I speak of diet, I mean what you eat, not what you eat or don't eat to take off weight. I'm fundamentally opposed to anyone who allows himself to think of diet only in terms of reducing. If your daily consumption of food is a balanced one (enough vitamins, minerals, proteins), it will at the same time contain the desirable number of calories. If you are eating the right foods for health and beauty you cannot possibly get fat.
Also, if you start eating only the right foods you will lose your craving for the wrong ones. Because of this you will eventually find you can eat almost anything you want and still remain the size you want to be. Or, let me correct myself, the size you should be. Excluding glandular problems, the average woman can reproportion her body, and lose all excess weight through proper diet.
THE "RIGHT" FOODS
What do I mean by the "right" foods? I mean those foods on which your body can attain its maximum health and beauty. Doctors say that many people have never known what feeling really well is like. Some of the very men and women in this country today who are incredibly fussy about the oil and gasoline they put in their car engines, about the care of their stereophonic Hi-Fi equipment, the proper detergent for their wash-who take scrupulous care of their cameras, their TV sets and their vacuum cleaners, put worthless, and sometimes just plain bad food in their own stomachs every day. If you care about your own machine, a more complicated and incredible one than any yet invented by man, you must take the trouble to learn what fuels your body needs and where you can get them.
PROTEIN TO BUILD AND REBUILD
Protein is simply what we're made of. Muscles, organs, skin, hair, blood, bones, teeth are all mostly protein. So please don't even bother thinking about how to be beautiful until you've begun at the beginning-making sure that your protein intake is high. Your cells are constantly demanding more protein to build new cells. If you don't fork over this basic life-stuff you're in trouble. Fatigue is usually the first sign that you're not getting enough protein in your daily diet. Frankly, most Americans do not get enough protein. We need, according to nutritionists, at least 6o grams of protein a day. And the quality of the protein is important too. At least half of that protein should come from animal products. Organ meats which, unfortunately, most Americans don't like much are about the best source of protein there is. Whole milk which is a major source of protein is no less valuable as protein once it's been homogenized or pasteurized, but the processes hurt the vitamins and the minerals in it, and the DDT the cows get on some of the sprayed grass and hay doesn't help either. Then there's bread which used to be truly "the staff of life," but that was about 6o years ago-the protein content was somewhat higher then and less was done through processing to the whole grain. Try and eat whole grain cereals that have had as little as possible done to them.
Try to create the high-protein habit in your family by encouraging and serving liver, kidneys and other organ meats. Look for recipes which will make them delicious; there are many. But don't overcook, or you'll defeat your purpose. Too much cooking destroys the value of protein just as it does vitamins and minerals, not to mention the fact that any great chef will tell you the secret of good cooking is to learn to use heat as sparingly as possible.
THE SENSITIVE VITAMINS
Vitamins come in pills these days but don't for a minute think a capsule takes the place of the vitamins in your foods. Vitamin supplements are meant to be just that. Too many people today feel that once they've bolted their little pill at breakfast they can eat anything they want for the rest of the day. Not true, my friends. The top researchers in the country will tell you that while they are sure that we must have vitamins in our diet they are still baffled about what vitamins actually are, and how they do what they do. No chemist has yet duplicated an orange or a carrot in the laboratory. Because vitamins are a sort of "United Nations," most effective when you get all of them, pills can only do the most for you when you've had your full quota of natural vitamins. And the more you eat your vitamin foods raw, the more vigorous and alive the vitamins remain. Some vitamins are so sensitive that cooking immediately destroys more than half their value.
THE BEAUTY ALPHABET
It's at least as important for you to know the vitamin alphabet as it was to learn your A, B, C's. More so, because it's a beauty alphabet, as well.
A-for beautiful skin, bright shiny eyes, and for strong teeth and bones. It's also a natural antibiotic. Get enough vitamin A (and C) and you'll have trouble catching cold. There's lots of A in: dark green leaf vegetables, yellow (or orangey vegetables and fruits, liver, egg yolk, yellow cheese, butter and fortified margarine, cream, whole milk.
B1 (Thiamin)-for strong calm nerves, heart and digestive system. It helps your body make use of the carbohydrates you take in and so gives you real energy. It's found in: liver, kidneys, lamb, veal, lean beef, poultry, fish, eggs, green peas and beans, whole-grain products, peanuts, other nuts, milk.
B2 (Riboflavin) -for all the things B, is for, but it also keeps your eyes healthy, and lack of it can cause skin eruptions. Keeps general body resistance high against disease. Found in milk, meat, eggs, salmon, green leaf vegetables, green beans and peas, whole-grain and enriched bread and cereals (especially natural oatmeal), soybean products, dried beans.
Niacin-also a B and a very important one. Get enough Niacin and you shouldn't need a happy pill. Also helps digestion, protects nerve tissue, keeps mouth and gums healthy. It's in: liver, beef heart, lean meat, poultry, tuna fish, canned salmon, peas, peaches, peanuts, peanut butter, soybean products, whole-grain bread and cereals, molasses, grits, enriched or natural cornmeal.
C-for high resistance to disease and assisting the quickhealing processes of the body. Maintains teeth, bones, blood vessels and muscles. High dosages of C can prevent colds or cure them if taken at the first signs. Found in: citrus fruits, tomatoes, green leaf vegetables, vegetable juices, melons, strawberries, blackberries, rasberries, blueberries, raw apples.
D-need I say, is essential for small children. The growth and development of bones, teeth, and muscles depends on their getting enough of it till they're big. But, D goes on being important, dear friends, and in wintertime about the only way to get it is in pills, or the old-fashioned way, in cod liver oil. Before you shriek in horror at the thought of having anything to do with that oily stuff let me tell you that even cod liver oil has been modernized. Almost all of the cod liver oil sold today has had most of that awful fishy taste taken out of it. If you, and certainly your children, take a tablespoonful each morning doused with a glass of fresh orange juice, it isn't at all bad, and you can stop worrying about vitamin D for the rest of the day. The sun does the job for you in summer if you're outdoors even a part of each day. Eggs, milk fortified with D, fish roe (caviar) are other sources.
E-still the dark lady of the vitamin family. But there's more and more evidence that E is crucially helpful for fertility, the strength of the heart, postponing menopause, virility. Vitamin E is found in cod liver oil, whole grain breads and cereals, soybean products, olive oil, rice bran oil, beef liver and apples.
Minerals work closely with vitamins to achieve health and beauty.
Calcium-makes your bones and teeth good and hard. Helps to maintain them later on, helps regulate your heartbeat and aids muscular functioning. Found in whole milk and green leaf vegetables.
Phosphorous-part of the structure of every cell in the body, helps you make use of calcium and vitamin D. Found in: milk, eggs, fish, lean meats, poultry, soybeans, cereals and breads. Iron-chief constituent of your blood cells. Need I say more? It used to be called the "pep" mineral. Eat: liver, heart, kidneys, green leaf vegetables, egg yolks, whole-grain bread and cereals, molasses, dried apricots, peaches and oysters.
Iodine-important for mental and physical health; it also keeps the thyroid gland in good order. Found in: seafood, salt-water fish and iodized salt.
I'm not going to say too much about carbohydrates and fats. Worry first about getting enough of the proteins, vitamins, and minerals you need. Almost every American gets more carbohydrates than he needs. And your body is satisfied with a rather small quantity (from one to three tablespoons) of fat daily. However, and this warning is directed at over-intense dieters-a small quantity is essential.
Carbohydrates-energy foods in conjunction with the right amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals. They are in all the starchy and sweet things you eat, but interestingly enough you'd get plenty of sweetness in natural fruits and vegetables if you never touched candy, sugar, jams, softdrinks, cookies and cakes. The only difference is that the natural sweets also contain the nutrients, and the kind of energy they give you lasts longer. Remember: eating more carbohydrates than you need means the body must store them as ugly extra pounds of fat.
Fats-also energy-giving, help maintain the system's chemical balance, provide skin lubrication. Fats are in: butter, margarine, egg yolks, cream, salad and cooking oils, cheeses made from whole milk or cream, bacon and other fatty meats, lard, mayonnaise, nuts.