“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.” Sophia Loren
Ah Sophia Loren. It is perhaps rather a little too easy for one such as you to say this. After all you are an international film star, a woman who Cary Grant proposed to and according to some, a woman whose “awesome beauty could raise the dead.” Now I have never been a huge Loren fan, no real reason, just perhaps I’ve overlooked her in the past for other names. Well no more. To write this piece I did some time on the old web and boy am I sorry I don’t know her better. It is an oversight I shall do my best to redress
What I did learn impressed me no end. Despite her less than ideal childhood, Italy during WW2, she went on to star in a ton of movies and win an array of awards from Golden Globes to Oscars. She co-starred with every big American name from Wayne to Sinatra to Brando and in Italy regularly shared the screen with Marcello Mastroianni. She was the first actor to win an Oscar for a foreign language performance in Two Women, a stark and gritty WW2 film that tells the story of a mother and daughter gang raped by a group of soldiers inside a church. Loren was originally meant to play the daughter but she fought for the part of the mother and deservedly won an Oscar for her raw and emotionally-charged portrayal of a mother’s anger and pain.
Interestingly at the start of her career, the general consensus was that she didn’t look good on film. Her features were too big, particularly her nose, she was too tall, she moved awkwardly. But she preserved and proved that she possessed something else; something that seduced the viewer despite her ‘unusual’ looks. Her American debut in Boy on a Dolphin includes a scene of her emerging from the water clad in what only can be described as a wet t-shirt. She looks amazing – voluptuous, womanly, sexy and above all, confident. And that is the word that I would apply to her, more than beautiful, that is what is so appealing about her. She radiated, oozed confidence –whether she’s swinging her hips as she walks down the street, beguiling and bewitching new lovers or performing strip teases for her husband. It is her certainty, her poise that makes her the embodiment of womanhood, a woman who in her seventies still believes enough in herself to pose scantily clad, and look good doing it, for the 2007 Pirelli calendar.
It is this spirit that I saw in the recent Kim Kardashian photo’s, you know the one where she is balancing a glass of bubbly on her rather ample booty, or the other one where is goes fully naked except for quite a large number of pearls. However you feel about her, or the shots, I have to say what you see most is a woman exhibiting total and complete confidence in her own self, her body, a woman who is very much enjoying herself, a woman fully in control as she displays an assured, yet playful, sexuality. Granted it could be deemed a little narcissistic, she may have had a little, ahem, surgical, help to get her look, but what you see, and what is admirable, is her chutzpah. She’s sexy and she knows it and like Loren it is this belief in herself that makes her captivating, that makes her sizzle.
We may not all have Loren’s career but we can all be inspired by her doctrine. And it is her voice we should listen to when next we look in the mirror and see flaws or imperfections.