Molly Ringwald hit the scene in the 80s at a time when everyone seemed to be looking for the perfect blond haired, blue-eyed girl, and Molly immediately felt like an outcast in both social situations and in her acting endeavors. Redheads didn’t have the “in” look, but instead of letting that defeat her, Ms. Ringwald chose to let her differences define her and Molly found that she loved herself especially for her uniqueness.
“It was really intimidating for me, until I realized that I was never really going to be that, so it was better to just take what I was and pump it up. Big lips were not in when I was a teenager, so I decided to make mine look bigger. If I didn’t have the tawny skin, I would make my pale skin look paler. I would make my reddish hair look redder. I just took everything that I was and just kind of made it even more. That just kind of worked for me.”
In the end, Ms. Ringwald did more than simply learn to accept her limitations. Molly became a sensation, a teen idol that inspired millions of teenagers. Becoming the antithesis of what was considered physical perfection with red hair instead of blond and think ruby lips, Ms. Ringwald proved that her unique brand of beauty had a longer lasting effect on the minds of the public. Ms. Ringwald left a lasting impression, when she took the teens of America by storm in 1984’s Sixteen Candles.
Ms. Ringwald spoke as a guest at the Dove Beauty Stories Event, revealing that her unique outlook on beauty, and on life in general, comes from her parents and the values Molly learned from witnessing their unique relationship. Molly’s father was blind, so, even though both of Ms. Ringwald’s parents were physically attractive, Molly revealed that it was her mother’s “spirit, the essence of her, that mattered” most to her father.
Ms. Ringwald cited her close relationship with her father and his own unique perspective of life that helped her to develop her own self-acceptance.
“I always knew that these physical details had less merit than the sound of my voice, the clarity of my writing voice, the tenacity I inherited from my mother to survive and to thrive.”
Molly Ringwald, like many of her fans, has changed since those early teen years, which has included adapting to life in and out of Hollywood’s harsh glare, becoming the mother of three children, and aging with confidence and a strong sense of self-worth. Again, Ms. Ringwald credits her upbringing and the necessity of looking to the future and trying to anticipate what it may bring with which her parents instilled within her that has enabled Molly to rise above each of life’s challenges.
“Any kind of physical beauty is ephemeral. We are always changing, evolving. And beauty, like love, has to have its basis in something real in order to endure.”
They say that wisdom comes with age, and for Molly Ringwald that seems to be true. As she contemplates on the question of what she knows at 47 that she didn’t know at 17, a smile crosses her lips.
“It really sounds corny, but the biggest thing is being happy. You know, because when you’re happy, you’re more active; when you’re more active, you have blood flowing,” Molly states. “It’s just like happiness is the best beauty fire, more than anything. I feel like I’m in a really good place in my life, and I have a family, and we love each other. That really is what it’s about for me.”
[Featured image: Molly Ringwald courtesy of Mike Moore/Getty Images for Dove]