It's often said that beauty isn't just about physical appearance, but as L’Oreal Paris's spokesmodel, Susan Sarandon has thought a lot about what it actually is. In a recent interview with The Cut, she discussed what beauty means to her — and how she's learned to see the beauty in herself when she's struggling with body image.
"Personally, I’m very drawn to a person who has kind eyes and seems awake, present, engaged, and curious. To me, that lightens up a face no matter what the features are," she said. "Beauty is about engagement and confidence. Whatever you do that makes you confident, whether it being going to the gym or running, you’ll look beautiful. And that can include making sure you have some mascara, a lip, or are staying hydrated."
In an interview with Refinery29 last year, Sarandon reiterated that beauty is more about a face's expression than its features. "The thing that bothers me is when I see runway shows with these young women who are wearing fabulous clothes that are gorgeous and they look so unhappy," she said. "I don't know what's happened where that's an idea of beauty."
Sarandon also talked to The Cut about what watching herself on-screen is like, especially as she ages, and how she makes peace with her insecurities. To practice what she preaches, she thinks about the inner qualities she's cultivating in her character.
Her 1995 film Dead Man Walking was an exercise in this approach, she said. "I had bad haircut, bad clothes, no makeup. I really had to focus on love — not just for me, but the love for him. Religious people have an unconditional love, that’s what keeps them going and fills them up. I had to try and find that — that open heart can make you quite beautiful."