Diane Keaton On What Life Was Like When She Was A 20-Something

It's only natural that your ideas, and opinions evolve as you age. For Diane Keaton, her thoughts on body image in particular have changed a lot since she was younger. We sat down with the iconic actress at a L'Oréal Paris event that she hosted in Los Angeles, supporting the Melanoma Research Alliance, where where she confessed that she used to subscribe to a very narrow-minded standard of beauty.
"I was very opinionated when I was young about women, and what was attractive in a woman," she told us. "To me, it was your model look: The wide shoulders, no hips, and long, long legs. And, you could wear anything, right?" Eventually, she saw the light, and realized that every kind of body is beautiful in its own right. "By the time I was 50, when I adopted [my daughter], I'd already seen that we come in all shapes and sizes, and it's really pretty spectacular. The curvacious female form, which I used to consider contentious — now I just can't believe how gorgeous it is. So, women come in all sizes and shapes, and I'm into all of it. Every bit of it, and I really mean that."
Read on for the number one beauty lesson she's learned, what she wouldn't be caught dead wearing, and more. Plus, click through to peek her inspiring style evolution from the '70s to today.
What was your style like when you were younger?
"[Since I was young,] I [have] loved people who dressed unusually. I remember I was the first girl in high school to have a polka-dot black dress, from fabric that my mother, and I found from a different dress at the Goodwill. And, I had pierced ears. I did all those things; I was the alternative way to go."
What's one thing that you wish you knew or did more of in your 20s, beauty-wise?
"This right here is everything. You've got to have some sort [of sunscreen], end of discussion. I think that covers everything — that's most important. In my family, we're all fair-skinned. My father had [skin cancer] very bad, and I should have learned. Of course I didn't. My brother has had it seriously on his nose. My aunt — I forgot about this — they took off her nose. That's how bad it was! She had let it go, and she had to live with that."
Obviously you’re a big proponent of sunscreen, but your personal style (turtlenecks, hats, etc.) lends itself to sun protection, too. Happy coincidence or totally planned?
"I think it's a coincidence, since it took me so long to get serious about sunblock. I did always like hats, but I don't know if it was to protect myself. I just always liked them."
When was the day that you made the decision to always wear sunscreen religiously?
"Well, that came in my 40s. That's too late for it to come into your life. Like a lot of things, you know? You go, 'Oh gosh, I think I should be taking care of this.' But, I didn't put it on every day. I'd just put it on when I'd go sit on the beach, but that was a mistake, too."
You grew up in L.A., and watched your daughter grow up in L.A. Is the pressure for kids to look perfect better, worse, or the same now?
"[There's no pressure] in my house, obviously. She couldn't be more the opposite of me. She probably looks at me and goes, 'Oh my god, what is she doing now, that woman?' But, I think this is the land of everything. I really think it's all up for grabs. She was a swimmer, so when you're a swimmer, it's a lot about being simple. You've got spectacular, healthy, athletic bodies — are you going to sit around and think about a skirt, like me?"
You have such an inspiring sense of style. How do you encourage girls to find their own personal style?
"I like to compliment people, because to me, it's always fun to look at what people are up to, and what people wear, and how they present themselves."
Do you have any style rules you live by?
"Long sleeves are good. You think I'm going to flail these arms about naked? Forget it; it's not happening. Don't do that, Diane. But, it's not true for everyone, and they don't see the way I see."