I think Sophia Loren was -- is -- the most beautiful woman who ever lived. Not only is she physically beautiful, but she is elegant, ladylike, and earthy and sophisticated at the same time. She looks like someone I would love to know. Oh, heck, she looks like someone I would love to be. She is famously quoted as saying, "Everything I have, I owe to spaghetti." I saw Sophia Loren in person about 20 years ago, and I was gobsmacked at how much more beautiful she is in person than on screen or in photographs. She has aged gracefully, and now at the age of 75 she is in her 91st movie ("Nine"), and she is currently filming her 92nd.
Last night I was reading an article about Sophia Loren in "People" magazine, and she referred to "finding and losing the love of her life". Hmmm... I thought ... who could that be? So many men had proposed to her, including Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra. Who was the love of her life? Well, of course, it was Carlo Ponti, the man to whom she was married for 41 years until he passed away in 2007. She was madly in love with him from the moment she met him, and she admitted that he was the only man for her.
What makes a person beautiful? Is it physicial beauty, such as Sophia Loren possesses? Or is it something else -- something deeper. Are we attracted to a person because of how they look? Or do they become more beautiful because we are attracted to them? It's the theory of "Beauty and the Beast". We all know the story of Belle and the Beast. Belle is held captive by the beast, and every night she dreams of a handsome prince. She is convinced the Beast is holding the handsome prince captive as well, and she tries to find him. During the course of her captivity, Belle grows fond of the Beast and finds herself heartbroken one day at finding him dead. She weeps over his body, and her tears revive him, not as the Beast, but as the handsome prince she had dreamt about. Did her tears transform him into the handsome prince, or was it her love for him that did it? Did he actually remain the Beast, but handsome in her eyes because she loved him? I have often wondered about this.
What would a beautiful woman such as Sophia Loren see in a plain man such as Carlo Ponti. He was her handsome prince. We all see people who catch our eye, and we think are beautiful. But they can become more beautiful, or conversely, less beautiful, as we get to know them. Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder, it is in the heart of the beholder. Physical beauty can fade -- it can change -- but a soul does not. A soul remains beautiful. Anyone who finds love like that is indeed fortunate.