Saturday, December 12, 2009

Beauty And The Beast

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.

20 comments:

ivan said...

I knew I shouldn't have thrown her out of bed last time I was in Rome. :)

Land of shimp said...

I think that like all things having to do with people, the surface is what we see first, but it is the core that holds our attention. Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet are not technically great beauties, although both are very pretty, it's their tremendous talent that makes them both fascinating to watch.

I mention those two because, just for fun, check out Cate Blanchett's husband at some point, Jo. You'll likely stop and stare. He isn't merely an ordinary looking man, he's rather odd looking. He has no great wealth, it's very clear that he won his stunning wife purely because of who he truly is.

Sophia Loren is one of those women who is astonishingly beautiful. She looks like the work of an artist come to life, and she also has tremendous poise.

I think that when we know someone, a great beauty, or a homely soul, their appearance becomes something we consider very little in whether or not we deem them truly attractive. Sophia Loren has aged incredibly well, in every imaginable way. She really does look as if she was gifted by the gene pool of the gods, but it isn't just that which makes her attractive.

Have you heard of Megan Fox? I have a friend in his late twenties, and was talking to him about Megan Fox. She's much touted for her beauty, and truly, she is a very beautiful young woman. He was telling me that he found her rather uninteresting. He'd seen her interviewed and said that ruined it for him. "She's a nice person, I think, but my God, she's just a dull person."

Great beauty catches the eye, but it takes something more to hold the attention.

Carol E. said...

I think my husband is the handsomest man on earth, but I know he isn't. I just love him that much, that I think he is fabulous in every way.

TomCat said...

When I was growing up she graced more fantasies than I can remember. Nobody has a right to be that attractive! ;-)

Donna B said...

Hi Jo, oh what a delicious topic! I too am a huge fan of Sophia Loren. I still remember her in TWO WOMEN. One of her best movies...and I can't even count how many times I saw her in Boy On A Green Dolphin....or Houseboat or It Happened in Naples. She is hands down what women want to be and what ever man wants...I also think Michelle Phiffer is incredibly beautiful, but does not have the physical attributes of Sophia. Sophia has mystery.
I have my own opinions of why she loved Carlo so much, as the love of her life. Looks had nothing to do with it, and she had been through enough in her life, to appreciate his soul, what he could offer her, do for her, how he made her feel. How a man makes a woman feel, is the key to having her love him and want him forever...

Elise said...

And the thing is - she just looks so fabulous now, she has really kept it going. Lucky her !!! Thank you for this lovely post

Owen said...

Beautifully said Jo...

Bruce Coltin said...

I had a crush on Sophia, starting at 10 years old. Looking at these pictures has stirred it up once again. And, I'm way too old for that. I think.

Paula Slade said...

Love makes all things beautiful.

ρομπερτ said...

As beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, it would be a nice thing, if people would start to look eachother into the eye again.

A wonderful Sunday for you.

Michelle said...

The thing about Sophia is that you don't even have to know who she is or meet her. You can look at a picture of her and sence who she is. Grace, intelligence, beauty, honesty. It makes up every part of her.

susie said...

I think the old (or should I say early?) stars were more fascinating because they weren't so over exposed.

They also knew how to dress and act like ladies, and that keeps the mystery alive.

Also to find one's soul mate is an exceptional experience. And being the most beautiful or handsome person in the world can't guarantee a soul mate. It takes so much more.

Russell said...

When I was in college there was a guy who lived in our dorm. He was no more than 5'0" tall if that. He dated a girl who was about 5'10" and later dated another girl who was about as tall.

Every person I knew thought this guy was incredible. Obviously, the girls did, too.

He was truly a larger than life person.

C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson said...

Jo,

Another interesting and thought provoking post! I, too, have always loved Sophia Loren. She is a true beauty and so very talented. As for love, I believe love sees the best in others. When two souls connect there is a melding of acceptance. I'm certain that Carlo made Sophia feel special and that she felt totally at ease with him. When true love occurs, there is no self-consciousness or embarrassment. You can be yourself and feel totally safe.

Great post, by the way.

C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson said...

Jo,

Why can't I view your post about Peace and War? It shows on my blog that you posted it but when I try to access it, it's not there. Please advise. I would like to read it.

Thanks,
Coni

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Chemistry...... Doesn't matter what you look like if there is no chemistry going on.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I am a lifelong fan of Sophia Loren's, too, and have often heard that quote about spaghetti being responsible for her glorious curves. When she was a teenager, she was so skinny that she was called "stuzzicadente" - toothpick.

I think that physical beauty wears thin quickly when it does not clothe a beautiful soul and spirit and conversely, those who possess internal beauty often dazzle us even when their features are plain. Love, of course, is the greatest beauty treatment of all.

nomore said...

I love this post and I agree with you the " Beauty is not in the eye.."
I love Sophia Loren yet even her ages wow...75 years though...
Merry Christmas !

Charles Gramlich said...

She is indeed a very lovely woman. I've always thought so.

A human kind of human said...

Sophia Loren and Grace Kelly is and will always be the perfect women in my eyes. Looks, character, poise - ladies! This is something I miss in our modern day stars - what they look like and their behavious off screen as portrayed by an ever hungry media. (Queen Elizabeth has the same effect on me - I must be just terribly old fashioned hey?)