Julia Roberts has been boasted as the most famous actress in the world during her lifetime. She is magically able to captivate audiences of young, old, male, female, the conservative and the liberal. Society’s Homecoming Queen so to say.
Part of her universal appeal is how serious she takes her job and how unseriously she takes herself, and the draw to her fame.
Here are 8 ways Julia Roberts can teach us a thing or two about becoming an innerly pretty woman.
She doesn’t promote self-analyzing. During a recent interview, a reporter asked Julia what she thought the secret was to her mega watt (and ridiculously famous) smile. Her response was, “Impossible. I don’t think it’s healthy or productive to self-analyze. The way a person smiles is the way a person smiles.” And continued to re-route the question to a more realistic emotional standard by concluding, “I’m a genuinely and deeply happy person. I feel like you just have to have the natural chemistry for joy.” In an industry that begs both the famous and their fandom to critique, compare and emulate outward appearances, Julia’s no-nonsense approach to that road well traveled is simply a “Don’t go there” reflex. A reflex we could all use more of!
She doesn’t let her success or the validation from that success define her. It has to be tough to beat the adrenaline rush that standing on an Oscar stage gives you, but Julia doesn’t need the rush of fame to uphold her as a human being. Now that she is a mother of 3, she prefers to spend her time with her family. And the lack of a spotlight while she is shopping at their farmer’s market or knitting a pair of socks is not missed one bit. It is truly an admirable core she possesses. Imagine if you received non-stop kudos for painting and one day, you decided to put painting aside to raise a family. Most of us (no shame in admitting this) would recoil a bit from the absence of the constant stream of positive energy we received via our work. A lot of inner work had to be done for Julia to become so balanced within such a shift in daily environment.
Leave pretentiousness at the door. Julia is arguably one of the most famous women in the world. An A-lister for decades and counting and has accomplished a set of goals worthy of swooning a bit. But one thing you won’t find Julia doing is sticking her nose in the air. Raised in Georgia, her southern rooted manner system is too gracious to allow any of that behavior. In fact, she opted to serve her wedding guests hamburgers and hotdogs and loves nothing more than to show people photos of her children. A trip to the farmer’s market to pick up her favorite veggies is the icing for a perfect day. That and figuring out how to crochet the heel of socks.
A little patience goes a long way. One can only imagine how many times Julia gets stopped in public once she is recognized. Everyone from waiters to clerks and the neighboring dinner table stop, stare and attempt to approach her each time she steps out publically. The thing is, she is incredibly patient with each of them. Even when they recite lines from her movies that she’s heard a million times, she smiles and let’s them have their moment. Perhaps this is why she was dubbed “America’s Sweetheart”. When we are tempted to be annoyed at a “pesky” neighbor, co-worker or acquaintance that simply admires our persona, we can remember the act of patience is also an act of love.
She is not afraid to call you out. Gracious, patient and unpretentious she may be, but Julia is no pushover. If a reporter asks her a question that she believes is unproductive, gossipy, or damaging to herself or another person in any way– she will straight up call out the negativity laced within that question. Often times, we go along with conversations or divulge information we don’t feel comfortable in promoting simply because we want to appear polite. Julia shows us being polite to others outside the conversation (who are also affected by what is said) is the most polite thing you can do.
She knows her worth, and isn’t afraid to proclaim it. Julia was the first woman to bust through the $20 million a movie mark– a notch only achieved by her male counterparts up until that point. Then and now, Julia continues to stick to her worth guns and maintains a top grade pay rate with every ensuing project. How often do we shy away from proclaiming our worth and offering others a “discount” version of that worth? Julia reminds us to believe it, earn it, proclaim it, and most importantly– stick to it.
Going the extra step can upgrade your skill level and your value. A natural lefty, Julia learned to use her right hand when cast the role of Erin Brocavich. A detail that easily could have been overlooked by filmgoers (as no one who would actually know if the “real” Erin Brocavich was left-handed or right-handed), was still important to Julia who believes in delving her whole self into her roles. This discipline paid off when the role won her first Oscar Award. Devoting yourself whole-heartedly with no compromise is a sure fire way to get others to take note in what you have to offer.
Life’s improvisions are an excellent mirror to our authentic selves. One of the most famous scenes Julia is known for is the jewelry box scene in Pretty Woman. In the scene, Richard Gere presents her with a fancy necklace placed in a satin jewelry box. When she reaches to touch the necklace, he playfully snaps the box shut on her curious fingers evoking her famous and infectious laugh that we all know and love. The thing is, that scene was completely improvised. She had no idea Richard was going to shut the box on her, so the laugh was as authentic as it gets– as a result of that pure joy, the public responded with complete infatuation– and it is still one of her most popular scenes to date. Letting the randomness of life’s “improvised” moments catch us off-guard is the easiest way to view the reflection of our authentic selves (and make adjustments if necessary).
Thank you Julia for bringing the status of “accomplished” to a new level. Your brazen sense of self and unambiguous displays of gratitude are what make you the shining example you are.