Inspiring Minds: Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis
My favorite holiday movie. Recognize it?

Sue had a thing for Jamie Lee Curtis. She respected her, related to her. And the more I learn about Jamie (and myself), I do, too.

It started with this, a magazine spread where Jamie insisted on two pictures: one glammed up and airbrushed, one stripped down and real. It was Jamie’s idea, not her publicist’s or the magazine’s. Sue saved it and made sure to show it to every women in her life. She never missed an opportunity to remind us of the unique beauty we each possess, both in the pretty moments and the gritty, real ones.

Jamie Lee Curtis True Thighs More Magazine
Jamie Lee Curtis in MORE’s September 2002 issue.
Photo by Andrew Eccles

Sue reveled in her age and individualism. That’s not to say she didn’t have her vanity, but her vanity was about projecting the full beauty of Sue, mind and attitude included, all of which was no one’s ideal but her own. And when you have that kind of confidence, people see even your flaws as part of your beauty. I always marveled about that in Sue. Even at her sickest, I never once heard her ask someone not to take her picture or claim that she looked awful. As a woman, trust me, that’s a feat.

Sue recognized a shared optimistic fearlessness with Jamie—and found her, body and soul, truly beautiful because of it.

And then Sue discovered this:

Jamie Lee Curtis Childrens Book

It’s a delightful children’s picture book about what it is to be a kid: the innocence, curiosity, and optimism. Sue lauded those qualities in children and had her own book idea that celebrated just that. She never had a chance to write it, but let me assure you, I am keeping that torch lifted and lit. It’s on “the list.”

Jamie has a whole string of sweet, imaginative titles actually. I consider her one of the most inspiring voices in kids’ publishing today, particularly as someone who shares that aspiration. (You can learn more about her “Books to Grow By” kids’ books in this video.)

Jamie Lee Curtis Kids Book

It’s fitting that her first book, “When I Was Little,” is about growing up, since Jamie’s become a sort of accidental sage on the subject, not just for kids either.

Her Huffington anti-anti-aging post had me literally applauding by the end of it.

Children’s books are now Jamie’s main focus, rather than acting. In her words:

“I think what’s happening is that the more I like me, the less I want to pretend to be other people.”

I think that’s a lofty goal for all of us to strive to, and particularly something we need to teach by example to our kids, especially our girls.

Call me crazy, but there’s something about my new “crow’s feet” in this picture that I’m quite fond of.

So in light of this particularly mindful time of the year, I ask you: What are you most thankful for about yourself at this particular moment in your existence? And what new page do you look forward to in the year to come?

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