On how to be lovely

I love old Hollywood movies. I love cinema overall, but these ones give me a special feeling: I’ve got the same after a delicious dinner in a restaurant, or a great party, or an interesting encounter. When you utterly enjoy the moment without keeping track of time.

Recently I re-watched a light and romantic “Funny face” with admirable Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire starring. Let me refresh your memory regarding the plot: all of a sudden, a young and charming bookshop clerk becomes the face of a renowned fashion magazine “Quality”, although a model career has not been her plan. Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn), a serious girl with high intellectual level, agrees to travel in Paris for the shootings, only to follow her dream and cease the opportunity to attend lectures of her idol, a certain Dr. Flostre, preaching a new philosophy of communication. Needless to say, everything goes not quite as it was supposed to: a new glossy muse gets into a pretty mess, becomes disillusioned with the new philosophy and finds her love.

Why do I bring it up now? Just because it’s spring, the sun shines brightly, the body begins its scheduled production of vitamin D, and “being lovely” is especially desirable.

One of the sweetest dance pieces of the film that pops up into my mind is when the heroine of brilliant Kay Thompson – the impeccable editor-in-chief of “Quality” Maggie Prescott – gives instructions to young Jo before her first press conference. In her opinion, the journalists would interview her solely on how to be lovely. The answer is simple: “You’ve got to be happy”.

“When you feel light and gay, then you’ll be lovely as a holiday.” Too cliché yet works just as well.

Sometimes the simplest things prove particularly difficult. Have you ever noticed that during holidays we feel more joyful than on weekdays? Stress at work, crazy pace of life, failure of plans, rotten weather, health problems and other worries take away our “lightness and gaiety”. You’d think, why on earth would they?

A few years ago, when my colleague and I rushed out to swallow our lunch quickly, to get back to the office and resume our furious work in setting up an event, making a report, composing a plan, or something similar, our head of the logistics service, a charming man in his sixties, took a seat at our table.

– Girls, why are you so stressed?
– Vladimir Fedorovich, you know, we’ve got an event / an important report / a strategic plan!
– So what?

And then, with a kind smile of the man who had already travelled hundreds of more roads than us, he told us that he was just the same before the age of 30. Yes, ran around, stressed out, was worried, and then stopped. He thought it over and realized that working issues would always remain, and they need to be resolved strictly during working hours. When leaving the office every evening, it’s necessary to close tightly the door behind and get all the related questions out of the head. Naturally, we did not believe him: the world will surely collapse if you don’t constantly keep “in touch” with a current project. And now I do understand that he was absolutely right (apparently, it’s all about age).

When I attended yoga classes, for quite a long time the most pleasant moment, I confess, was the final savasana, the “corpse pose”. We lied down on our mats completely relaxed and the teacher told us softly to smooth out the forehead skin, to feel the tension in the eyeballs and release it, and so on along the body. Once I even managed to fall asleep for a few minutes! This experience gave me a physical feeling: without proper relaxation there is no healthy tension.

Blessed is he who knows to combine these two states; happy is he who is able to rejoice at the present day and his place within.

I find it funny and nice to hear how a sophisticated socialite whose whole career rests on creating fashion trends and further material components of beauty mentors her young talent by saying:

«Can’t do it with make-up
You’ve just got to wake up
And startin’ to take up
A life delirious
Nothing serious.»

That’s the point of a romantic comedy.

All in all, the message of this article is the following: I wish you, all of you, happiness, just because you are there! And let this happiness smile you back in the mirror as often as possible!

And for the record, be sure to watch this film, if you haven’t seen, or review it on the weekend. As for me, every time I look at Audrey Hepburn, it’s a pleasure. In this case the pleasure is enwrapped in magnificent garments by Hubert de Givenchy, who received an Oscar as a costume designer for this film in 1958, and captured by the camera of Ray Juna, equally praised by the Academy Awards the same year, not to mention the Golden Palm of the Cannes Film Festival, awarded to the director, Stanley Donen, a year earlier.

Read in Russian: О том, как стать привлекательной


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