Beauty is something I struggle with all the time, and since I am writing a show about it, I would love to hear what your thoughts are on beauty. Do you feel beautiful? Did you always feel that way? Were you told you were beautiful as a child? Are you told you are beautiful now? How does it make you feel? Do you tell yourself you are beautiful? Do you tell other people they are beautiful? These are all tough questions.
I feel beautiful now because I try to tell myself that I am, and then since I bring it up, other people tell me that I am. One time, when I was at the airport, there was an older man, who seemed a little offâ€¦not homeless, because there are rarely homeless at the airport, just kind of ‘off.’ He had a big ceramic button on his lapel of a white sheeted ghost with a word balloon that said “BOO!” and it was nowhere near October. There was just a look of untuckedness to him â€“ shirttails out, very very wide corduroy, no laces in athletic shoes. A man coming undone. Like he had been shaken out somehow.
He stood behind me in line at the Southwest counter, and when I turned to face him he said, “Wow”â€¦ not “boo!” I said, “What?” and he took a minute. It was like he lost his bearings. Lost his breath. Lost his composure just slightly. Not in a scary way. Just a momentary loss of his personal cabin pressure, but the masks didn’t drop down. And he said, “Wowâ€¦I am sorry. You are just so beautiful.” I was really shocked. I wanted to turn around and ignore him. I wanted to run away. I wanted to be angry. But I also didn’t want to lose my place in line. So I said, “Thank you.” He wasn’t finished. He kept saying, “Wow. Yeahâ€¦ Your face. It is beautiful. You are likeâ€¦ a sunrise.” And I didn’t say anything. And it was like that second we were frozen and I had to face my entire life of feeling ugly and hating myself and here was someone to say, ‘no you are not ugly at all. you are beautiful.’ And I was scared and mad and freaked out and flattered and wanted to cry and ignore it, and thank God I heard, “Next!” and I was able to flee into the safe arms of the gate agent and away from this scary man, so scary he had the word “BOO!” on his chest, who was telling me I was beautiful. But you know it stayed with me. That feeling of seeing someone knocked out by my beauty. Maybe is something Kiera Knightly feels every day. She probably gets sick of it. But it’s a rare occurrence for me. And it is nice.