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The best advice my mom ever gave me actually started with an insult.
"Julie-yah, since it seems you will always be fat, be the interesting girl...and the one who has the best skin."
Emotional scars aside, I did take her admonitions to heart, and she was right. I am never the prettiest girl in the room, but I am the girl having the most fun, and that grabs people's attention. And by the law of social induction, interesting folk seek out other interesting folk, so pretty soon you're surrounded by an awesome group of fascinating co-conspirators, a few of whom who could not imagine life without you in it, and thus the seeds of romance are planted.
So how does one become interesting? There are a lot of different strategies: you can be funny, be smart enough to be able to help anyone with their homework, become adroit at a hobby, keep up with current events, know a lot about sports and pop culture, or be the car wreck people can't help but slow down and watch (this strategy, however, is risky). Or, you know, be a mix of everything. What's most important is to be someone with an open heart who is sincerely curious about how other people tick, and people will feel good just being around you.
Okay, now on to the skin. It is so, so, so much easier to maintain already-young skin and postpone aging than to try to reverse the clock. Cleanse, moisturize, and put on sunscreen in the morning, and you won't be reaching for the hardcore hydroxy acids in your twenties. For bonus points, go to an esthetician for facials once a month, and you'll be gleaming like a Barbie doll at all times.
Take me for example. I've always been mistaken for being younger than I am, sometimes ridiculously younger. I'm 33 now, a mother of two, and the last time I bought tickets for an R-rated movie, the teenager in the ticket booth asked for ID. I know, that's not that great, in fact it might be a liability to look too young, but I think I'll be happy to cash in on my dermatological fastidiousness when I'm 50.
Let's see what Jessica Alba has to say:
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