Julie Bowen, Emily Deschanel, Dana Delany: Real Beauty at Every Age

Forget the makeup, the blowouts, the Jimmy Choos. These TV stars know that when it comes to looking good, it's how you feel on the inside that matters most.
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Julie Bowen, Age 41

With three young sons and a busy job (she stars in Modern Family and this summer's Horrible Bosses), Bowen believes inner beauty means finding peace in the preschool pickup lane.

Going with the flow...

Not taking yourself too seriously. Laughing when things go wrong. My younger sister calls it "high-catastrophe living." Instead of fighting the chaos coming at you all the time, just accept it. I used to be a perfectionist. I hated things on the kitchen counter; I wanted them clean. Now my counters are storage space for things like diapers, dirty shoes, and food. As my counters -- and days -- get more and more cluttered, I see the beauty in learning to let things go.

I feel beautiful when...

I'm being myself. One Saturday morning I jogged to my oldest son's soccer practice while I pushed one of the twins [she has 2-year-olds John and Gus] in the stroller. It was sunny out, so I put a layer of zinc oxide on my face because I didn't want to get burned. I arrived at soccer practice and was chatting with one of the parents, who said, "Do you have any idea how stupid you look right now? You have white stuff on your face...." And I was like, "Yeah, but I got to run and I got to be with my kids." I didn't think about how I looked. When I moved to Hollywood I was swimming in a sea of beautiful people and realized that what might have been good-looking in my hometown was now just average. Very quickly I had to learn to love myself for who I am.

How I nurture myself...

I try to run every day, usually 45 minutes to an hour. If I don't run I get anxious and mean. I'm also learning to say no to a lot of things, even though it makes me feel guilty. I can't stand letting people down. But I've said no to good friends who were launching small businesses and wanted me to do an interview or photo shoot with them. They'd say, "What does it really cost you, Julie?" And I'm like, well, it would cost me my Saturday with my family. It would cost me a lot. Being able to say no makes me much happier.

The downside of beauty...

People can miniaturize your existence. I've had guys objectify me. They'll say things like, "Oh, she's the cute little blonde." But I don't want people to categorize me so I overcompensate. I'll quickly take control of the conversation and often surprise them with a shocking joke or an inappropriate comment so they'll know I'm not the girl next door. I won't let people look at me and think, "You're this way and I get to decide how I feel about you."

Feeling good in my 40s...

As a kid, I thought I was indestructible. I wasn't afraid to do sports. It never occurred to me that something I broke or bruised wouldn't heal. But in my 20s I was diagnosed with a rare heart condition, which caused a problem with the electrical impulses. My only solution was to get a pacemaker. For a while I felt fragile. I was afraid to go to sleep -- I thought, What if my pacemaker quits and I don't wake up? Now it's just a reminder to me that every day I have is precious.

Continued on page 2:  Emily Deschanel, Age 34

 

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