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

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Emily Deschanel, Age 34

What's behind the Bones star's gorgeous glow? A healthy lifestyle, longtime friendships, and the fact that she's expecting her first baby.

Real beauty is...

Being aware of yourself and honest about who you are. When you're comfortable in your own skin, you look beautiful on the outside, regardless of how many flaws you have. My flaws? I break out. I have cellulite. I have to cover up my gray hair. But all of that is just being human.

How I nurture myself...

Twenty years ago I saw a documentary in school called Diet for a New America that changed my life. I became a vegetarian that minute and worked on becoming a vegan [vegans avoid dairy, eggs, and meat and don't wear animal products like leather], which I've now been for 18 years. Saying no to meat makes me feel stronger inside; I feel aligned with my morals and ethics. I still have to defend myself because people don't understand it. As a pregnant woman especially, people will say to me, "You must eat meat and dairy." You really have to tap into your self-esteem whenever people try to convince you you're making the wrong choice.

The downside of beauty...

In Hollywood there's so much pressure to appear a certain way, to be skinny and to look young. When I was growing up I never cared about whether I was pretty or not. But when I was 12 a friend's mom told me I was flat-chested and had fat thighs. That really hurt my feelings and it kind of scarred me; I started becoming aware of how other people judged me. After that I never felt attractive. I was such a nerd in school; nobody ever wanted to date me. Now I'll do things to make myself feel prettier: I'll have my hair and makeup done. But I'm also trying to get back to that feeling I had as a little girl, of not caring what people think.

Feeling good in my 30s...

With every year I feel more confident. I've also had the same friends for a long time. I've known one of my best friends since I was 7 and my other friends are from high school and college. Knowing people that long is so valuable. I have a friend from junior high who's expecting a baby right before I am. Now we're sharing stories about our cravings and how our bodies are changing. We can compare notes. Having someone like that is so reassuring; it connects me to an essential part of myself.

I feel beautiful when...

I'm relaxed, like when it's a Sunday and I don't have any plans. I'm at my most relaxed when I don't have to think about what I'm wearing or what my hair looks like. That can come back to haunt you, of course. I went to the grocery store recently in yoga pants and no makeup. I always think nobody recognizes me when I look like a homeless person, but a fan spotted me. A friend told me her friends from Australia saw me on the street once and said I looked nothing like I do on TV. That made me laugh. I'm happy to show people I'm not perfectly made up all the time.

Continued on page 3:  Dana Delany, Age 55


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