It starts with an explanation of how the book was a response to recurring questions from her fan mail - "How do you manage to have so much energy?" and "How do you continue to look so vital at your age?" and, over 7 chapters outlines her personal routines of stretching, mobility, eating plan and "Projecting Grace and Beauty at any age".
As you might expect this book is full of down to earth advice and good common sense but it is also interspersed with autobiographical details and anecdotes from her many years in show business. For instance detailing how her family moved from London to New York in 1940 and when she was put under contract to MGM Studios at the age of eighteen.
|Angela Lansbury and her mother, Moyna Macgill, 1944|
To me, good health is more than just exercise and diet. It's really a point of view and a mental attitude you have about yourself. A strong, shapely body is of little use unless the person inside it greets each day with optimism. Each individual is different, and each of us is born with certain tendencies. Some of us are positive, forward thinking souls, others somehow seem to enjoy depressing themselves with negative thoughts and attitudes.
You don't have to be an actress to project glamour. I always knew that I could be whatever I wanted to be. My experience with Mame in New York confirmed for me that I was very much in control of how people perceived me. I got the role because, as an actress, I succeeded in projecting Mame's qualities in my audition. And then, after I had been playing Mame for a while, the oddest thing happened. Having just passed forty, I began to be considered a glamourous woman off the stage as well as on it, for the first time in my life, simply because I was projecting more confidence, femininity, and sex appeal than I ever had before. It was so simple, and is eternally effective: If you think of yourself as attractive, and you behave as if you are, then you will be seen that way.
I think women who are not actresses can learn to emit a sense of charm, health, energy, intelligence - all the qualities that are desirable in a woman. And that doesn't have to change a whit as you grow older.
But a woman who has maintained her appearance over the years has usually put some thought behind it. Her own awareness of what she has achieved, her self-confidence and self-acceptance, contribute to a presence that is compelling. It isn't that she looks great despite a few creases on her face. Every laugh line is a tale, each wrinkle holds a secret.
I think I am going to give this a go in 2012 and copy some of the stretches and daily routines she advocates - although rising early and greeting the sun is so much easier to do in Malibu than in Norwich. 2012 is shaping up to be a very exciting year for me and I really want to have the energy to really tackle all the challenges and exciting projects that I know are there.
One of the most exciting things is the Historical Sauces which I have written about several times already. We are thrilled that we are going to be stocking Besame cosmetics and What Katie Did stockings and tights. Gemma and Kerry have both written about our plans and every time I read their posts I get more excited.
I hope you all have a great New Year's Eve and a fabulous 2012. Cheers!
Source: Angela Lansbury's Positive Moves (1990)