As you know, last Friday I was in a ballet performance called “Das kleine Schwarze/ The Riot of Spring” being the story of Coco Chanel’s and Igor Strawinsky’s life. I was very surprised about an essay by Coco Chanel about style and beauty printed in the little brochure I bought to follow the dancer’s acting.
In order to that I translated it (as close to the original as I could) to share this with you. Consider the fact that she lived from 1883 until 1971 and this article might date in the twenties or thirties…
Style and Beauty
The shape is more important than the face, and even more important than the shape are the instruments to keep it. More important than all those three is the joy of living due to someone’s own physique, and this can only be prevented by a good health. Find out what you love doing and then do it. If you might say you can’t, then this is just the confession that you are not about to keep your own body in a state to play the part you desire for it. One is only living once, so likewise one might rather be amusing anyway.
I prefer charming manners for women, a charming way to talk, a charming attitude, a charming way to dance rather than simply a classic beauty. Classic beauty can be very mindless, if you are standing outside a museum.
A pretty face might be very inappropriate regarding the inner mood. I want a face to express something, to simply and correctly inform about the personality. Of course, if you can be everything together and beautiful as well, then you have been the target of divine munificence.
Do watch how a woman entering a room attracts attention. How she walks, how she sits down, how she uses gestures in a conversation. She may not be pretty, in comparison of classic scales be purely ugly, but in her character, in her gestures lies some style and something that is handsome as not being just decorative attachment but rather being part of her nature.
Why is she the most attractive among 50, 100 others, she may be tall or short, dark-haired or blond, athletic or feminine? Because she knows how she likes to walk, why she wants to sit down and what her gestures refer to. She is herself.
If a woman wants to keep her shape/representation [not sure what is definitely meant] she should be engaged in something, should be allowed to work. Then she will be happy, less timid, and this will be reflected in her shape/representation. Men prefer capable women. She is relieved of the fear she had when being economically dependent and in order to that she possesses more pure beauty.
What is literally a bad representation? That’s a character being afraid even in every single limb. Such an anxiety of mood is a result of not having given your own body what it needs. A blushing school girl not having done her home works has the same expression like a woman’s body not having learned what nature is.