After decades in the spotlight, actress Christina Ricci has never felt more comfortable in her own skin. “It’s been a journey with age,” she says. “I try to ground myself in my own experience and shut out the voices of what other people are going to think. If you can just stay in your own moment and focus on what’s important to you, it can be incredibly empowering.”
For Ricci, what matters right now is exploring complex characters at work, spending time with her kids, and being kind to her body. Here are four ways she’s been able to break free of past insecurities and self-consciousness and lean into her individuality.
“I remember being young and so insecure and obsessed with my body,” says Ricci. Like many actresses, she was conditioned to equate her value with her physical appearance. It was when she became a mother that she was finally able to see it as something more than an object to be looked at by others. “I think having kids makes you feel more comfortable in your body,” says Ricci, who has an 8-year-old boy and a 16-month-old girl. “It was capable of making such crazy changes, and then returning back to itself. I felt I could trust it to do what it needed to do.”
Playing Unconventional Roles
For Ricci, becoming a leading lady was never the goal. “The whole idea of being an ingenue had a powerless connotation to it,” she says. “I wanted to play interesting, dynamic characters that had agency and were provocative.” While committing to this path led her to numerous iconic parts, it wasn’t always easy. “I was often discouraged from playing the roles I wanted to, because there was an idea of what a movie star should be,” she says. “Now there are different ideas of what is considered attractive, and there’s no one type that’s acceptable. There’s a lot more value placed on being individuals and different, and that’s been great for me.”
Enjoying the Aging Process
“As a society, we’re so obsessed with youth, sex, and the female form,” Ricci says. But in her 40s, she says, she’s been able to break free of past insecurities and self-consciousness. “As you get older, I think people start to value different things about you—your talents, what you’re contributing,” she says. “That allows you to value those things as well and to be more centered on the things that matter in life.”
Looking back, she says, many of the things she felt unassured about then seem so pointless. As she tells younger co-stars, “I think learning to love who you are in the moment can fill you with confidence. You are exactly who you’re meant to be. At the end of the day, it’s your experiences that you’ll remember.”
Maintaining Her Skin
Along with her dark hair, blunt bangs, and striking eyes, Ricci’s flawless porcelain skin is part of her trademark. “I’ve always been someone who’s done a lot of maintenance work—I take care of my skin and make the time to ensure that it’s healthy and nourished,” she says. She loves taking baths (“it’s my favorite thing”) and using luxe body oils and scrubs. Another way she keeps her skin smooth is through regular waxes at European Wax Center. “I’ve been waxing since I was 20 years old,” she says. “I love that no matter what I need to put on for a shoot, I don’t have to worry—I’m confident.”
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Art Direction: Armine Altiparmakian & Sabrina Contratti; Creative Production: Hannah Miller; Talent: Jennifer McLawhorn; Styling: Cristina Ehrlich; Hair: Mark Hampton; Makeup: Allan Avendaño; Manicurist: Zola Ganzorigt; Local Production: Hyperion
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4 Things That Make Christina Ricci Feel Authentically Herself