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Beautiful, witty, talented and compassionate Elizabeth Taylor died yesterday. One of our greatest film stars, worldwide celebrity and AIDS activist, she lived a fascinating, colorful, and public life from her early days as a child star until her last day on earth.

I have always thought that Liz was stunningly beautiful, and here’s why:

  1. Her gorgeous, almond shaped, violet eyes, with a dark luxurious fringe of eyelashes were her most memorable feature. The contrast of the dark lashes increased the intensity of her unusual eye color. The darkening of irises at the outside rim, visually increased the whiteness surrounding them. The eyes are our most expressively human trait, and as humans we are instinctively drawn to them.

  2. Dark thick eyebrows, not over-plucked, they start and stop where they are supposed to, with a beautiful arch in exactly the right spot. Here’s a woman who knew how to shape them right.

  3. Classic oval facial shape, with great bone structure. Elizabeth’s high, round cheekbones were the widest part of her face, giving her the “triangle of youth”. Although I thought she had a little too much plastic surgery in her later years, as a young woman, she was perfect.

  4. Facial symmetry is the hallmark of youth, and Liz had marked facial symmetry with the ideal proportions.

  5. Hair that is a dark, jet black naturally turns a beautiful silver gray or white with aging, as did hers. Those of us with brown hair just go drab.

  6. In her youth, her naturally pale porcelain skin gave a striking contrast with her jet black hair, eyebrows and lashes, and also with her luminous eye color, enhancing the effect of each. If I had been her dermatologist, I would have warned her not to overdo the sun during the late 60’s and 70’s because you could see the effects in her later years.

  7. In her heyday, Liz’s measurements were reported, and I believe it, as 36C-21-36, or a waist to hip ratio of 0.58. Studies show that the waist-hip ratio of women is very strongly correlated to the perception of attractiveness across all cultures. Although there are some cultural differences, women with a 0.7 waist-hip ratio are invariably rated as more attractive by men, regardless of their culture. This ratio has a very high correlation to female fertility, and unknowingly guide men’s evolutionary choices. And yes, men are usually guided unknowingly by their evolutionary choices. And at that time she was even better than the ideal and she was not surgically enhanced. Unfair.

  8. A naturally graceful, sensual way of carrying herself, combined with that body—look out.

  9. Elizabeth was a serious actress with a varied range, combining a knockout punch of classic beauty and amazing talent.

  10. She actively came out in support of AIDS research and treatment in the early frightening days before it was socially acceptable to mention the disease or associate with AIDS patients. I remember the media frenzy and her pubic support of Rock Hudson, her co-star in Giant, when he publicly revealed his approaching death from AIDS and his homosexuality. She organized “A Commitment to Life”, a celebrity event to benefit AIDS research and then helped organize the very influential worldwide AIDS organization AMFAR.

    Eight marriages, 4 children, 9 grandchildren, 70 film credits, 3 Oscar nominations, 2 Oscar wins, multiple medical crises, 3 hip replacements, benign brain tumor, tracheotomy, congestive heart failure, struggles with her weight, religious conversion, addiction, recovery, tireless philanthropist, charity organizer and supporter, and owner of some of the world’s most magnificent jewelry. And she found time to start her hugely successful fragrance line. An amazing life, and all lived in the public eye.

    Though it all Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor didn’t take herself too seriously, she just put one foot in front of the other. When she fell, she got up again. Through good choices, bad choices, scandals, failings, successes, happiness and heartbreak, she kept on going. There is a lesson in that.



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