jolie laide

October 26, 2018

Jolie laide is one of my favourite descriptions, possibly because it’s the face I love most. It’s how the French describe an unconventional beauty, a woman whose crooked teeth, hooded eyes or equine nose bring originality and intrigue to her face. Anjelica Huston and Barbra Streisand are frequently cited. I add Coco Chanel and Diane Vreeland to the list. And Tilda Swinton, too. It’s the ultimate compliment. Pretty, ugly. That your face is confusing, challenging, and that it demands attention, a second, third look. I could apply jolie laide to so many things I love, where the ugliness is what makes the thing beautiful. Big wooly mustard sweaters, blossom from a smoking tree, coral reefs and all of my children’s plump, thick skinned feet. Life is so much more interesting when it’s jolie laide.


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