Like the rest of us, Molly Ringwald grew up. The teenage actress who came to prominence in John Hughes’s “Molly Trilogy”—The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Sixteen Candles—has seen the candles on her birthday cake double.
Ringwald has worked hard to keep her youthful joie de vivre—a topic she writes about in Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family, and Finding the Perfect Lipstick (Harper Collins), a guide to beauty, balance, and “not forgetting the part of you that knows what you really want.” The mother of three and honorary New Yorker epitomizes a balanced approach with her equal love for Ashtanga and Artisanal’s cheese fondue. Well+Good recently caught up with Ringwald, who’s playing Shailene Woodley’s mom on the ABC Family hit “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” about what it means to be a grown up.
There are so many books you could have written—a Page Six style tell-all of the Breakfast Club, for one. But your book is about style, aging, and living well. How come?
I was turning forty and feeling like “How is this possible?” which I’m sure so many women feel. But it’s perhaps slightly exaggerated in my case, since because of the movies, I’m associated with being so young. I realized that there was really nothing uplifting and stylish and sexy written for and about women my age. So I decided to write the book I wanted to read.
In the book you say that “pretty” is a state of mind that we lose somewhere between fifteen and thirty-five, and not because of the wrinkles and cellulite. What have we lost?
A lightness, a fearlessness. Life happens. We get hurt, we get busy, we have kids. So much of our focus goes into living for other people and just sticking with the status quo. I suggest doing some soul searching and getting back to what it was that inspired you at a younger age and see how you can incorporate that into who you are now. Essentially marrying your youthful inspiration with the experience and wisdom that comes with age.
You’re candid that exercise is a necessary chore for you. But you’re in the best shape of your life at 42 with three kids. What are you doing?
I think being active is key, and it’s hard not to with three kids. I also work out with my friend Steve Lake, who helped me with the book’s fitness section. We do traditional strength training mixed with cardio. On alternate days, my husband and I run together, and I try to practice yoga a couple of times a week. I eat as healthfully as I can: I watch starches and try to eat a lot of green.
You’ve lived in Los Angeles, Paris, and in New York City. What were your well-being rituals here?
I fell in love with yoga right around the time my first marriage was ending. I started practicing at Jivamukti, and it offered me such an amazing sense of calm and strength. I’ve since practiced other kinds of yoga but always go back to Ashtanga. I also have a friend Alex Auder, who’s an amazing yoga instructor. And I really love Liquiteria juice bar in the East Village. It puts Jamba Juice to shame.
Join Molly Ringwald for a discussion of her book, Getting the Pretty Back, at the Tribeca Barnes and Noble on Tuesday, April 27th at 7:00 p.m.