The main source of Meg Ryan's beauty lies in a refreshing contradiction:
She doesn't give her looks a lot of thought.
ln fact, talking about them at ail feels "weird" to this frank,
exuberant 26-year-old best known for her bravura performance in the hit
movie When Harry Met Sally. . . . Ques-tions concerning almost any aspect
of her ap-pearance are countered with contagious laughter and seJf-deprecating
answers. "If I can be on a list of America's JO most beautiful women,
it should give everyone hope. Imean it!"
Ryan didn't have to endure the standard teenage traumas over her face
or figure. Apparently the Ryan household found cerebral pursuits ("lots
of reading") and physical activity more interesting anyway. "I
didn 't experience any of the typical adolescent self-loathing or self-love.
I knew my looks weren't exactly offensive. I guess I thought then, as
I do now, that I was, well, adequate."
Actually, Ryan has been giving some serious thought to self-image lately,
thanks to a new role. ln director Oliver Stone's film The Doors, about
rock music icon Jim Morrison and his band, she plays Morrison's common-law
"She was a beautiful girl-but she depended on her looks too much
-they were her only form of self-defense," says Ryan of the willowy
blonde who eventually died of a drug overdose. "There was a lot of
talk about equality for women in the '60s. But really it was a very sexist
world, especially in the rock sub-culture. Playing her, l've learned that
beauty has to do with how much you like yourself, how you perceive yourself.
I also understand that's easy to say but sometimes hard to do."
Good health, Ryan states firmly, matters more to her than trying to look
movie-star glamorous. "I have no set workout routine, but I try to
do something every day. If l'm in the city, I'll go to the gym and use
At her house in Montana, she takes walks, climbs hills, and rides her
horse, Jupiter Joy. Ryan's skin- and haircare routines are minimal - but
she follows them faithfully. "For my complexion, I drink lots of
water, especially when l'm in that Los Angeles air! And I always use a
moisturizer." She also keeps her skin healthy by taking a break from
cosmetics off-camera, and once a month, she makes sure to head to the
hair salon for heavy-duty conditioning. As she' s about to take off for
her day' s work on The Doors, she wonders if she might need some emergency
beauty care soon: "Yesterday we filmed a scene where I had to be
inside a closet that catches fire. But first. of course, they covered
me from head to toe with this sticky fire-retardant gel - I don 't know
yet how my skin and hair are going to react. Can you imagine?!"