Annie likes to tease her mother about being retired. “I think what’s happening is that the more I like me, the less I want to pretend to be other people,” Curtis says. “I would like to say I’m retired. I’m not sure I can afford to be retired. But if I could, I’d retire in a heartbeat. A lot of people stay at the party too long.” She stops, suddenly sure of what she intends to say. “I think there’s a point where you become a caricature of yourself. And it would be very easy for me to become that. For ten years there, you would draw the caricature of me in some leotard with my breasts hanging out. I don’t think that would be the case now.”
Or at least, that’s what she’s hoping. Already, Curtis regrets that when her six-year-old son, Tom, hits adolescence, his friends will be able to rent a movie that shows her topless. “I have to hope that I’ll be so far out of show business by then. I hope they’re like, ‘Jamie who? Oh, yeah, she writes kiddie books, huh?’”
The photographs on these pages are Curtis’ effort to jumpstart that transition. To have a life beyond the movie business, she figures, you’ve got to find out who you are without the stylists, the Harry Winston jewels and the fancy borrowed outfits. You’ve got to be able to look in the mirror and recognize yourself.
“Hopefully, in two years, when I promote my next book, I will literally be able to look like just me,” she says. “There is a me that I will get to that will say to the editors of magazines, ‘This is what I wear, this is how I wear my hair, this is the color I wear on my toes, this is how my hands look.’ I want to do my part, as I develop the consciousness for it, to stop perpetuating the myth.”
She glances down at her feet, shod in designer sandals, and smiles. “I’m going to look the way God intends me to look,” she says. “With a little help from Manolo Blahnik.”
This article appeared in the September 2002 issue of MORE
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