Fight hard for what you want. Find a creative outlet. Keep your kids away from iPads. Have sex (but not every day). The bold and brilliant Salma Hayek shares her rules for ‘imperfect happiness’ with Emily Cronin.
Salma Hayek doesn’t so much enter a room as decant into it. When she appears in the doorway of the South Kensington Club, all conversation pauses as people take in the fact of the actress and her indomitable curves, today clad in head-to-toe-to-handbag Gucci. And then she starts talking about the menopause.
“They don’t tell you the things that can happen,” says Hayek, 49, shaking her head in feigned disbelief. “They send you this questionnaire: Are you losing your hair? Are your nose and your ears growing? Do you have facial hair growing? Are you gaining weight that you cannot get rid of? Are you shrinking? And then they ask, is your vagina dry? And my answer was, ‘If I’m bald, and my nose and my ears are huge, and I have a moustache and a beard, and I cannot lose the weight, and I’m even shorter than I’ve been my whole life, who cares if the vagina is dry? Nobody is gonna come near it!’”
TREAT EVERYONE EQUALLY
“I come from a strange place. My town, Coatzacoalcos, was very rural, but 85% of Mexico’s oil refineries were there during the oil boom. A small group of families, including mine, had access to a much larger world. But it was a small town; you could have a huge mansion with a little shack right next to it. I went to a school that had all kinds of people. I played on the streets with everybody. My mother and father taught me to treat everyone absolutely the same. Don’t separate yourself by class. The most important thing you have to learn is to cherish your humanity and humility. If you detach judgement and just see people, your possibilities of connecting are much stronger.”
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS... AND BACK THEM UP
“When I was pitching Ugly Betty to the US TV networks, I got rejected three times. But I knew I had bought the rights to something that was a phenomenon in the Latino community. It had already been produced in Colombia and Mexico and had worked every time. I went to an agency that represents sponsors with a case study demonstrating how this show could reach the Latino market, and they offered to pay for the whole thing. I went back to ABC with this information, and it was different. The first episode of Ugly Betty had 16 million viewers.”
DON'T BE AFRAID TO FIGHT
“I’ve had to fight very hard for everything I have, but I’m a good strategist. Instead of getting angry, I take the information and find a solution. You have to learn to listen to your instincts. Especially women; we are programmed to diminish our own instincts and vision. You have to be able to block everybody else’s voice so that you can find your own. And then have the curiosity to learn about anything that will support your instinct. Really go and research. And then have the stamina and the stomach to go fight for it.”
Read more of her interview on Red Magazine