Pretty in Print: Molly Ringwald Shares Her Secrets in New Lifestyle Guide
Do you feel like you know Molly Ringwald?
It's OK -- we do, too (but not in a creepy way). Part of what propelled her to '80s teen queen status was her relatableness: She's been the misunderstood popular girl; the quirky creative girl who didn't fit in with the cool crowd; and the seemingly invisible girl who pined after the high school god (Jake Ryan!).
But now Ringwald, 42, is very much a woman, with a husband and three kids, a role on ABC Family's "Secret Life of the American Teenager," and now a new memoir and lifestyle guide. We caught up with Ringwald to chat about post-Brat Pack life and, of course, what she really thought of the "Pretty in Pink" dress. An edited version of the conversation follows.
ParentDish: Your new book, "Getting the Pretty Back: Friendship, Family and the Perfect Lipstick," came out this week. What prompted you to write it?
Molly Ringwald: I was turning 40 years old ... and I had a certain amount of angst about it and what that meant to me and I kind of just decided that I wanted to write the kind of book I wanted to read, which is just sort of fun and sexy and colorful, and kind of write a book about being an It woman instead of an It girl.
PD: You've worked with expert makeup artists since you were a kid, so what's your best beauty tip?
MR: The main thing I decided after many years is less is more. The older I get, the less makeup I get and the more I concentrate on skincare and just keeping my skin in really great shape. I think the better your skin looks, the better you look. It's kind of like a great barometer of how healthy you are. I feel like I look better with less makeup and I never would have thought that as a young person -- I mean, I really packed it on like every other teenager!
PD: Did you ever find your perfect lipstick?
MR: That's still an eternal search!
PD: Your book includes a section on parenting advice you should ignore. Did you learn this the hard way?
MR: I think it's really important to have confidence in you and your own parenting skills, and just trust that you know what's best for your child.
PD: What's it like playing a parent to teenagers on TV now that you're a mom?
MR: It's a little bit in the future for me because my own kids are still so young, so it's not quite on my radar yet. It certainly gives me a taste of what's to come and makes me realize how important steady communication is.
PD: What else are you up to?
MR: I'm recording a jazz album right now, which is really fun. It's mostly standards and one song that I wrote with my pianist and musical director, Peter Smith. That will probably be out next fall.
PD: This year at the Oscars you were part of a tribute to John Hughes. His films are so iconic, but are you totally sick of talking about them?
MR: I'm really proud of the movies that I did and I was really, really thrilled that the Academy chose to honor him in that way because I think he's had such an incredible impact on film making. It was an amazing night and really emotional. I'm really proud of the movies, so there's nothing wrong with talking about them.
PD: The prom dress you wore in "Pretty in Pink" is certainly, ahem, memorable, and it's always prompted strong reactions. Did you like it?
MR: I was not crazy about it at the time. I think it was sort of not exactly what I expected -- not what I had in mind. But now I look at it and it just seems so iconic. It's so kind of odd and strange that it's certainly memorable, so I like it for that. I really wish I had it. I have my entire wardrobe from "Pretty in Pink" except for that dress.
PD: Do you have the infamous pair of underwear from "Sixteen Candles"?
MR: No, I don't have the underwear! [Laughs] Who knew that those movies were going to become what they, you know ... I had no idea. If I had known, I would have kept more for sure!
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