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After taking a bit of a break from Hollywood, award-winning actress Julia Roberts is back on the big screen in the film adaptation of the best-selling memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love. This is a mature role for the mother of three, who primarily stays out of the limelight. In a day and age where so many young female celebrities live to drink, spend money and party, Roberts is a breath of fresh air.
The first time I saw Julia Roberts was in Mystic Pizza in 1988. She was 21, beautiful and funny, and at 19, I admired her. As I've gone from young woman to forty-something mom, I've watched Roberts develop and grow in her roles and personal life. In 22 years, she has not disappointed, but intrigued and entertained.
For the next 13 years, Roberts was a media favorite, making headlines for infamously dating and dumping handsome celeb men (like Liam Neeson) in the late '80s, a string of broken engagements (to Dylan McDermott and Kiefer Sutherland) by the early '90s, a failed marriage at 27 to Lyle Lovett, and a long-term relationship with hunk Benjamin Bratt. Throughout her romantic roller coaster ride, Roberts juggled her complicated love life while moving up Hollywood's A-list, winning a Golden Globe for Steel Magnolias, receiving an Oscar nod for 1990's romantic comedy Pretty Woman and winning an Oscar in 2001 for her performance in Erin Brockovich
Roberts' life took a major turn in when she met (during the filming of The Mexican in 2001) and wed cameraman Danny Moder while, they wed privately in 2002 sans bridesmaids, groomsmen and media- this marks the beginning of Roberts' quest for a life outside of the limelight. In Nov. 2004, Julia Roberts added mother to her resume, giving birth to twins Phinnaeus and Hazel.
After the birth of her children, work slowed down tremendously as Roberts decided to dedicate her time to raising the twins, taking on only a few select work projects before adding son Henry to her brood in 2007. All the while she maintained a low profile in the media, successfully managing to keep her family life private and raise her kids outside of the media spotlight.
Now, in 2010, Julia Roberts and I are both moms in our early 40s and I'm still a fan. I find it refreshing that at 42, Roberts, is just a little curvier, looks great for her age and shuns plastic surgery, telling Elle magazine “I want my kids to know when I'm pissed, when I'm happy and when I'm confounded.” That statement itself sends such a positive message to women worldwide about beauty, age and self-acceptance. It's clear that Roberts has her priorities straight: Family first, acting second and aging gracefully.
Twenty plus years later, so far so good for Julia Roberts. She continues to be an inspiration to real women everywhere, and this fellow mom will continue to be a fan.
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