Sunday, July 22, 2007

Babe of the day: Phoebe Cates

After my recent "babe of the day" post with a young Diane Lane, I started thinking about contemporary famous actresses whose beauty evolution I can contrast with her beauty trajectory. Diane Lane's beauty was like a flare. It burned magnesium bright in her youth for a preciously short period, then 'burned out' and settled into ordinariness in her mid-late 20s, very much like Brooke Shields - the epitome of a dried-out former beauty.

So, who of Diane Lane's peers has matured well? Who has looked just as good in her 30s and even early 40s as in her teens and early 20s? I say Phoebe Cates.

Cates was born in 1963 and Lane was born in 1965. In their late teens to early twenties, they weren't in the same class. Diane Lane owned an intimidating, preternatural beauty, while Phoebe Cates was a pretty girl in an accessible girl-next-door way. In her most famous movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, filmed when she was 18, Cates's looks were still somewhat awkward and immature. If as teenagers, Diane Lane was an 11-on-a-scale-of-10 who stunned, then Phoebe Cates was a cute 7 or 8, albeit a cute 7 or 8 with a 10 body and hair, and gorgeously smooth contours. In their 20s, Cates's beauty matured and leveled out while Lane's rare beauty flared bright and faded.

Check out these pictures of Phoebe Cates then and now (from the excellent gallery at Phoebe Cates the One and Only):

Cates looked her best in her mid-late 20s into her beginning 30s when she admirably (and sadly for her fans) retired to be a mom. With age and motherhood, Cates's figure is now more matronly than girlish, but her beauty has retained its essence and mellowed and ripened. Her looks as a maturing woman are the best a man can hope for when he marries the pretty girl he'll spend the rest of his life with. Actor Kevin Kline, Phoebe Cates's husband of 18 years, is a lucky man.



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