WHO caught up with our Most Beautiful cover star Rebeca Gibney and she revealed everything from how she came to her confidence, overcoming a tragic past and her aim to preach kindness.
We’re celebrating you as one of our most beautiful people—so what’s your secret?
It’s weird because for so long I didn’t feel beautiful at all ... which is why this is so liberating, for me to take my makeup off
because most of my adult life I thought I wasn’t attractive unless I had a full face of makeup. And I still have that sort of inadequacy. I remember when I was about 22 going to a shop and someone saying, “Are you that famous person? No, it’s not you. She’s way more glamorous and you are quite ordinary.” And I went, “Argh!” I felt embarrassed about being ordinary. Then, as I’ve gotten older, I went, “But ordinary is beautiful, too.” And I can sometimes look fantastic with makeup and hair and all that and I can sometimes look crap, as we all can. If I can make people feel beautiful by saying, “Be true to yourself because that’s beautiful,” then I’ve done a good job. How did it feel to see the photos of you without makeup? I didn’t want to look at them initially. But again, then I think it’s that beauty of being older, beauty of being a certain age, I don’t focus on the wrinkles, I look at the smile ... I look at the beautiful lighting and I love the photographer and I love the people around me and I think the photos represent who I am and where I’m at.
At 53 and bare-faced, are you feeling more beautiful than ever?
Yes, I think I am. I occasionally look back at photos of me in my 20s and 30s and I was so angst-ridden then about how I looked, and I looked great. And I feel so sorry for that person because I think, “Wow, you did look good and you never ever acknowledged it.” I’d never want to go back there—53 rocks.
Have you ever used Botox?
Oh yeah. Yeah! I’ve had Botox. It’s worn off as you can see, but occasionally I’ll go, “Oh yeah, I’ll go in and get a bit of that.” I don’t have a problem with it. I don’t think I’ll ever ... I mean, I like my lines. There’s also a point where time marches on and pretty soon it’s marching all over your face. At 65, 70 … I want to be looking like I’m a happy, healthy 65-70-year-old who is looking after myself.
What propelled you into the confident woman you are today?
I think having gone through a lot in my life, having been raised in a fairly dysfunctional family and having seen domestic violence, having been around the world with World Vision and seen real suffering. I always have been a glass-half-full person—living in the moment—today could be the last day so I want to live it like it’s my first. I constantly feel blessed. And I’m constantly being rewarded. Today I got to have someone fuss all over me and put on awesome clothes and be in front of a camera and have a lot of fun—how many people get to do that? My life is a really lucky one.
Outside of the physical, what do you believe is your most beautiful quality?
Hopefully kindness. I try to be kind to every single person that I meet. And compassion, because that’s what my mother is and my mother always taught me that. Even people that do you wrong, ultimately try to be kind to them. As I’ve gotten older that’s become even more prevalent because I think there’s so much suffering going on. My thing is to treat everyone the way you would have them treat you. Be generous and kind even if it’s just a hug or a smile, or “I’ll buy you a cup of coffee,” or whatever. Hopefully, that’s my best thing.
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