Cosmopolitan – June 2023

Sarah Ferguson

June 1, 2023

Christina Ricci never wanted to play the leading lady. “The whole idea of being an ingenue had a powerless connotation to it,” she tells us. “I wanted to play interesting, dynamic characters that had agency and were provocative.”

While her strong, complicated roles on-screen have been empowering fans to embrace their otherness for decades, off-screen it’s only recently that Christina has felt totally comfortable with her own individuality. It’s come with age, she says, citing becoming a mother and entering her 40s as having helped her feel more secure in her body and sense of self. The current state of the film industry, which has evolved to be more open-minded than it was when she came onto the scene in the early ’90s, is a factor as well. “When I was younger, being ‘specific’ wasn’t so great—it meant I didn’t measure up to the standard,” she says. “But now that I’m older and the world has changed a little bit, there’s a lot more value in being different, and on your talents, and what you contribute to the world.”

Breaking free of past insecurities and self-consciousness has allowed her to ground herself and focus on the things that matter. For Christina, that’s exploring deliciously weird characters on set, hanging out with her two kids and husband at home, and taking care of her body.

These are the rituals, styles, and convictions that make her feel most confident, along with her advice for younger generations on finding that confidence in themselves.

How do you cultivate confidence?
I try to ground myself in my own experience and shut out any self-consciousness—the voices of what other people might think. Everybody is thinking so much about themselves that, generally, no one is as critical as you are of yourself. If you can, just stay in your own moment and focus on what’s important to you and what you’re trying to accomplish, instead of worrying about others.

What are three words that empower you?
Smart, strong, and interested. An interest in the world makes for a more interesting person.

Describe a head-to-toe look that makes you feel like your best self.
For beauty, I love a smokey eye. Part of why I started doing it is if you have a smokey eye, it distracts from other things. Now I feel like it’s a look I can rely on. With clothes, I’m most confident when I dress like a little boy. I feel like I’m not going to get unwanted attention, and I’m able to function and move. It’s important to me that I’m physically capable and don’t feel hampered by anything.

What rituals make you feel good?
Taking care of my skin. I’ve always done a lot of maintenance work and made the time to ensure that it’s healthy and nourished. I love body oils and lotions that moisturize, and scrubs that make my skin feel nice and soft.

I’ve also been waxing since I was 20 years old. Today I go to European Wax Center. I love that no matter what I need to put on for a shoot, I don’t have to worry—I’m confident.

Based on your own self-confidence journey, what advice would you give your younger co-stars?
I always tell them to lean into what makes them different, what makes them irreplaceable. In terms of feeling comfortable in your body, I tell them: “I remember being young and being so insecure and obsessed with my body.” I think learning to love who you are in the moment and in the aging process can fill you with confidence. You are exactly who you’re meant to be. At the end of the day, you’re going to remember your experiences. To allow something like too much consciousness over your body to keep you from having fun—it will seem so pointless when you’re older.

Script developed by Never Enough Design