Filipina Twins – Part 3

If different, why have your ideas about beauty changed over the years?

Pacita: Well, the make-up has changed and improved. And one thing, I just love perfumes. My mother too loved perfumes.

Teresa: And I did too. But it was too expensive. I just couldn’t afford it.

P: Before I got married, I became a stewardess for Northwest Orient Airlines, based in Japan. I got tired of acting and I had made enough money, so I told my mother that it wasn’t my cup of tea. I was an independent actress because I would refuse to go to bed with the producer or director so I could be in a film. So if people knew that Pacita Francisco had a film going, it was because of her acting and nothing else.

T: We were brought up very strict.

P: My rule was that I wouldn’t have anything to do with people that I work for. I’d rather go out with people that I didn’t work with. That was my standing rule. Another thing my mother always said, “If you’re going to accept being an actress, make sure you give 100% or nothing.” That stuck in my mind.

Pacita on her wedding day

T: The only man in my life. I was 15 when I married him. He was 24. I got married young because of the War. We thought we were going to die.

P: My father had to write a letter of consent for the priest because she was a minor.

T: But even with Papa’s letter, they wouldn’t. So my husband said, “We get married in court, and then we go to confession.” And that’s a mortal sin. So we did. I was married January 6 in court. I was 15, and he was 23 ½. Then we went to confession and “Oh! Que barbaridad!” And my mother said, “You are not husband and wife in the eyes of God.” So I had to sleep with her in the bed. Then the priest married us on the 26th. We got married in Church and after that, it was okay.

P: But they had to move out of the house because I was so innocent. I thought, “What is this man doing here with my twin sister? “

T: Pacita would always come with us.

P: I was the chaperone. (laughs) I took care of her, you see? I just couldn’t accept it. Then my mother really got worried, so she told my brother-in-law, “You and Teresa had better go because Pacita’s getting out of hand.”

And do you have any beauty secrets you use now?

P: Yes, when you clean your face at night, wipe away all the make-up and everything and just leave it as it is. This climate here is horrible for the skin. It’s so dry. People here have wrinkles because of the weather. In Asia because of the heat, natural oils come out. Don’t put any more skin freshener (astringent). Just leave it as it is.

 

*********

 

Teresa Hampton’s regimen…

Daytime

Bare Escentuals

Vitamin Skin Rev-ver Upper (“like a multi-vitamin supplement”)

Mineral Powder Foundation

Powder

Rouge

 

Night time

Lancome…

Comforting Milky Cleansing Cream

Toner Freshener

Absolue Eye Precious Cells (under eye)

Absolue Night Precious Cells (for face)

 

She did not mention the cream for 50 times of scrubbing.

She thought that you wanted to follow her regimen, so she recommended you go to the mall to get the right color of foundation…


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“That’s what I want…”

What did beauty mean to you when you were in your 20s?

I was very aware of my appearance, and I’ve been in theater. I grew up being an only child, and I was never happy with that. I spent hours in my bedroom creating situations. I had lots of clothes. I would dress up by the mirror, and I would be all these different people.

I was always very conscious of how I looked. I was very insecure as a young woman. I always wanted to be 6 feet tall, red hair and this svelte woman because I love design and clothing. Well, I’m this short, stumpy person, and some of the clothes are certainly not fitting. But my sense of that has always been with me, and I try to get as close to that as possible. A lot of my appearance in clothing were kind of tailored. I loved wool and tweeds. I came from Chicago where it was very cold. So I loved that clothing.

"Gigi" - Summer Stock Performance

The lipstick always had to match what I was wearing. I remember I had an American Beauty red coat, and I had that lipstick. At that time, that was a very popular shade, kind of a fuchsia. My rouge had to match. Everything had to match. One thing I remember was that you never wore a gold ring with silver earrings. You always matched. And then of course, I loved hats. And we always wore hats. No it’s kind of extinct. I still wear them, but not as much.

I came from the era when you wore the gloves and the shoes. It was a whole picture. A whole outfit, and I liked that.

I moved to California in 1976, and very funny, from the moment I moved here, I stopped wearing a girdle. And I haven’t worn a girdle since. I don’t even wear a bra. I haven’t worn one in years, which I think is funny because I used to wear a girdle. I was nothing there. I was flat. I wore zipped up garment. I haven’t worn anything since I’ve been here. So I don’t know if they call that laid back, but I’m much happier this way.

There were times when I felt pretty. And there were times when I didn’t feel pretty.

What does beauty mean to you now?

I have mixed feelings. I once saw a photograph of an old woman…just lines all over her face. And I looked at that and I thought, That’s probably one of the most beautiful pictures that I’ve ever seen. And yet I don’t want to look like that.

"The Miracle Worker" - Summer Stock Performance

But then there’s another part of me that will not go gray. And I am affected by the fact that I look older. Sometimes I feel good about that. But I think where it really matters is not really anymore in my physical presence as much as it is in my mind. It’s my thinking that’s much more important. And what I’ve learned and realized is that thinking in a youthful manner – and I think it’s my spirit – makes people think you’re younger than you are. It’s all mental. It has nothing to do with my physical appearance. But consequently, I think it does affect your physical appearance because you radiate what you are, what you feel.

Why have you had that change of focus (about your ideas of beauty)?

I think it’s necessary for the person that I am. I don’t think it could have been anything else because my uppermost important feature as a human being is to be healthy, mentally healthy. And I have striven for that. I haven’t always made it, but that’s my ultimate goal.

"The Happiest Millionaire" - Summer Stock Performance

I have three sons, and I’ve said to them, “I’m going to get older, and as I get older, I’m gonna get a little crazy. So you have to ignore me.” And they’re listening (she laughs).

I came from a very neurotic mother and sometimes the tendency for the neurosis does seep in. And I hear myself and think that’s the most frightening thing in the world because you don’t even realize what has seeped in and what you have to block. So you have to be very strong and really want to change and really want to grow. And that’s what I want.

Sarah, 80

San Francisco, October 2010

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