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Emma Stone: Confidence Is the Key to Beauty

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Dale Robinette/DreamWorks

Emma Stone looks totally gorgeous when she’s ruling the red carpet, but playing determined writer Skeeter Phelan in The Help gave the actress a new perspective on the importance of inner beauty.

In an exclusive interview with, Stone explains her character’s evolution. “I think at the beginning, understandably, she is deeply affected by her appearance and her mother’s disapproval of it,” she says. But she “was lucky enough to have [her maid] Constantine, who reminded her that she was beautiful and smart and could choose her life.”

Skeeter’s plight is a familiar one, according to The Help‘s hair department head, Camille Friend. “So many of us grow up and say our hair’s too curly or too straight. We’re constantly told in our lives we’re not good enough based on our hair … Skeeter’s the same girl,” she says.

To show the character growing stronger, Friend used two different wigs to create Stone’s look in the film. “As Skeeter became more confident, we lengthened her hair,” says Friend. “She wore her hair naturally and her clothes got a little better. She wore heels and started putting on a little more makeup.”

And although Skeeter’s self-esteem begins to flourish as she changes her look, at the end of the day, Stone says it’s not outer beauty that makes the difference. “Confidence is the only key. I know a lot of people who aren’t traditionally ‘beautiful’ — not symmetrical or perfect-bodied or perfect-skinned. But none of that matters because all that shines through is their confidence, humor and comfort with themselves,” she says. “I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself.”

–Kim Peiffer