Fenton Bailey writes from a BlackBerry somewhere in Manila:
Beauty is all-important to Imelda Marcos. The onetime (and still stunning) beauty queen has constructed an entire world view around beauty. Before we sat for a quick interview that lasted three hours, she shared her beauty secret. First, she sits with a small makeup mirror and does her face. Then she takes a look at herself in a full-length mirror to make sure she isn’t wearing two left shoes. After that, she meditates for 10 or 15 minutes. And that, she told me, is the most important beauty tip of all, because it is that inward reflection that turns her incandescent.
And glow she does.
To see Imelda arrive anywhere is quite spectacular. As the car pulls up, someone leaps to open the door and suddenly she is there, shining like the sun. Heads snap so suddenly you’d think their necks would break. Green tends to be her trademark color because, she said, whatever reason Nature decided to paint the trees and the grass and the flowers green was good enough her. She said she just wants to blend in. Fat chance: Cameras are in her face, people clamoring for autographs, handlers holding people at bay. But Imelda floats through all this with a preternatural calm and a twinkle in her eye, perfectly at ease.
It was not always thus. Once a crazed assassin drew a knife and stabbed her. Imelda saw it coming and thought to herself, What on earth is that man doing with such an ugly knife? Why didn’t he make it beautiful by tying a ribbon around it? She doesn’t believe in knives and so has avoided plastic surgery. Instead, she reminded me, beauty comes from the inside out. And Imelda glows with enough star wattage she can probably be seen from outer space. Imeldifique!
– Fenton Bailey