In this month’s issue of More magazine, Ronald Reagan‘s daughter strips down for the camera. She is 58. This isn’t the first time Patti Davis has been photographed naked. At 42, she posed for Playboy. And while posing nude isn’t exactly a novel idea, her thoughts on body image — particularly as a recovering addict — are.
Her body is beautiful — and not just because wow — but because of what she’s put it through.
I was 15 when I discovered both pharmaceutical amphetamines and tiny white tablets of speed, concocted in home labs or garages and sold on the street. The sound of pills rattling in a bottle was a lullaby to the pain in my soul. Over the years, I went on from speed to coke, and by the time I was in my twenties, I was in trouble. My body was wasted, my muscles thin and barely visible…
I risked everything in my teens and twenties. I risked my health and even my life. I got both back through determination and hard work. I’ve now learned to respect time as the precious commodity that it is, and I’ve learned to respect my body. I’ve learned to stand in front of the mirror and look at the strength reflected there—the hours of training, the miles of running, the years of distance between the strong woman I am now and the wasted girl I once was.
Davis’ refreshing honesty doesn’t stop there either.
Speaking of plastic surgery, let me answer the question that inevitably comes up: I have had nothing surgical done below the neck, but I did have a face-lift at 50. And frankly, the minute something in that zone starts drooping, I’m going to have it hoisted back up. There is just no reason to not like your face in the mirror. You see it first thing in the morning, and brushing your teeth in the dark is silly.
And that’s probably the most important lesson: do what makes you happy — not what magazines, media, or anyone else says should.