Deborah Hutton speaks on life, age and balance
HERS are features familiar, assembled in a symphony of symmetry.
The hair, the eyes, the teeth, the body, the smile.
Ahh, the smile.
But Deborah Hutton is in her 50s now; a time, she says, to revel at last in a great unburdening.
A time to shrug off any anxiety over her looks, to realise the race to flawlessness is unwinnable.
To let go of the ridiculous pressure to pursue perfection.
In short, a time to stop worrying about the packaging because its contents are what matters.
It's a lesson for us all, but a big one for a former model and fashion and beauty magazine editor.
"Look, I created a routine in my life of eating well but I'm seriously no angel," she said over the phone from her Sydney home.
"I love entertaining...I had a big lunch here on the weekend and it all ended in a big mess (laughs).
"But I go to the gym during the week and I generally look after myself.
"And you know, I stick a hair pack on every now and then and have a facial a couple of times a year, I don't drive myself crazy.
"The best thing about getting into your 50s is you don't care much anymore. That's one of the best things about getting older, that freedom and acceptance you have about yourself.
"My weight is always something I have to watch but I'm not neurotic about it. You've got to accept yourself for who you are sometimes.
"It took me many years to get there. And when you're in a profession which concentrates on your physical attributes, there's always a struggle to be your best and appear as if you've got it all together.
"But now, building my own business, it's not about me, it's about what I feel.
"And it's the happiest I've been."
Happy too is the coincidence that she chose this time in her life to launch a new online community for over-45s, Balance By Deborah Hutton.
Its aim, she says, is to inspire women to be a better version of themselves. And there's not a wrinkle cream or cosmetic surgeon in sight.
"There's a lot of change for women in that 45-plus group, time to re-evaluate and think about things we don't give enough consideration to.
"We've built (the website) around eight key fundamental areas like home, body, nutrition, job, finances, beliefs, relationships, life coaching.
"It's about finding a recipe for balance, and giving women advice through mentors and coaches, building programs they can subscribe to.
"There is a lot of information on there, and much of it is on video."
Deborah has recorded 60 interviews in the past 11 months with people like Rebecca Gibney, Julia Morris, Mary Coustas, Kathy Lette, Sonia Kruger, Olivia Newton-John, Layne Beachley, Natalie Cook and Kerryn Phelps.
The latter two offer subscriber programs on goal-setting and sleep for wellness respectively, where people sign up for regular video emails of encouragement and advice.
The site attracts 65,000 new visitors per month and is heavily driven by social media.
A survey of its 9000 followers recently found 94% of them changed something about their life after reading about it on Balance.
It turns one on October and will launch an e-magazine to celebrate.
Deborah must battle some days to find her own balance, with a schedule that also includes hosting appearances, charity work and a role fronting the Foxtel Movie Show.
"I love it.
"I get to go to a few movie screenings and the highlights are meeting people like Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Sandra Bullock.
"The junkets are hilarious. You do the red carpet, then you sit there in a beautiful hotel room where they've put up a black curtain and a poster and you've got eight minutes.
"The first time I did it, I thought 'this is too funny'.
"I met Cate Blanchett the other day, I've been a fan of hers for years, and she was lovely.
"They are just normal people doing an abnormal job."
CLIVE Palmer and Tony Abbott, you have disappointed Deborah Hutton.
She did not hold back when asked about the massive changes Clive Palmer has made to the former Hyatt Regency at Coolum.
Now the Palmer Coolum Resort, it hits the headlines these days for its growing dinosaur collection, not its now-severed ties with the long-running PGA golf championships.
The summer event was, past tense, one of the most anticipated and popular events on the local calendar and one which drew Deborah, a keen golfer, to the Coast for eight years running.
"I think it's really sad on many levels," she said of the change.
"I feel for all the pro golfers, it was the highlight for the year. They would take the kids and their families to chill out…and now that's all come to an end.
"I have stayed there once since it became the Palmer resort, and I was very unimpressed.
"And I've had many golfing friends say they wouldn't go back. It's such a shame.
"As a golfer, it was a fantastic course and that's not what it's about anymore. Clive Palmer clearly doesn't respect the game of golf and we've lost something as a community and something we've grown to love.
"It's very sad for the area, it brought a lot of people to the Coast."
We happened to speak on the same day Tony Abbott announced his new cabinet, featuring just one woman, and Bronwyn Bishop as speaker.
"I think that's quite sad. The better way of business or politics is when you've got a good balance between men and women.
"It's not about competing with each other, it comes down to working together. And we think differently, so when we come together you get better outcomes.
"But politics is a tough sport. Could you be a politician? I couldn't. But (speaker) Bronwyn Bishop has a lot of dignity around her, that was a fantastic appointment, and Julie Bishop is great."
MARRIAGE EQUALITY: It is inevitable, it has to come and I think generally Australia wants it. I think of the people I know and the unfairness of it, everyone has the right to be happy.
AGEING: It's about acceptance. As much as we try to preserve whatever we've got, we have to be careful not to annihilate it with fillers. But everyone should do their own thing.
DATING: I interviewed Candace Bushnell the other day and she talked about internet dating. We've all gone down that path and I have a few stories, but they're probably best saved for dinner parties.
ANOTHER NUDE MAGAZINE COVER: (Women's Weekly editor) Helen McCabe said I should do it when I turn 60, I said yeah right (laughs). I learned a lot about my resilience and how critical women can be of themselves and each other. It (backlash over minor sunspot airbrushing on the Jan 2012 cover) was a really testing time for me. I just wish we would adopt that mateship that men do and accept each other for our differences, and be kinder to each other. We are on the same team.
PAPARAZZI: I don't think I'm that interesting anymore, I'm not Dannii Minogue. But I got blitzed down at the gym the other day, they must have had a bit of space they needed to fill. I opened up the paper and saw this horrible photo. But that's alright, that's always been my life.
GOLF HANDICAP: I'm a hacker…it's 20. I love golf, it's my release.
IN THE GARAGE: Mini Countryman diesel.
FAVOURITE SUNSHINE COAST SPOTS: Noosa Springs golf course, David Rayner's Thomas Corner Eatery and Hastings St. It is one of my favourite places: you've got golf, beaches and great restaurants, you don't need anything else.
YOUR NEXT HOLIDAY: A week in Abu Dhabi golfing later this year.
YOUR LEGACY TO THE WORLD: I have always been interested in giving back...I just hope we're able to help women find a little bit more happiness in their life.