Salma Hayek has figured out how to block out Hollywood noise: Mediation. "It makes you experience your body with a lightness that's really delicious and satisfying," the actress, 54, told InStyle for its July issue. "With the breathing and the going inside, you explore your body in a different way, and you learn not to go crazy with the expectations."
The House of Gucci star, who covered everything from body image to breastfeeding and marriage in the interview, has been meditating since her late 30s, a practice that first aimed to heal her back pain and now serves to ground her in Hollywood. For her role as Giuseppina "Pina" Auriemma, a psychic to Patrizia Reggiani (played by Lady Gaga), the ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), the man who founded fashion brand Gucci and who was shot dead in 1995, Hayek gained weight. It was a process that both afforded freedom to order anything off the menu ("It was like a dream come true,” she told Variety) and strategize.
Earlier this year, Hayek went on an Instagram bikini binge, pulling from her personal inventory that was shot during Christmas vacation but timed for a "liberating" spring release. "It was not even the end of the holiday yet, and I was like, 'OK, bring me caftans!'" she told the outlet. "But I don't have any shame in telling you this because I'm excited that I even got to that point. For a week I looked like that, you know?"
However, with the film in post-production, Hayek prizes wellbeing, which for her, in part means losing weight. "I've lost very little. You go, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa.' You gain it so fast, but it takes so long to lose it," she told InStyle, acknowledging "what's expected for a woman who people consider good-looking. As you get older, you're expected not to age." But she is grateful for a body that has been "incredibly generous" considering her acting resume, which includes playing Ajak, a character with superhuman strength, in the upcoming Marvel film Eternals.
"I don't think I am some hot tamale, but I know that for my age, for the lifestyle that I lived, I'm not doing too badly. And I attribute all of this to meditation," she told InStyle. It's a routine she had hoped to share with her teenage Valentina, whom Hayek shares with husband François-Henri Pinault, the chairman and CEO of Kering (the umbrella company for brands Gucci, Alexander McQueen and more) and her closest confidant.
"She's like, 'I cannot think of anything more boring! And if I'm going to meditate, I'm going to do it on my own time,'" Hayek told InStyle of her daughter adding, "She's amazing, and she mesmerizes me over and over, but you know, when I talk to her, I find myself out of words." She added, "Or when we fight a little bit, afterward I'll think, 'I should have said this or that, and I'm going to tell her next time I see her.' Then the next time comes and I find myself out of words again."
However, the Frida star, who lives in London, recalled one experience during early motherhood that didn't leave her tongue-tied: When a group of French women judged her for breastfeeding Valentina. Hayek told the outlet that one surmised that breastfeeding was a practice "that comes from the Latin American Indian.
"She actually said that!" said Hayek. "I was shocked that such sophisticated ladies, who've had so many children, didn't take the time to investigate it. They said, 'Oh, but it's terrible for the breasts.' I said, 'Really? Look at my breasts. No problems there!'"
It's not the only time that Hayek has acted on behalf of breastfeeding mothers. In 2009, on a UNICEF trip to Sierra Leone where doctors informed the actress that many women stop breastfeeding due to stigma, Hayek saw an opportunity when a local mother without milk was desperate to feed her baby. Realizing that she was still producing breast milk while weaning Valentina, then 1, Hayek nursed the woman's infant.
"Am I being disloyal to my child by giving her milk away?" Hayek later told Nightline of the act, a video of which went viral. "I actually think my baby would be very proud to share her milk. And when she grows up I'm going to make sure she continues to be a generous, caring person."
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