Life lessons from Sophia Loren

Posted by
Anna Brech

Sophia Loren is everything you want in a woman: voluptuous, funny, warm, intelligent and able to dispense advice on anything from pasta to the meaning of love in one bat of a perfectly-curled eyelid.

Yes, as well as being of one of cinema's greatest legends, Loren is also brimming with indispensable nuggets of wisdom on life, men, fashion and anti-ageing (goddamn that lady).

Whether it's sex tips you're after, or a timely quote on the power of mistakes, or even the definition of beauty (it's not anything to do with breasts or a pout, says the woman who has both in potent quantities), this towering queen of the silver screen has all the answers you need. Come take a look at her life wisdom:

Photos: Rex Features

  • On sex appeal

    "Sex appeal is fifty percent what you've got and fifty percent what people think you've got."

  • On joie de vivre

    "You have to enjoy life. Always be surrounded by people that you like, people who have a nice conversation. There are so many positive things to think about."

  • On fashion

    "A woman's dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view."

  • On making mistakes

    "After all these years, I am still involved in the process of self-discovery. It's better to explore life and make mistakes than to play it safe. Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life."

  • On inner beauty

    "I think the quality of sexiness comes from within. It is something that is in you or it isn't and it really doesn't have much to do with breasts or thighs or the pout of your lips."

  • On motherhood

    "A mother has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child."

  • On eternal youth

    "There is a Fountain of Youth: It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age."

  • On lurve

    "Sex without love is absolutely ridiculous. Sex follows love, it never precedes it."

  • On education

    "It's a mistake to think that once you're done with school you need never learn anything new."

  • On ambition

    "Many people think they want things, but they don't really have the strength, the discipline. They are weak. I believe that you get what you want if you want it badly enough."

  • On spaghetti

    "Spaghetti can be eaten most successfully if you inhale it like a vacuum cleaner."

  • On being a sex symbol

    "You have to be born a sex symbol. You don't become one. If you're born with it, you'll have it even when you're 100 years old."

  • On the art of self-deprecation

    "I'm a giraffe. I even walk like a giraffe with a long neck and legs. It's a pretty dumb animal, mind you."

  • On emotion

    "If you haven't cried, your eyes can't be beautiful."

  • On taking time out

    "I always try to have a vacation."

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.

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