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SISU Beauty of the Week: Kylie Minogue
October 4, 2018
Kylie x SISU
There was a time when the name Kylie could only mean one woman: Kylie Minogue. Long before Ms Jenner was a gleam in her momager’s eye, the blonde Aussie star of Neighbours was already a pop sensation. Now, at age 50, she’s still a massive success – and her sisu is stronger than ever.
The doctors who founded SISU Clinics did not choose a random name for us. Sisu is a Finnish term denoting resilience, perseverance, tenacity, strength and the resolve to make every challenge mean something. It reflects our mission to help people feel and look like the best version of themselves. It’s the version that never gives up and creates beauty from adversity.
In this, Kylie is an expert. Yes, this is the woman who once said, “There’s been no tragedy in my life, only tragic outfits.” But that’s not the whole story.
An Unlikely Global Phenomenon
When we say she’s experienced tragedy, we don’t mean her 1980s wardrobe and frizzy hair. As a writer for the Sydney Morning Herald puts it, “Who could have imagined this tiny, unsophisticated star of Neighbours, with the bad ’80s perm and questionable vocal ability, would go on to become Australia’s single most successful entertainer and a world-renowned style idol?”
Kylie has perfected the art of making the most of what you’ve been given. She wasn’t the world’s best actress, most accomplished singer, or even the most beautiful woman on the planet. But Kylie has always had her sisu, and it’s taken her far. It has also pulled her through some dark times.
Heartbreak and Calamity
Perhaps the first blow she publicly weathered was the suicide of her longtime boyfriend, INXS singer Michael Hutchence. That was personal. But professionally, Kylie has suffered singles that flopped, albums that tanked, and even Virgin Radio (UK) making fun of her in an advert that claimed: “We’ve done something to improve Kylie’s records: we’ve banned them.” That’s a special kind of humiliation for someone who’s never been rumoured to have a mean bone in her body.
What Kylie Did Next
She kept going, of course.
Australian Vogue wrote when profiling her in 2006 that, “Like sharks, celebrities cannot remain static; they must keep moving or die. Kylie has beaten her early detractors by inhabiting almost a dozen identities.” While cycling through so many approaches to her look and sound, the pint-sized pop princess has somehow always remained recognisable as herself: bright, energetic, sensual and full of surprises
When she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36, all of those traits seemed under threat. Yet less than two months after undergoing surgery and starting chemotherapy, Kylie was already making public appearances: in the children’s cancer ward. Six months later, she released a new single, which was soon followed by a children’s book written while undergoing and recovering from chemotherapy.
Kylie was later praised for going public with her cancer diagnosis, which came at significant cost to her personal privacy. But her story prompted scores of women to undergo breast cancer checks. The ‘Kylie effect’ is credited with helping detect cancer in many women that might have gone undiagnosed altogether.
SISU Turns Silver Linings Into Gold
She has sold nearly 100 million albums. She has legions of loyal fans around the world. But Kylie’s biggest accomplishment is her determination to thrive – not just survive – through life’s ordeals. Where it would have been easy to give up, she kept going. When no one would have blamed her for slacking off, she kept pushing forward.
In a sense, Kylie was right that there have been no tragedies in her life. There have been dark circumstances that easily could have taken a turn for the horrific. Death, career failure and cancer tend to steer things that way. With ample sisu in her heart, Kylie was always at the wheel. She adjusted her sails away from misery. Every move seemed to represent Kylie saying: “I’m still here. And while I am, I am going to make the most of it.” She would never given any disease, poor album sales or another person the power to derail her life.
For that, Kylie Minogue is SISU’s Beauty of the Week.
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