Jennifer Hudson at the American Music Awards on Sunday. | Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Standing in a hallway at the Beverly Hills’ Four Seasons Hotel, Jennifer Hudson looks tall and amazingly skinny, and she’s wearing black leather shorts that couldn’t possibly hide a stray French fry consumed at lunch.
Then there’s the hair deal.
Me: Didn’t it make the CNN crawl when you cut your hair this fall?
Hudson: Baby, we’re from Chicago. Ladies from Chicago know how hard it is dealing with the long hair in the humidity, the rain and the snow. Plus, I was so sick of the same hairstyle.
Me: That’s brave when every ounce of your being is scrutinized in Hollywood.
Hudson: Nothing ever changes. I remember being a little girl in Chicago and I’d look in a magazine. You see a cut you like. You rip it out and go see the lady or man who cuts your hair. Same thing with my cut. I saw a picture of short hair and I was so inspired. I knew the pixie was the way to go.
Yes, it’s only hair, but the drastic pixie cut sort of summed up Hudson’s philosophy about life. Hudson laughs in this glorious way that makes you want to hang out with her from now until the end of the year.
“I say if you’re gonna do something in life, go all the way,” she says. “I know it’s only hair, but I said, ‘If you’re gonna go short, go all the way.’
“Plus, it’s so much easier for me to run around Chicago because I can have fun with my hair and not worry about it,” she says. “And I can tell you another secret: Cutting your hair is like a personal breath of fresh air.”
This is from someone who is uber-busy playing a mother facing foreclosure and estrangement from her parents in “Black Nativity.” She’s also thinking of starting her own clothing line. “Most of us tell ourselves you can’t do this or that,” she says. “I tell myself, ‘Jenny, there is nothing you can’t do.’ ”
Hudson has had great success losing weight with Weight Watchers and is a spokesperson for the company.
But how does she keep slim through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations?
The busy working mom insists, “I remind myself that I’ve kept the weight off for four years with Weight Watchers. And I’ll continue to really track my points during the holiday season because it works. If something works, you keep doing it.
“My biggest thing is knowing exactly what I put in my body,” Hudson says. “If I don’t know how many calories is in it then I’m not eating it.”
Taking the focus off the mindless eating also helps. “Remember the true spirit of the holidays, which is giving. My sister and I started our foundation to give back to unfortunate kids and grant their biggest wishes.”
She also runs after her young son. “My son is a little elf. We call him Boss Baby. He gets to make the decisions – or he thinks he’s deciding. He just told me, ‘Mommy, I need Power Rangers.’ I said, ‘You GET all year. It’s time to GIVE Power Rangers to someone who doesn’t get all year.’
“That’s a great way to keep busy,” she says. “Focus on the give and not the get.”
I can’t let her go without asking for two stocking stuffer beauty tips.
— Have a go-to great outfit for the holiday season. “Just pick one thing that you know will make you feel good and have it ready. I like a simple shirt and skirt. I’m dressy or casual depending on how much I add to it with jewelry.”
— Focus on your brows. “Always have eyebrows,” she advises. “Make sure you put two of them up there, if you don’t have them. Do it with careful pencil. Brows shape your entire face. If I don’t have anything, I love to draw them up there.”