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Jakarta Post

Retno Iswari Tranggono: The science of beauty

  • Dian Kuswandini

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, October 31 2009   /  01:13 pm
(JP/Dian Kuswandini)" src="" alt="(JP/Dian Kuswandini)

(JP/Dian Kuswandini)She was born beautiful, but when Retno Iswari Tranggono entered adolescence, she tried to hide her face wherever she went. Retno felt bad enough whenever a young man stared at her; she felt even worse looking at her reflection in the mirror. "I was struggling for years because of my pimples," says the founder of the famous Indonesian skin care and cosmetic brand Ristra. "Everyone was commenting on my blemishes; it felt terrible." Her terrible years of acne-induced shame continued when she enrolled in the University of Indonesia's School of Medicine in 1958. At the time, there was a tradition among seniors there to give the freshmen mocking nicknames. It's easy to guess what nickname they bestowed on Retno: Janda Bopeng, or the Pock-marked Widow. "It hurt to be called that; I realized it was my pimples that caused my pit-like scars," the 70-year-ol...