Cameron Diaz wants to make it clear. She never meant to tell women what to do with their bodies — much less their hair down there. “Dye it blue if you want to,” she says in May’s InStyle cover story. Her only advice when it comes to the personal grooming, an amusing topic that has followed her since the publication of her The Body Book, which has a chapter entitled “In Praise of Pubes,” is don’t do anything permanent. “I’m just doing, like, a call to my ladies out there, saying keep your options open.” That’s Cameron being Cameron — honest, funny, and completely open about her views on whatever the subject may be, whether it’s Brazilian waxing or monogamy (which she believes isn’t for everyone).

 

After spending a few days with the candid star in St. Barts for the cover shoot, where we photographed her around the tropical paradise and on a 65-foot racing sailboat called The Lone Fox, we quickly came to the realization that Diaz is indeed the girl next door; the BFF-type that every girl needs in their life — the one that tells you what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear.

As much as we admire her for her wit and her ability to turn any situation into a positive life lesson (“I’m 41 years old — I’ve been through everything, OK?  I’m grateful for all of it —whether it was quick and passing or something that lingered too long”), we admire her for her ability to look good in just about anything, at any time, in any situation. Case in point: her vessel-friendly garb that she so effortlessly rocks in our cover story (on newsstands April 18). Because if you are Diaz, appropriate yachting-wear includes a white bandeau Araks bikini, a floor-length palm-tree printed Fausto Puglisi silk twill skirt with a color-coordinating silk crepe blouse, and this stunner above: a tunic-style red silk Ralph Lauren Collection gown. To stave off evening chills, Diaz’s jacket of choice was by Crewcuts, the kid outpost of J.Crew. It all makes for elegance that’s effortless, glamorous, and even a tad retro.

See the Photos: Cameron Diaz’s 10 Best Looks

When she wasn’t posing for the cameras, Diaz hung out with writer Aaron Gell and opened up about her dreams, lessons gleaned from past relationships, and even her favorite beach snack (apples and almond butter, anyone?). Overall, we learned that a few days with this gal equals loads of laughs, a lot of glorious fashion, and a lifelong friendship. Because Diaz is just one of those kinds of girls you don’t want to stop hanging out with.

Pick up the May issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download April 18.