Convo with Beauty Maven, Gad Cohen: Why Beauty Matters More Than Ever

It’s been awhile since my last confession…ooops, I mean Beautyskew post.  Like so many of you, the Covid situation hit me like a ton of bricks.  By March 2nd, my middle son had to be quarantined. His school was the first to be shut down in the country due to kids being exposed to one of the first known carriers of the virus in New York.  WFH became my reality early on. In addition to having five of us in the house, including my son home early from his year abroad, work has been the busiest it’s ever been.  So thinking about beauty took a back seat as I tried to adjust.  I barely had time to go to the bathroom let alone wash my hair, lol.  

But as I have begun to settle into a new rhythm, my need for beauty has resurfaced — big time.  I’ve been watching shows and reading more articles than I probably have time for around beauty topics. Making the Cut with Heidi Klum had me salivating.  I’ve been trying to figure out how I can express my love of fashion through a small screen — color, color, color.  And, as I run in and out of the only social space I venture into — the supermarket — fully covered (from sunglasses to mask to gloves), I’ve been challenged by how I can still maintain some sense of femininity. Sure, I spend 95% of my brain power focused on business strategy or my kids’ food needs, but there’s still that 5% that craves beauty — expressing it, seeing it, and talking about it.

So my good friend and celebrity-beauty-stylist, Gad Cohen, and I decided to begin discussing it — live — online.  For our first IG Live chat, Gad and I delved into why beauty matters NOW more than ever.  Beauty inspires us, fuels our sense of creativity, and enlivens us — all things we need during this crazy time.  Beauty reminds us that we are creative and imaginative enough to change our circumstances.  Maybe as individuals we can’t develop a vaccine overnight.  But we should have faith in the brilliant scientists who can.  And, even as individuals, we can change our situations to some degree.  It’s often constraints like the ones we’re facing that force us to come up with new solutions and amazing new ideas — from new ways to light our faces “just so” on camera all the way to new career ideas.  In fact, when I speak about creativity to large audiences during “normal times,” I challenge audiences to seek constraints to make them MORE creative. Gad, for example, can’t work right now.  He cuts and styles hair for a living.  That just ain’t happening now, as much as it pains us! But he isn’t sitting on his butt all day long. Instead, he’s focusing his creative energies on finally learning how to develop online videos and chats. The result? After Covid is over, he will have his own mini production studio.  In fact, he and I want to video tape our chats as he cuts and styles my hair in real time!

We may be inclined to ignore our need for beauty — after all, people around us are truly suffering.  I’m appealing to you all NOT to do that.  We should seek out beauty.  It nourishes us emotionally and fuels us creatively.

Our discussions have evolved over the course of the few we’ve done.  I’ll be sharing the key insights and videos from those chats in the coming posts.  Stay tuned!

Weekend Observations: No Wonder There’s Liar-Exics!

Why is it that people think they have the right to comment on how much or what others are eating?

What am I talking about?

There’s some unwritten rule out there that if you’re normal weight or thin, people can criticize or question what you eat.

Let me give you an example.  I was in the middle of a conversation this weekend with an acquaintance and knew that I wouldn’t have time to eat lunch later so I excused myself for a sec to grab my energy bar from my purse.  The person I was with said, “You’re eating that?  When you said lunch I thought you meant a real lunch, not a bar.  Is that really enough?”  I felt I had to make some excuse like, well, I ate a huge breakfast.

Now wait a minute.  I don’t comment on my friends’ tastes for calorie rich lunches so why should I get snickers for my low-calorie mini-meal (and btw, I had another a few hours later, as I like to eat often!)

It’s become so common for society to antagonize people watching their weight (ex: this article about a recent pic of Heidi Klum,”Heidi Klum — Curvy Beauty to Scary Skinny!“), that now there’s a phenomenon of people faking their eating habits to show they pig out like the rest of us.  The phenomenon has been aptly entitled “Liar-exics” by Mailonline.  People are eating “normal” or high calorie foods in front of others so as not to appear “hung up on eating.”  Otherwise, they think their friends or the media “shout” at them for overtly eating small, low-calorie portions.  If the reverse were true (i.e., getting snickers for eating junk food), the backlash would be intense.

When the diets are extreme and border on disorders, I see where a quiet discussion among friends could be helpful.  But nasty comments don’t help anyone.

Why can’t we just leave people alone and let them eat what they want, when they want…be it celery sticks or a 20 oz ice cream float?

If I may borrow a line from Dr. King (with a few changes, granted), let’s appreciate our friends for who they are and not for what they do or don’t eat.