“A Barbie That Looks Like Me” – Zendaya

12042687_991962730844771_8207745155061485015_nWhen I was little I couldn’t find a Barbie that looked like me. My … how times have changed.”

Beautifully said, Zendaya. Barbie® honored Zendaya for encouraging girls to “raise their voices” with a one-of-a-kind doll, presented recently at the Barbie™ Rock ‘N Royals Concert Experience on September 26 at the Hollywood Palladium.

The doll, created in Zendaya’s likeness, commemorated her iconic Vivienne Westwood look from the 2015 Oscars Red Carpet where she inspired us all to simply be ourselves. Zendaya hosted the Barbie Rock ‘N Royals concert, an experiential event benefiting VH1 Save The Music Foundation. Said Zendaya: “I’m excited to be a part of the new direction the Barbie brand is headed, specifically how they are celebrating diversity in the line and encouraging kids to raise their voices.”

Earlier this year, Barbie®  introduced more diversity into their Fashionistas® line, including twenty-three new dolls, featuring eight skin tones, fourteen different sculpts, eighteen eye colors and twenty-three different hair colors. Yes! I’m buying it!

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Phoebe talks thigh gaps and body image

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Phoebe

Phoebe

Phoebe is seventeen and a junior at Fiorello LaGuardia High School in New York City. She and I talked about some of the things on my mind recently: teenage girls and body image. It was refreshing to speak to Phoebe, an articulate young woman. I am reassured to know that our future is in such good hands. Join me for this week’s podcast!

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I’m not buying that!

P1000049 3Barbie and I are about the same age. Actually, she is a few years older than, I but we grew up together just the same. In fact, when I was a young girl living in Southern California, my Dad worked for Barbie creator, Mattel Toys. One thing is for sure; I have never looked like a Barbie doll. Her incredibly tiny waist, her tiptoed feet ready for heels, and her luxurious long blond hair were certainly not ‘me.’ According to VP of Design, Kim Culmone, Barbie’s design comes down to functionality: “Barbie’s body was never designed to be realistic. She was designed for girls to easily dress and undress. And she’s had many bodies over the years, ones that are poseable, ones that are cut for princess cuts, ones that are more realistic … Primarily it’s for function for the little girl, for real life fabrics to be able to be turned and sewn, and have the outfit still fall properly on her body.” While I understand the need to dress Barbie to a young girl’s whim and imagination, this comment completely skirts the issue that when most young girls look at Barbie and play with Barbie, they will not see themselves, nor identify with her unrealistic figure. Not meant to be realistic? It’s all realistic for a young, impressionable girl. I’m not buying that!

Barbie doll

Barbie doll

 

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Jillian

Jillian

Jillian

Jillian is a beauty expert, who has worked with some of the most important cosmetics houses in the business. She has worked extensively behind the scenes and in front of the camera, and was a regular on QVC. Jillian’s career has included working for Chanel and Bobbi Brown as an International spokesperson and makeup artist … doing everything from education, special events, award shows, Fashion Week, and editorial; for Prescriptives, as the Director of Beauty/On air QVC spokesperson. And most recently, Jillian was the Senior Director of Beauty/On air spokesperson for Philosophy. A year ago, Jillian took time off to work on a fictional novel, a passion project for her, but plans to return to her career when the project is complete. I met with Jillian to discuss beauty and makeup and self-esteem, what it means to age appropriately with our makeup choices, and ‘how to’ makeup advice. Here is part one of my conversation with Jillian …

Jillian, I would love to know how you got started in makeup and skin care? What inspired you?
Most likely, I started playing with make up around six years old, rummaging through my mother’s junk makeup drawer. I was always attracted to anything having to do with cosmetics. From my Barbie Head Beauty Salon, to obsessing over magazines and Charlie’s Angels. Around twenty, I began to flounder, searching for a career goal and not finding anything that really hit the passion spot. Things were different in the late 1980’s; one of the best freelance jobs was spraying perfume in the aisles of the Department Stores. (I still laugh thinking about that, because today it’s such a caricature of that era!) I worked spraying perfume for Chanel for a few months. One day at Macy’s the makeup artist didn’t show up. The woman behind the counter asked if I could apply the client’s makeup. I said yes, although I was uncertain. (You always say yes!) And that was it! I found my talent and my passion. I was always very focused and eager to learn, which I did from some of the best in the business, and still do today. Twenty-five years later, and still going, I’ve had an amazing career working in many aspects of the industry, with some of the most talented people in the world …

It was hard work and I paid my dues. But when you do something that you love it doesn’t feel like you wasted a minute of your time…

I am inspired by many things, but two stand out: I love to hear people’s stories and, I could watch The Biography Channel all day. You never know what someone has been through or feels until you listen to him/her. From a physical beauty perspective I am drawn to anything from the 1920’s or the classic era of Hollywood. I love glamorous things yet I appreciate everything.

You see a person from the outside but I wonder what you have learned about beauty, inside and out?

Well, listen. To be honest, when we’re young, we tend to view beauty as an exterior thing. It’s hard for a young person to see beauty outside the perimeters of her own age. As we mature we start to see things differently and realize that beauty can’t always be defined by a strictly physical trait. We learn as we grow that beauty can be found on so many levels; mind, body and soul. When I apply makeup now as opposed to twenty years ago, I look at the whole person …

What are the makeup basics and essentials for any woman? (if you could just choose a few)

I am asked this question a lot. I would say that aside from a good SPF moisturizer, night and eye cream, the rest of the makeup picture is about the individual. If you have perfect flawless skin without under eye circles but have skimpy lashes without color, your go-to should be eyeliner, mascara and bronzer blush. If you have no brows, eyebrow pencil is your must have. Interestingly enough, if you search 75% of the handbags women carry every day, most have their essentials inside without realizing it. My eyes disappear without liner; I never leave the house without black eyeliner in my bag. To break it down:

–   Step one: Get your skin care in place

–   Step two: Honestly assess your face’s absolute needs

–   Step three: Ditch the extra’s…eye shadow colors, trendy items, etc. Remember, this step is critical!

–   Step four: Once you pick the essentials, and only your essentials, apply them and see how you feel. If you feel confident … great! These are your essentials. If you don’t, add what you need, one at a time, until you create your essential kit …” Jillian

Wonderful, Jillian! Thank you. More of my conversation with Jillian to follow

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