In this episode, I’m joined by two of my friends, Jennie & Tara, to openly and honestly open a dialogue about aging. We talk about the unrealistic standards society sets for us, and how each of us are addressing aging – some holistically and some not.
While this episode only scratches the surface, we hope that it sparks conversation around female aging and empowers you to embrace aging unapologetically.
Founder Of Healthy By Marlowe
Maria Marlowe is the Founder of Healthy by Marlowe, an online destination for science-backed, doctor-approved online nutrition + cooking courses and meal plans that make healthy eating fun and easy. She is the author of The Real Food Grocery Guide, dubbed "the most practical guide to healthy eating" by renowned physician Dr. Dean Ornish, and host of the 5-star rated Happier & Healthier Podcast.
Maria Marlowe: [00:00:34] Welcome back to the Happier and Healthier podcast. It’s been quite a while since the last episode. We ran on a little hiatus for about six months as I’m working on a few new projects which I cannot wait to share with you guys. But in the meantime, I have a very special episode lined up for you, and this whole season is going to be amazing, which I really can’t wait to share these interviews with you over the coming weeks, on everything from herbalism to hormones to resilience. So you have an amazing season lined up. But for today’s episode, for the first episode back, I wanted to do something special and something hard-hitting and talk about something that has been on my mind a lot lately, which is aging.
Maria Marlowe: [00:01:21] I feel now that I’m thirty-four, I, for the past year I’m starting to see signs of aging, you know. I look in the mirror and I see a little line that wasn’t there before or some gray hair sprouting up more than I care to have. So it’s just something that’s been on my mind, coupled with Instagram, social media, just always seeing these images of perfection and always seeing those images of youth. So I wanted to start a conversation about this topic. And instead of doing it by myself, I decided it would be fun to bring on two of my girlfriends so we could have a really honest, authentic chat about aging.
Maria Marlowe: [00:01:59] So to help me out with today’s episode, I have Tara Kangarlou, who is a very accomplished and well respected journalist, humanitarian and a newly published author. Her book, The Heartbeat of Iran, just came out and it’s getting some amazing press. So definitely check it out. My friend Jennie Sacks is also here with us today. Jennie is a former client and now friend. I think she did one of my group programs, what, six, seven years ago and has become a very dear friend. She is a corporate lawyer, very into yoga and Ayurveda, and just an amazing, generous, kind, gregarious human being. So thank you both for being here.
Maria Marlowe: [00:02:45] My hope with this episode is to change the conversation on aging and normalize aging, particularly among women. I think that aging has become something that we fear when it really shouldn’t be. And all this messaging that we get around aging that we need to remain young in order to be lovable and successful and all that jazz, it’s just B.S. and it really needs to stop. So I want to use this episode as a launch point for a conversation for changing this narrative around aging and what it means. Aging is a privilege. It is something that everybody gets to do. So the fact that you do get to live another day and get a day older is something that should be celebrated. Aging is not something you should feel ashamed of. It’s not something that you should feel you have to hide. And it’s not something that should make you feel bad. So let’s kick it off. How do you guys feel about aging?
Jennie Sacks: [00:03:48] I’m turning thirty-six next week, and I feel pretty good and pretty wonderful, but I feel I should feel I’m getting old like other people think. Once you turn thirty-six, that’s like, now you’re almost 40. But it’s not true.
Maria Marlowe: [00:04:06] Yeah, I know. It’s so interesting. I remember, I mean I can remember being in my early 20s and thinking that 30 was old and now that I’m thirty-four I’m like wow, it’s really young. And what about you Tara?
Tara Kangarlou: [00:04:18] It’s interesting because I have two different feelings about this. On one hand, I don’t want to age, I’m thirty four. I just turned thirty four in March. But on the other hand I look very young. So when people see me they think I’m in my twenties and you know the nature of my work. I’m a journalist, I travel the world, I cover very serious issues. And sometimes I have found that, you know, people don’t take me seriously because I look so young. And I remember so many times I was at CNN and Al-Jazeera and, you know, I go to a meeting or something and they think I’m an intern. I’m like, no I’m the producer on this. And so I don’t know how I feel from that aspect. Right. But I mean, of course, I also don’t like to feel old or get old or show that I’m getting old.
Maria Marlowe: [00:05:07] Yeah. I mean, I kind of felt I would never get old, you know. I know it sounds crazy. I guess everyone really feels that way. You just think that you’ll never get old. And then one day you wake up and there’s a gray hair. Although to be honest, I had one gray hair. I can remember being in my twenties and coming down the elevator and there was a mirror in my elevator and there was one two-inch gray silver hair standing straight up. And I almost had a heart attack. Plucked it out immediately.
Jennie Sacks: [00:05:35] So I have a lot to say about gray hair, Maria and Tara. So I started going gray when I was fifteen, both my sister and I. My sister’s four years older. But I started going gray when I was 15 when I went to college, your experience of your hairs. So every Sunday night, my roomy and I would sit and she would pluck my gray hairs out. Starting at nineteen, I started dying, my hair brown, dark. My hair is light brown, but darker brown so much that I didn’t know what my hair was until I’d say, let’s see, five years ago. So when I was thirty, maybe thirty-one, my hair is seventy percent gray. So I decided to start dying it blonde because it would blend better.
Jennie Sacks: [00:06:22] And I fantasized about just going gray. This is something I fantasized about for years and aging and this topic are so intertwined. My sister, who I love dearly and is wonderful, also completely gray now said to me, as did my father over and over, do not let your hair go gray until you get a man. You’re thirty-two, you’re thirty-three, you’re thirty-four and single. You cannot let your hair go gray. People are going to think you’re older, you won’t be attractive. And it was so offensive but also so deeply ingrained and deeply ingrained in our society that it was this fantasy. But I never thought I would actually do it.
Jennie Sacks: [00:07:12] And then I have to say, I think covid has been a blessing for women. I don’t know if you guys follow, but there’s the whole community on Instagram of Silver Sisters. And I think the first lockdown was three months of… I just let my roots grow. And then I was like, I’m just going to let it go. I don’t have to go back to work. Just let it go. Let it go. And now it’s been sixteen months and I’m just going gray and I love it. And I have to say I think it looks awesome. I think people still think I’m blonde, but still my sister, the second she was able to go back to get her hair dyed, she went back and every time she sees me, she’s like, are you going to make an appointment to get your hair dyed? And it’s silly, being fully gray at thirty-six seems scary, but I kind of am loving it. And I’m grateful that the pandemic gave me and other women I think the opportunity to finally allow that. And I feel like myself. I cannot tell you the amount of anxiety and pressure that there was, which seems ridiculous.
Maria Marlowe: [00:08:30] Well that brings up such a big point here is that society is from every angle telling us we need to remain young, we need to do our hair, we need to cover our grays. We need to Botox our for our heads. We need to use these anti-aging creams. And and we need to remain young if we want to get a mate if we want to be successful if we want to be lovable. We’re constantly getting this message not just from Hollywood and magazines and the media, but also, like you’re saying, from our family and our friends. And I’m sure they’re well-meaning, but it’s just so interesting to step back and just see how deeply these ideas are ingrained in people in our society. And I think it’s time that we start questioning them because nobody else should dictate how you want to look. Right. And the most important thing is how you feel and being yourself.
Maria Marlowe: [00:09:22] And, you know, this reminds me of this story that I just read about this actress, Justine Bateman, who well, she’s a director-producer now, but was an actress for many years. She’s in Hollywood and she just recently wrote a book called Face. And I believe the story is this book was inspired by the fact that someone told her she has to fix her face. They literally said to her point-blank, you need to fix your face because she’s in her fifties and she’s decided not to do Botox or fillers or facelifts or anything like that, which is her prerogative. And it’s just crazy because you do look around to the rest of Hollywood and you’re kind of hard-pressed to find anyone who’s made that decision.
Maria Marlowe: [00:10:08] And what’s mind-boggling to me is that you do see some of these celebrities like the J-Los and whoever else in their fifties who I love and who look youthful and amazing. And they’re being praised in the media for being youthful. But then and their forehead doesn’t move. But they tell you they’re not using anything. And it makes you feel like, oh, what’s wrong with me? Because, you know, my forehead does move and does have wrinkles.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:10:32] Ok, a few thoughts on that. I think I just want to comment on that. The grey hair quickly and then I want to come back to Botox and all. You know, my mom, she is sixty nine years old and she looks so beautiful. She was never heavy on makeup. So her skin is perfect. But, you know, she she hates dying her hair because it’s just time-consuming. And she thinks that it’s, you know, thinning her hair and so on. But I just think that she’s so beautiful and so young, still youthful that why does she want to go gray? And as you ladies know, I’m having my wedding this year. And I said, mummy, just wait until the wedding. And if you want to go all gray, fine, but just don’t do it for the wedding.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:11:18] But fundamentally, I thought about this a lot. Fundamentally, what that gray hair stands for, I don’t think it has anything to do with aesthetics for me. It has to do with time. And I think with aging, that’s the issue for me. I suppose I don’t want to see the passing of time or I don’t want to feel that my mom is getting older or I’m getting older because that means I’m having less time on this planet, if that makes sense, right. I’m having less time with my mom. I’m having less time with my dad. My dad passed a few years ago. But I think for me, it’s that sense of time that has passed rather than aesthetics. But also as someone coming back to the cosmetic surgeries and Botox or fillers and all that.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:12:06] You know, again, I work in the media industry. And, you know, I think obviously there’s a lot of pressure to look a certain way when you’re working in Hollywood or the news or any sort of public entertainment. Right. But at the same time, fundamentally, I think people need to do whatever the hell they want to do. OK, if I like getting Botox or fillers or whatever, I do it because I want to, not because someone has told me or I want to look a certain way. So that’s why I don’t like when people in the society want to put things in a box. You, oh, you should look this way or you should do it that way. Or you have to have this or that. No, if you don’t like your nose, go get a nose job. You know, if I don’t like this wrinkle, I am going to go get Botox. Right, because I want to. Yeah, it’s because it’s my choice, not because it’s influenced.
Maria Marlowe: [00:13:03] And I think that’s incredible. And I do like that. But the problem that I feel is that it’s not always someone’s decision. I feel like a lot of people are feeling pressured into it, like they have to because it’s everywhere. And even so, I did an episode a while back on Botox with Ray Chester, which I think is a must-listen-to episode. And I got a lot of comments from that. But one woman had had wrote me and said, you know, I’m so glad you did this episode, because I recently went to my dermatologist just for a routine checkup and I went in feeling really good. And then I got there and the dermatologist was asking me if I wanted to fill in the lines on my forehead that I hadn’t even realized I had. And she’s like, I walked out of there feeling really low because now I’m like, oh my God, is everyone looking at these lines? And, you know, should I do it? I never thought about it. I didn’t really want to do it. But now maybe I should do it. My dermatologist is asking me.
Maria Marlowe: [00:14:02] And that’s why I feel like it’s crossing the line when other people are trying to dictate to you how you should look. Or and I imagine especially women in media like Justine Bateman had experienced. And I’m sure many others, feeling this pressure from their job to have to do it. And that’s where I think the problem is. And even I was talking to Jennie the other day. I was looking for a dermatologist because I’m back visiting New York and I’m looking for a dermatologist just to do a regular checkup. It is so hard to find a dermatologist that’s not doing cosmetic dermatology. They don’t even have time to get an appointment. It’s three or four months out because they only have one day a week where they’re doing regular dermatology. Other are cosmetics.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:14:42] Because that makes so much money. I’m sorry, but that makes so much money and it’s not hard to do.
Jennie Sacks: [00:14:48] You’re right. So I was talking to Maria about this. So I live in New York City and I have very fair skin and I’ve had basal cells before that have to be removed. So I go get skin checks every six months and my dermatologist is fabulous. But the experience that this woman had who wrote to you, I one hundred percent had the same experience. But thankfully I didn’t let it upset me. I was just really… because I went to get my normal full body checkup, the starting of probably a couple of years ago. And at the end she was like, oh, and while you’re here if you want, I can do this line.
Jennie Sacks: [00:15:27] And then she asked if I wanted laser for the like spots on my, like, sunspots. That’s what I didn’t realize. And I was like, do I have sunspots? Do I look like I have damaged skin and was like slightly offended. But you’re right, this is somebody who is supposed to just be doing skin checks for skin cancer, which is what I’m there for, and just casually like, oh, do you need this? And so, I mean, she’s but one of the top dermatologists in the city and I love her, but you cannot…She only does full-body skin checks one morning a week and she does the procedures for basal cells one morning every other week, because, as I mean, Tara just said, yeah, that’s like, that’s how you make money.
Jennie Sacks: [00:16:16] She also has her whole, skincare line now. And I kind of think that in dermatology, at least in Manhattan, you have to go that route. You can’t just be a medical, medical straight-up doctor.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:16:30] For sure. Everyone now, I mean, I live in London. Everyone has a skin care line and everyone’s is so groundbreaking and so special. But but again, this is a this is a very lucrative industry. It makes a lot of money. And it’s not an expensive thing to put a filler or Botox. I mean, you can do one in five minutes, but I think it gets to a very sort of fundamental societal issue. And I don’t want to get philosophical here, but I do think that, you know, in the last maybe decade or so with social media and Instagram and, you know, Keeping Up with the Kardashians and all these people in mainstream media that young girls look at in ways perhaps aspire to or if they are not aspiring to be like them, still encounter on a daily basis the standards of how to look has perhaps shifted.
Maria Marlowe: [00:17:24] Not perhaps. It has definitely changed. You see those memes on Instagram, where it’s me at 13 versus 13-year-olds now.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:17:31] And I think… Again, I really don’t want to get philosophical here, but I genuinely think that, you know, parents or I just think that we need to re-evaluate and kind of rethink these conversations and narratives and standards, because I don’t want to have a daughter who grows up looking at these people thinking that that’s how it is. And I think in the US, you know, again, I compare the US to the UK right now. I can because I live there now. But it’s just it’s so much in your face here compared to the rest of the world, at least from my experience, I don’t know. So I just think this whole issue comes to so many root causes.
Jennie Sacks: [00:18:12] What’s it like in Dubai? Isn’t that big make-up…
Maria Marlowe: [00:18:15] It’s a big huge cosmetic dermatology, For sure. And makeup is a huge market.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:18:19] So much of this is to do with social media as well.
Maria Marlowe: [00:18:22] Well, yeah. And I mean, now there’s this whole, you know, increase and influx of people going to the plastic surgeon and saying, I want to look like my filter. They’re literally showing pictures with their face filter. But it’s also crazy, right? In my experience when I was growing up, I remember being I mean, I must have been ten, twelve years old. My mother had this friend who was older, June, and she was fully gray. She had gone fully gray, and I thought she was so beautiful and elegant.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:18:52] Very sophisticated.
Maria Marlowe: [00:18:52] So sophisticated, it’s like the softest silver, I would call it silver hair, which also, you know, I think there’s such a, it’s so interesting. We call a man a silver fox, but a woman has gray hair.
Jennie Sacks: [00:19:03] Now it’s silver sister.
Maria Marlowe: [00:19:04] Oh I love that!
Jennie Sacks: [00:19:05] At least on Instagram.
Maria Marlowe: [00:19:08] Yeah, I haven’t heard that term before, but I like it.
Jennie Sacks: [00:19:10] I don’t know what you’re going to say, but I will say as I am going gray, I have thought, thank God my grays are coming in pretty because if they were mousey and not so nice, I probably would just keep dying it.
Maria Marlowe: [00:19:23] Yeah, well that’s what I’m going to say. I remember. So June, I just thought her hair was so beautiful. I still I literally, she would always play with her hair and put it in a pony and take it out and tie it in a ribbon. And I thought it was so pretty. And then my mom would dye her gray hairs. And I’d be, mom, why do you dye your gray hairs? And she’s like when you have gray hair you’ll know why. I was like, no, I’m going to go gray. I’m going to be all silver hair, like June. And let me tell you, I pluck them out the second they come in. And I mean, I only have a few and it comes in the same exact area.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:19:54] That makes it worse, because when you pluck it, then it grows straight out.
Maria Marlowe: [00:19:57] Easier to pluck then. So I have five or seven that just always come… It’s always in the same exact spot. But anyway, so there’s that. And, you know, OK, looking at the Kardashians, it’s so interesting that we’ve got to see this family grow and evolve over a decade-plus. And you see, though, how they looked before and what their life was like and how they look now – perfectly symmetrical and perfectly, like a face filter. And they’re billionaires, you know. So obviously, there’s something to it. And for me, as someone who, always wants to be natural and organic and avoid toxins and all the stuff I can understand, you know the pull and the draw to do all of that.
Maria Marlowe: [00:20:47] But also to get philosophical, I think the issue that we have today is that for many women, we’re basing our confidence and our self-worth on our looks.
Jennie Sacks: [00:20:59] A hundred percent.
Maria Marlowe: [00:20:59] And not on us. And that’s what I think needs to change. And that’s what I really want to convey, especially to the young, not even just the younger generation, because women our age and even older, I feel like we’re all doing that. No, you know, I think there are so many, you know someone asked me the other day, who my role models are. And I had to really think about it because I mean, growing up, I don’t know that I had someone in my life that I felt like a female, a strong female that was, you know, a great role model. Now I do.
Jennie Sacks: [00:21:32] You’re my role model or the most influential person in my life.
Maria Marlowe: [00:21:39] I love you, Jennie! No, but I didn’t have, a strong female in my life growing up and I didn’t have someone to look at. And I love my mother, but she would always criticize her looks. And even when she was at her, you know, she’s still beautiful. But like her most beautiful, she still there was something to pick at. There was something wrong. I’m too fat I’m too this. I’m too that. And it was she was never good enough. And it’s, you know, you pick up on those things as a kid.
Jennie Sacks: [00:22:07] Oh, my mom, it was going to be her present when I graduated from college was a facelift. She talked about it all the time for years. Her and her best friend. It was their joke but not a joke. She didn’t get it. Her friend did.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:22:23] Yeah, I just…My mom was never like that.
Maria Marlowe: [00:22:26] Your mom is not from the US, right?
Tara Kangarlou: [00:22:29] That’s the thing and that’s what I want to talk about as well. It’s so interesting. Again, I’m Iranian American. I lived half of my life in Iran and half in the US. And, you know, my parents were here in late sixties, seventies. So to an extent she was Americanized. Right. But in Iran, again, I don’t go off tangent, but it is quite fascinating because, you know, since the revolution, women have to wear scarves. So you can’t be all dressed up, you know, hair done and so on and go on the street. This hijab was very strict in the early years of the revolution. OK, so seventy nine to mid nineties was quite strict, but then slowly, slowly, slowly it loosened up. Right. So if you go to Iran right now, I mean you’d see girls with super, super tight, you know, outer coats and super colorful scarves and you know, half of the hair is out from the front. Half of their hair is out in the back.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:23:26] And mind you, that cosmetic surgery is so big in Iran. OK, huge. Actually a lot of people just go to Iran from the region to get their nose jobs. And one of the reasons, guys, is because that generation was so stifled and constrained that the only thing that they could show was their face. Right, right. So the more makeup they put on, the prettier they felt and the more they felt they are being seen because otherwise they were restricted, if that makes sense. Right. And I found again in my travels and my work is that, you know, the more you restrict a society, the more that ambition and desire to set free would come out. And that’s why in the Middle East, these women cover their hairs. Right. But then again, the amount of makeup on their faces is crazy. And if it’s about being modest and, you know, like a modest woman, that certainly does not look modest to me.
Maria Marlowe: [00:24:27] Well, look, I think that to each their own and if that makes someone feel strong and powerful and beautiful, then just like you said earlier than so be it.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:24:36] Of course, exactly. 100 percent. If that’s your prerogative. You want to do that. Yes. But coming back to the whole philosophical thing, again, based on my experience, so many of these issues come down to how the society has made you feel right. That a woman is only beautiful. You know, to this extent. This is what we’re seeing. So that needs to be pretty
Maria Marlowe: [00:24:59] Or this is a beautiful face. Right?
Tara Kangarlou: [00:25:03] Exactly.
Maria Marlowe: [00:25:04] One thing that is just mind-boggling to me is that you go on social media, everybody looks exactly the same. And two completely different people, they look like twins. It’s mind-boggling.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:25:16] I remember there was a friend of mine. She was having a birthday maybe a couple of weeks ago. And I kid you not. There was no one picture that she liked taking. I mean, she kept doing filters and she kept doing these poses. And I’m like, I’m so sick and tired of this. Can you just take a frickin’ picture?
Maria Marlowe: [00:25:31] But I think that’s such a common thing. You know, we look at ourselves in pictures and we all do this. I mean, I’m definitely like, do it.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:25:41] But this was so obsessive that I didn’t even… You know we all do it. Of course I do it, too. I mean, I take a ton of pictures.
Maria Marlowe: [00:25:51] It’s because we are, first of all, we’re fixated on our flaws because again, in marketing messaging, that’s all we’re taught. We’re told we have to fix something. We have to fix the line. We have to fix this. We have to fix our lips. Our lips have to be bigger. Our nose has to be smaller. Cheeks have to be lifted. There’s always something to fix. And I think it’s this combination of social media, regular media, even friends and family. Women. There’s just this crazy pressure to look a certain way. And I, this is a big reason I want to have this conversation, because, of course, as a woman, do whatever you want. It’s your prerogative. But also don’t feel like you have to do these things, like you don’t have to fix your face. Your face is perfect. You know, it doesn’t matter you’re not 20 anymore. You don’t have to look like you’re twenty when you’re 50. And this is something we glorify.
Maria Marlowe: [00:26:44] And look, it’s nice. I would like to remain young forever. I’m not going to lie, but and it’s a practice to stop criticizing yourself. I know, one for me I definitely growing up, I would criticize myself and I think that was a habit that I learned from my parents. But when I started shifting towards a healthier lifestyle and I did struggle with acne, which was really, really hard on my self-confidence and self-worth, but something that really helped me get over that was focusing more on appreciating my body, focusing on nourishing my body, focusing on gratitude and really being mindful when I did say those negative things or have those negative thoughts that I cut myself off right away.
Jennie Sacks: [00:27:26] This is something you teach in the class.
Maria Marlowe: [00:27:27] Yeah, so if you say, OK, oh, I’m so ugly, you have to stop yourself right away and replace it with at least two positive thoughts and so beautiful. I’m so thankful, you know, that that I have skin, that I have a face, that I have legs to run, that I’m strong, that I’m whatever. You have to just get in the habit of doing that. And eventually the amount of times you say something negative about yourself just starts to decrease, decrease and the positive things increase. And another thing that’s been really helpful for me more recently, interestingly, is, well, now that I’m living in Dubai, I don’t even go out in the sun. But you know, there’s windows, obviously, and I’m noticing that I have some more freckles on my face. And I’m like, oh, my goodness, I don’t want these freckles.
Maria Marlowe: [00:28:15] But I started doing face yoga, which, by the way, is amazing. It totally changes your face in a positive way. I mean, talk about if you want to go the natural way and not do fillers and facelifts and all that stuff, this stuff really works. But my friend Katherine, who’s probably listening. Hi Kat. Introduced me to face yoga and I did her twenty one day challenge. And basically what it is, is you sit in the mirror and you do these different exercises with your face. You look really funny and twenty minutes sounds like a long time to stare at yourself in the mirror, and it is. But while I was doing it and massaging the oil and doing the thing
Tara Kangarlou [00:28:52] We’re doing it now.
Maria Marlowe: [00:28:55] I was like, you know what? I like my freckles. You know, I love my freckles.
Jennie Sacks: [00:28:58] I’ve always had had freckles and I love them.
Maria Marlowe: [00:29:02] And I just I don’t know, I just became more comfortable with my face, I guess. And interestingly, I feel like I had these things. Things were not perfectly symmetrical. And doing the face yoga they became more symmetrical. And even because it’s also lymphatic drainage, I thought my face looked fine before. But then after doing this for twenty one days, I was like, wow, my face looks amazing because it’s very subtle differences. But the nose was sleeker, the jawline with sleeker, the cheekbones looked more, more elevated. And face yoga, I can’t, I can’t speak about it highly enough.
Jennie Sacks: [00:29:39] Yeah. We talked about that. I started somebody else’s program, not your friends, which I never finished. And I really would like to restart it. But yeah, it wasn’t until I guess sometime this winter where all of a sudden, one day I realized, oh my God, I have really bad, there were 11 lines. Like do I frown all of the time? I must. I don’t know. And the three pretty deep lines in my forehead that I never noticed before and I wanted to do something. So I need to get into it and actually commit to it. But it was fun and also something that I do just more of soothing, self-soothing than anything is the Gua sha stones, however, you say it. Yeah, I find, it’s a very nice ritual. And actually when I’m anxious, it kind of just soothes my whole body. And that does help smooth out things as well.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:30:38] And I think… We’re talking about face yoga. But fundamentally what I’m hearing, because I’ve never tried it, I’ve seen it done. It’s about values. You know, you are valuing a sort of internalized way of dealing with whatever it is that you want to deal with right. Esthetically on your face or if it makes you feel good. And I think going back to the earlier point about the society, I think we should start changing or shifting our values to what matters or what is really meaningful. And Jennie, you said it. Why is it that aesthetics have to define who we are or the way we look? And I think we are all individually responsible to living by these more positive values that don’t just reduce us to, oh, how tiny her nose is or how big her lips.
Jennie Sacks: [00:31:39] When you were teaching us about saying nice things to yourself that was so foreign to me. I remember passing in front of the window once and, and forcing myself and I couldn’t think of a nice thing to say. And it actually was I guess now to maybe two and a half years ago. But what I did and it was so uncomfortable, but I started, I would every morning and this is not about aging, but every morning I had gotten out of the shower. I looked at myself in the mirror and I would just without even realizing, say everything that was not nice and ugly and that I didn’t like.
Jennie Sacks: [00:32:19] And I forced myself to hold a rose quartz on my heart and look at myself nude in the mirror and say, Jennie Sacks, I love you. You are beautiful. And I couldn’t get the words out when I first started. And I and then I put the rose quartz in my bra and wear it around all day. And I think after three months, I one day realized, wow, you love yourself, you don’t even need to say it anymore. And now I really don’t say nasty things to myself anymore, which is amazing because it’s not nice to not be nice to yourself. But yeah, once you really love your body, then you can, I guess, start, do anything.
Maria Marlowe: [00:33:00] I mean, you could do anything.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:33:01] These values change. I mean. Exactly.
Maria Marlowe: [00:33:03] And you just get out of your own way, you know, because and we talked about this. When you’re hating on yourself, you can’t change because you’re always punishing yourself and berating yourself. And I mean, just think about it. If you want to do that to another person, how are they going to respond?
Jennie Sacks: [00:33:23] They would run away from you. They wouldn’t want to be around you.
Maria Marlowe: [00:33:26] They wouldn’t want to be with you. And they’re probably not going to change. And this is when you see people fighting on social media and stuff, and it’s like if you want someone to change or look at something differently, you can’t berate them, belittle them, make them feel stupid, or inconsequential. No, you have to make them feel good. You know, you have to do it nicely and do it from a place of love and respect, and when you do it that way, then yeah, people’s minds can change and it just changes everything. So, so likewise with yourself. If you want to say start a new health regimen, you have to start doing it from places of I love myself and I want to nourish myself versus I hate myself. I’m going to punish myself by going to the gym and eating this broccoli.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:34:08] So, you know, when we lost dad, ten years ago, my mom and I started doing this yoga, which is a Korean discipline, and my mom kept on doing it. And she’s been doing it now for ten years. And actually, she teaches. But I remember one of the first things that we were told and taught is self-love and self-acceptance. And as simple as that sounds, it’s something that we didn’t do. And to Jennie’s point, it’s something that truly, truly changed my mom’s life. And from that day on, from that second or third class, whatever that was, the training was every morning you wake up and you have to say, Tara, I love you. You are beautiful. I love you. And I was like, Oh, God. Okay.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:34:51] But my mom has been doing that every single day. And quite frankly, I see the change in her face, in her mood, in her, in everything. And for the listeners who may never have done this, I truly have seen the life-changing impact. And quite frankly, I wish I would do it every day because I’m very hard on myself. And Maria knows this. I’m super, super hard on myself. And, you know, again, aesthetically, whatever change I bring to my hair, face, body, whatever, it genuinely is because I want it, I want it. Not because of anything else. And again, I think fundamentally, the reasons behind the why we want to look a certain way is so important.
Maria Marlowe: [00:35:35] Yeah. And I think one important observation is that I feel when you’re really happy, happy with yourself, you’re at peace with yourself, just happy in life, also you just radiate. You glow. You automatically look better because it’s just something internal, you know. And when you’re stressed, things go that go the opposite way.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:35:58] And you pick on yourself. I mean, you’re stressed, you pick on yourself. Oh, my God. Like, this is this. This is that. But if you’re genuinely, psychologically, internally happy. Yeah. You would not want to have a bigger nose or a thinner nose. I don’t know, a smaller nose. Yeah.
Jennie Sacks: [00:36:13] But it also physically has consequences. Stress. More Jennie stories – I’m working you know now with the doctor, a naturopathic doctor because I have histamine intolerance and one of her biggest things is to stay away from stress. Because when I get really stressed, I mean I’ve had my first flight since covid a month ago and just leading up to flying, my eczema on my hand, flared up and was out of control. When I’m stressed, my face is puffy. I wake up and I look like I was drinking tequila all night. You actually get inflamed. Stress is huge and it causes inflammation in your body.
Maria Marlowe: [00:37:00] Yeah. And inflammation degrades our collagen and obviously sets up a whole negative chain of events in the body. So I think if we want to stay young and beautiful, some of the best things that we can do, are one, learn to love ourselves and be comfortable and happy with ourselves. Stop stressing. Number two, this is a big one for health overall. I think this is such a game-changer. And I think a lot of us get into healthy living through food and nutrition or exercise. Those are the two kinds of gateways into healthy living. But what I’ve learned over the years, and that’s important of both of those things are and they are important and do make a big impact. It’s learning to deal with your stress that is ultimately going to be the game-changer for your life.
Maria Marlowe: [00:37:48] And when you can learn to control your thoughts, life becomes infinitely better. It’s like a weight is lifted off your shoulders. To not have the stress and the fear. And that doesn’t mean that your life becomes perfect, it doesn’t mean you don’t have stressors in your life or bad things don’t happen. No, it doesn’t mean that. It means that you develop this unbreakable, unshakeable mindset
Jennie Sacks: [00:38:09] Resilience.
Maria Marlowe: [00:38:10] Exactly. Resilience. Anything that comes your way, you know, that you are not going to break. You’re going to bounce back. And I think that also just gives us this glow and this longevity. And we see in all these studies of places where people live to a hundred and upwards, it’s also, it’s that. It’s having a purpose. It’s also relationships. So there’s so many other factors, I think, that contribute to our health, to our glow. And I think those are the things I mean, that I personally want to want to focus on. And yeah, I want to do face yoga, too.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:38:46] Mental health. I mean, I think during covid, I realized and I was always a big mental health advocate. My charity focuses on mental health for four children in vulnerable communities and for refugees. But mental health is perhaps the root cause of so many of the issues that we deal with or what happened to us. I mean, if mentally we’re healthy, emotionally, we’re vibrant. That shows and that reflects because, you know, the same way that your feet hurt when you’re walking. Have you ever thought about your brain hurting? I mean, you may physically not feel it. It maybe not it may not be pinching, but it’s hurting. And we need to care about our brain the same that we do about our body or skin. And again, fundamentally, for me, it comes to mental health.
Jennie Sacks: [00:39:41] I think another maybe a blessing in disguise from covid is I do think that mental health is now more talked about and center of the conversation. Yeah, it’s something that I’ve always talked about and been very vocal personally, but almost nobody else is kind of like previous to Covid. I’m always shocked when I hear people say therapy is looked back upon by their family or anything like that. And I’m so glad that now it’s much more accepted.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:40:17] And I want to share this. Maria, you know, this. But Jennie, when I’m going through stress and when I’m emotionally in a volatile state, I may not pick on myself aesthetically. Oh, my skin is this or I’m too fat or I’m too thin or I’m too whatever. I become a hypochondriac. I’m like, oh my God, I’ve breast cancer now. Oh, my God, I have a tumor in my head. Oh, my God.
Maria Marlowe: [00:40:44] I’ve been on the receiving end of all of these calls.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:40:46] Exactly, you know what I mean? That’s how my mental health manifests. And for some people they’re like, oh, you know, maybe I need to do this to my face or that or I look too old. I look too this or you see what I mean. And I have I’ve learned this. I mean, I know that when I’m going through some emotional phase or I’m stressed, I mean, this last year with the book, I was just losing it. Right. You know, I was constantly thinking that I’m dying or even with covid I was, and still.
Jennie Sacks: [00:41:12] You did get it and you were very sick. Right?
Tara Kangarlou: [00:41:15] Right. But, you know, we were in Stockholm with my fiancee. And I mean, it’s a beautiful town, but I didn’t know anyone. You know, I had this very mundane routine. And again, you both know I’m someone that needs to be super social. I’m out and about. I need to be plugged in. But I wasn’t right. And I got very depressed. June, July. And I really thought that I’m developing an eye disease or, you know, I kept calling my doctor friends and like, you know, my boob, one of them is bigger than the other. Am I having breast cancer?
Jennie Sacks: [00:41:48] We shouldn’t be laughing.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:41:50] No, but here’s the thing. I am aware of that. Right?
Jennie Sacks: [00:41:54] Self-awareness is the most important thing.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:41:56] And my point is that mental health instability or emotional instability led me to be physically vulnerable in this way. But others may pick on their aesthetics. And that’s again, it goes back to my initial point. I was saying, you know, values, emotional state and really how you feel internally, really reflects what you want externally.
Jennie Sacks: [00:42:21] A hundred percent. And I just wanted to say I’m so glad, you know, I love this podcast, but I’m so glad that you do this podcast. And there are so many people now that are resources for everyone, because honestly, before, either you talked about it on a podcast or we talked about it, I don’t know. But I never, literally it did not process in my mind that Botox is toxic, that that is, that’s part of the name and that there could be anything again. Yeah, everybody do what they want to do. But that it’s not… What I’m trying to say is I just thought it was completely normal. And that’s what you do. And there’s nothing to even think about.
Jennie Sacks: [00:43:07] And I didn’t pick on things at the time, so I didn’t think I needed it. But had I not learned these things from you, maybe when I went to the doctor next week for my six-month checkup and she said that I wouldn’t even think twice, of course, given Botox. That’s what you do. So I’m just really glad that you’re putting this information out there. Yeah.
Maria Marlowe: [00:43:31] And I feel like, also, you know, with so much filtering and Photoshopping and Botox on Instagram and social media, I feel I just want to be an example, that you don’t have to do these things or feel good. If you want to do them, fine, but you don’t have to. And yeah, I mean, the thing with Botox is if they were injecting, I don’t know, chlorophyll or something, I’d probably do it. But because it is a toxin. And if you guys listen to the Botox episode, just, it’s definitely a listen if you’re thinking about it or if you’re doing it. But I had done Botox as a teenager under my arm.
Jennie Sacks: [00:44:15] That’s what I was going to do when I was younger. Also for excessive sweating.
Maria Marlowe: [00:44:19] Exactly. So when I was a teenager, I had excessive sweating and also just talk about bad karma, because let me just… I have to tell the story to get it off my chest. I was fine and then I had this teacher in the 10th grade who would sweat excessively. And he’d always be pointing at pictures of the map. I know it’s so terrible. He’d always wear these blue shirts and you could see and it literally I would say it looks like an ocean under his arm. It was such a big sweat stain. So I was kind of making fun of him. Bad Maria. And I developed the issue. OK. So I think that was definitely bad karma.
Maria Marlowe: [00:44:52] But anyway, so I remember being in a nail salon reading one of these celebrity tabloid magazines and reading that all these celebrities, it was award season and all the celebrities were getting Botox injections under their arm so that they wouldn’t sweat in their gowns. Like, wow, this sounds great. I sweat through all night, on my t-shirt and my clothes so I was like let me do this. So I went to my dermatologist, asked him to do it. He said, yes. I didn’t even think twice. You know, you think your doctor knows best and whatever. So, also obviously a 16, 17-year-old, whatever, I was, I don’t know where my lymph nodes are under my arm. And not even thinking twice about injecting a toxin is actually the most potent toxin known to man.
Jennie Sacks: [00:45:39] Really?
Maria Marlowe: [00:45:41] Yeah. Botulinum toxin is considered the most potent, the potent toxin you’re still doing.
Jennie Sacks: [00:45:47] Still, doing it Tara?
Tara Kangarlou: [00:45:48] Yes!
Maria Marlowe: [00:45:49] I had friends listen to the episode, and was like, I don’t care. I’m still doing it. So again, it’s each your own. Everyone has to do what’s most benefitting them. So, yes, I did it and it didn’t work for me or it worked in one arm. And two weeks later I went back and I said, I’m still sweating on this arms thing. They injected it again, which I’ve since learned is a big no-no, because there’s a certain there’s a maximum of how much you’re supposed to. Well, not even that you have to sweat. Yes. That’s actually another issue. You are supposed to sweat. And the other issue is why don’t you find out why I’m sweating excessively? Because we’re sweating to excrete. So there’s obviously some sort of underlying imbalance. And I can say later on, through traditional Chinese medicine, by adding more acidic foods into my diet, I found that I sweat less and sort of balance things.
Jennie Sacks: [00:46:35] I don’t know why I sweat so much when I was younger and in my twenties, but once I switched over to natural deodorant, from your guidance, though, it does take a lot of different tries, let me just say, to find the right one. But I realize that a couple of weeks ago, I don’t sweat at all a lot anymore.
Maria Marlowe: [00:46:52] Yeah.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:46:53] I love natural deodorants. I have a good one. I can’t think of a name.
Jennie Sacks: [00:46:56] Primally Pure is great.
Maria Marlowe: [00:47:00] You can use the code. Maria, what is it? I think it’s Maria10 for ten percent off. The best natural deodorant.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:47:07] I have to say, speaking of Botox, I’ve gotten it. I will probably get it. I don’t even think you can tell. Can you tell?
Jennie Sacks: [00:47:14] No. I mean why would you be able to?
Tara Kangarlou: [00:47:15] That’s the thing. Again, you do it because you want you..
Maria Marlowe: [00:47:18] You don’t want people to see it.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:47:20] And again, people need to do what makes them feel good. I didn’t do it because I had wrinkles. I just wanted to because I do the salon. And I know if I don’t get it done, this will continue happening and I would do this and you know, I’m happy bunny. But the point is right now, again, because of the societal pressure, I feel every Tom, Dick and Harry is injecting Botox. I mean, it’s so easy to get licensed or trained to do, you know, injectables right now that any nurse practitioner, anyone can do it.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:47:56] And I think people who are interested in doing this need to go to someone, number one, obviously legit, but also, you know, understand a product that they’re using or understand, you know, the clientele that they’ve had the reviews. Do your research. Don’t just go to someone, you know, inexpensive because you’re saving a couple of hundred dollars. You’re putting something in your body, you’re injecting something into your face. So you definitely don’t want to be frugal or cheap on this, because right now there are so many nasty products and incapable people out there. And who are taking advantage of this demand and people, especially young people’s naiveness. See what I mean? And I think, you know, your doctor, you were sixteen, seventeen. He or she should have explained to you about this.
Maria Marlowe: [00:48:28] Well, that’s the thing, they don’t. When you go to the doctor… So here’s the thing. So definitely, again, listen to the other podcast episode with Ray Chester, who is a lawyer.
Maria Marlowe: [00:49:31] Long story short, Botox has what’s called the black box warning on it now, which is a warning that basically lets you know that you’re doing this at your own risk. If you have any complications, you can’t sue. You have no you have no recourse. Yes. It’s take it at your own risk. You know, and here’s the thing. Well, here’s the thing. They’re kind of supposed to show this to you. But I know I mean, I know that wasn’t shown to me. And maybe the black box warning was not in existence back then. But I mean, do you, when you do it, do you sign something?
Tara Kangarlou: [00:50:01] Yea, you sign a consent.
Maria Marlowe: [00:50:02] It tells you all of the side effects? Possible side effects?
Tara Kangarlou: [00:50:06] Ok, I never read the whole thing.
Maria Marlowe: [00:50:10] Exactly. So people don’t.
Jennie Sacks: [00:50:11] It’s so common in the mainstream that as I said, I wouldn’t even think twice about doing it.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:50:16] But I have to say something here. Exactly. So taking you back to Iran, a very dear family friend of ours, their son. He, you know, he’s in his late twenties. He does sports. I mean, he’s very handsome and fit and whatnot. And he had excessive sweating. Right. So he apparently had gone in to this whatever doctor to Botox under his arm. So he does that. And then a month later, this is maybe three or four years ago, he started getting very sick. And I’m not quite sure exactly what the issue was, but it got to a point where he was almost in a coma and was in the hospital for two weeks. No one knew what’s wrong with him. He was so ill that he almost lost his life. You know, I mean, this is a couple of years ago. And it got to a point where, I don’t know, their aunt from Germany consulted with the doctor. And then something happened. Something happened.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:51:18] So finally they figured out that he had gotten Botox under the arm. And that product was something they got on the black market because of all the sections and all the black market related issues in Iran, whatever. So that was just some nasty product and it didn’t work. And it was just, you know, it caused this, but it took them two weeks to figure this out. This kid almost died. I mean, it was just a disaster. So my point is, is so important to know what you’re doing. It’s so important to know who you’re doing it with. It is so important, you know, to what the product is, and yeah.
Maria Marlowe: [00:51:49] Well, I think the biggest takeaway is I think here are, one, you don’t need to fix your face, but if you want to, go for it, so
Jennie Sacks: [00:51:59] Or your hair.
Maria Marlowe: [00:52:00] Or your hair. Exactly. You don’t need to change.
Tara Kangarlou: [00:52:02] You don’t need to impress anyone except love yourself.
Maria Marlowe: [00:52:06] Yeah, exactly. And derive your confidence from your being, not from your looks. I think that’s super important. Find your happiness because that will automatically make you look better than just being happy. And what else what are the things that you hope women will take away from this?
Tara Kangarlou: [00:52:22] I mean, I always think about my grandmother and mother, who always told me beauty comes from within, beauty comes from the heart. And I think we should practice a little bit more, especially in this day and age.
Jennie Sacks: [00:52:34] You’re lucky that you have a wonderful mother and grandmother. I mean, I did as well, but they didn’t give me those words of wisdom. I think it’s just, do what you want to do. Don’t listen to other people and live your life for other people, and it will bring you so much more peace and happiness.
Maria Marlowe: [00:53:00] I love it. Well, one last question that I always end all my podcasts with. I’ll ask you each. If there’s one tip or piece of advice you can leave our listeners with to live a happier and healthier life, what would that be?
Tara Kangarlou: [00:53:16] Love yourself. Wake up every day loving yourself and be grateful for the fact that you woke up.
Jennie Sacks: [00:53:24] I don’t want to just repeat what Tara said. And I listen to all of your podcasts and I forgot that you asked this question. I should have had something prepared. Just, we only have one life and you only have one body and just be so grateful and thankful and treat your body with love and kindness.
Maria Marlowe: [00:53:47] Tara, Jennie, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and insights in this episode. And for any of our listeners who want to add to the conversation, head over to Instagram @mariamarlowe. And Marlowe has a w-e at the end, to continue the conversation.