Tamsen Fadal: On Real Beauty
We often praise Hollywood stars for being a “triple threat,” meaning they have a successful career in singing, dancing and acting – but let’s just start here by saying “triple threats” have nothing on Tamsen Fadal. Singing, dancing and acting? She’s got that down cold (as seen in her debut on Broadway in Chicago) and more! In fact, Tamsen Fadal is an Emmy Award winning television journalist, the current anchor of New York’s WPIX-TV Morning News, a relationship expert and author, a breast cancer awareness activist and philanthropist and is the president of a women’s networking group. Oh, and she’s currently starting her own fashion line of accessories too, Shansen Jewelry! And on top of this all: she is kind, generous and a pleasure to be with (even at 4am – and if that doesn’t say something, we don’t know what does!).
We sat down with Tamsen Fadal to talk about Real Beauty…
What do you think makes someone beautiful?
I think beauty has to come from within. Confidence is something that I find to be beautiful and there is no substitute for it. After you have inner beauty, the outer beauty is the easy part.
Did you ever struggle with body image concerns or low self-confidence growing up? Do you ever currently?
I had an eating disorder that lasted for several years. I would count every single calorie, even a stick of gum. I would spend hours at the gym working off every last calorie. For a long time, I didn’t think I had a problem and just believed I was trying to look good, but when I was diagnosed, I realized that my body image was way off base and it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I was not a size 2 and that I was perfectly fine the way I was. I think I do have a lot of days when I go back and look at my tape and criticize myself, but I really try not to and I try to remind myself that beauty comes from the inside.
Being in the spotlight, how do you deal with the pressure for body perfection in our culture?
It is not easy. I have struggled with my weight for much of my life. When I was 25 years old, I had an eating disorder, it was probably the lowest point of my life. I equated skinny with success. But, luckily, I had a great support system around me and am happy to say that I have a very healthy diet and do most things in moderation. I work hard, play hard, workout and eat a healthy diet and that is the best I can do.
Need help loving your body? Read this!
How do you think being on television every morning affects your perception of your body and beauty?
I think I tend to be a little more critical of myself. For a long time, I was wearing makeup on the weekends just so I felt like I looked better, but now, I am happy to say I am make-free as soon as I am off the air Friday morning until I get back to work Monday.
If you could give your younger self advice about beauty and body image, what would it be?
I would tell myself that the only beauty that is lasting comes from the inside. That confidence is something you can carry with you forever and that having a bad body image is simply a waste of time. I wish I had been able to give my younger self that advice, I would have definitely saved a lot of wasted years healing from what I had done to myself.
As a relationship expert, do you have any tips for women struggling to find their confidence or appreciate their own beauty?
Yes. I am always amazed at how some of the most gorgeous women are the very ones who have absolutely no confidence. I work with a lot of women who struggle with their own beauty and never take time to look in the mirror and see who they really are. I make them list what they have, what they perceive that they don’t and once they really study that and listen, they walk out with their heads held a lot higher!
Who are your beauty role models?
Sarah Jessica Parker: She is not afraid to grow on camera, she does not hide her age and I have interviewed her in the past and I love her charism, her honestly and her willingness to be humble despite her successes. Lisa Bloom: I had the honor of interviewing Lisa several weeks ago for her book, Think, in which she is teaching women how to stay smart. She is a powerhouse, she is confident and she is a beautiful inspiration to young women everywhere. Oprah: It may sound cliché, but Oprah has the wow factor that combines confidence, beauty and the ability to be real in front of the world. She is a true inspiration to me and someone I strive to be like.
What is your one, can’t-live-without-it beauty product?
Trish McEvoy’s Beauty Booster ($85) is the way I start and end my day! I love this product, it makes my skin feel fresh and it makes it glow. I especially love to wear it without makeup because it makes me feel fresh.
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