October 22, 2018
EP. 135 — Vanity & Sanity
What is beauty? Maybe the answer is unknowable. For this week’s caller, searching for the answer to that question has been the source of a lot of emotions: anger, depression, anxiety, jealousy and sometimes happiness.
This episode is brought to you by Ulta Beauty (www.ulta.com).
135 — Vanity & Sanity
[00:00:05] CHRIS: Hello to everybody in their teenage goth phase. It’s Beautiful Anonymous. One hour, one phone call, no names, no holds barred.
[00:00:15] THEME MUSIC: I’d rather go one-on-one. I think it’ll be more fun and I’ll get to know you and you’ll get to know me.
[00:00:28] CHRIS: Hello, everybody. Here’s a cool thing. Today’s episode of Beautiful Anonymous will have limited interruptions, less commercials than usual. That’s because the entire episode today is sponsored by Ulta Beauty. Whether you’re ready to run the town, rock a certain look or tell your story, Ulta Beauty is here to help you show it to the world. Visit Ulta.com to learn more. Find an Ulta Beauty near you. That’s Ulta.com. Ulta Beauty, the possibilities are beautiful. I’m gonna talk little bit about this as the call starts, because I explain to the caller as well as you, the listener right now, but just want to thank Ulta Beauty. They got in touch, told us they wanted us to do an episode that was totally our way, totally organic. They didn’t give us all sorts of mandates and things to change. They just said we’d love to find an episode that fits what we do because we like what you guys do. Wound up being a really good match. A really good call. And thanks to the people at Ulta Beauty, we don’t even have to stop it and start it like we usually do. So you’ll hear me explain a little bit more about this to the caller as the whole shebang begins. But in the meantime, I just want to say that’s pretty cool. Less commercial breaks thanks to Ulta Beauty coming on board. This whole episode. So enjoy the call. And thanks again to Ulta and to everybody who’s listening.
[00:01:43] PHONE ROBOT: Thank you for calling Beautiful Anonymous. A beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host.
[00:01:50] CHRIS: Hello, this is Chris Gethard.
[00:01:52] CALLER: Hi, Chris.
[00:01:54] CHRIS: How are ya?
[00:01:55] CALLER: I’m good, how are you?
[00:01:56] CHRIS: I’m good. Thanks for jumping on the phone today.
[00:02:00] CALLER: Thank you. Oh, thanks for allowing me to be on the phone.
[00:02:04] CHRIS: Oh, no. It’s my pleasure. I want to be full disclosure with you and the listeners about something. So, here’s what we’re doing today. Because as you know, we kind of put out like a specific ask. You got in touch with us through that, I believe. So we have a company called Ulta Beauty that has decided to buy every ad on this episode. And that’s a cool thing. And we always do ads on the episode. And they said we just love for it to relate to beauty in some way. So I put that out there on Facebook. I said, anybody want to talk about beauty? And a bunch of people got in touch with us. We got in touch with you. Outside of that, they haven’t asked us to, to adjust what we do in any way or change anything about Beautiful Anonymous. And it seems like a topic that we’d explore here on the show anyway. So, that’s what’s going on.
[00:02:50] CALLER: Yeah, I’ve been a long time listener and I think it’s only been brought up maybe, maybe a couple times. So I, I do think it’s great that you’re exploring it with a dedicated episode.
[00:03:00] CHRIS: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s one of those things with it’s like, you know, this is a commercial venture. We live in a capitalist society. But I always want to be very upfront about stuff with, with stuff like this. So. Yeah. And now you and –
[00:03:12] CALLER: Yeah, well I appreciate it.
[00:03:14] CHRIS: Yeah. And we can just talk as we as we would on any call.
[00:03:17] CALLER: Perfect.
[00:03:18] CHRIS: Yeah. So I, I know that you e-mailed Jared and Harry. I don’t know what was brought up. So we can just start at the beginning.
[00:03:30] CALLER: Well, I can just start saying I just got home from work and I actually work in a cosmetic department.
[00:03:36] CHRIS: Oh.
[00:03:36] CALLER: So that was a big, that was the last thing I kind of mentioned but beauty has basically been, I said, a mysterious concept in my life because it’s, it’s unknown what is beauty sort of thing to me. I’m very subjective about it, especially with makeup. Yeah, and it’s just been a really weird journey in my life. Maybe not weird, but it’s been all emotions. And I’m 28 now, so it’s just been different every year, I guess, for me.
[00:04:11] CHRIS: Wow. So what kind of, what kind of emotions?
[00:04:18] CALLER: Depression, anxiety, anger. Every — jealousy. Sometimes happiness. Just about everything you can feel. It’s like, it’s like I’m still going through puberty, but I’m 28.
[00:04:35] CHRIS: Wow.
[00:04:36] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:04:37] CHRIS: That’s a, that’s a broader and somewhat darker range of emotions than I anticipated. And so walk, walk me through this. How does, how does, how does thinking about beauty, and is this specifically in relation to the makeup and whatnot that has brought these emotions up?
[00:04:54] CALLER: I think as just as a woman, too, like you said, capitalism and everything. There’s a lot of pressure to like, buy this. And if you don’t, like, you’re not pretty or, like, you need this sort of thing. And even working in cosmetics sales, I find it very hard to to tell people what to buy. And because I’m so biased, I don’t want to pressure people to buy stuff. But it is part of my job. I have quotas to meet and I make commissions. So it’s definitely a good incentive. But at the same time, I don’t want to make people feel like they need stuff. And certainly if someone comes in and approaches me with a certain product or concern, I will address it. But I think since I was — I think the earliest that I started noticing that, like, oh, well, maybe I thought it wasn’t pretty or something, I was, I want to say twelve, just like, again, puberty and stuff. I was the first person in grade five in my class to get a pimple. Nobody had seen a pimple before then. So when I showed up that day, it was just like, oh my God, you have a zit. Nobody had seen one before.
[00:06:05] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:06:08] CALLER: It was mortifying.
[00:06:08] CHRIS: So. Right, right, right out of the gate you’re like, people notice when, people notice when gross stuff happens.
[00:06:14] CALLER: Yeah. Exactly.
[00:06:15] CHRIS: Like your first experience. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:06:16] CALLER: And my eyebrows got, like, really big. My dad is Russian so he has, like, huge eyebrows and is, you know, a hairy guy.
[00:06:25] CHRIS: Uh-huh.
[00:06:25] CALLER: And my sisters were just kind of, like, more normal looking than me or like whatever normal is, whatever you want to consider, what normal is. We just didn’t really look like sisters. Like even in high school, my younger sister, people thought was — we were just friends because she had a smaller nose than I did. And I had like bigger eyebrows. And just things like where I was, like, hyper aware of just changes and, and beauty standards and, and feeling like bullied or, or like you said, people noticing things like that where maybe nowadays people are a bit more oh, I don’t know, because I if I was a kid now how I would handle it or how you could address it. But it was just, like I said, mortifying at the time.
[00:07:12] CHRIS: Yeah, I get that. I remember those feelings. I remember — My big issue with puberty was that it never — it just, it wouldn’t happen.
[00:07:20] CALLER: I remember you mentioning that you had a late, you had a late growth spurt.
[00:07:23] CHRIS: Oh, the latest, the latest of late bloomers. I mean, it was bad.
[00:07:29] CALLER: What age did that happen for you?
[00:07:32] CHRIS: I did not have pubes until junior year of high school.
[00:07:35] CALLER: Oh, my God. Yeah. I got my period when I was 11. And then 12 I got like my first zit.
[00:07:40] CHRIS: Look at that. When you’re a kid —
[00:07:42] CALLER: Like, it was a big zit.
[00:07:44] CHRIS: When you’re a kid, being in the middle ground is what you’re aiming for at all times. Right?
[00:07:49] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:07:49] CHRIS: You don’t want to be early. You don’t want to be late. Just, how can I hide out in the middle of this? It’s like, a key.
[00:07:56] CALLER: Be homeschooled?
[00:07:58] CHRIS: I know. I know. And it’s funny because I remember that. I remember like just my voice wouldn’t change. And everybody felt bad for me. Like people stopped even making fun of me and it felt bad for me at a certain point.
[00:08:13] CALLER: Yeah, I can relate. And like I had a good group of friends, but it was still like I just didn’t feel like I belonged and didn’t feel pretty. Didn’t have like a whole ton of encouragement. And like, my mom was a bit more — like I could talk to people, but it’s not like I kept it in for years and years. I would, you know, open up to people about it. But my mom would always just say, oh, you’re too hard on yourself. She called it vanity insanity and still does to this day. She says, I have vanity insanity. But later I learned that it’s actually called body dysmorphic disorder.
[00:08:44] CHRIS: Oh, wow.
[00:08:45] CALLER: And I didn’t know that I had that, like, my whole life. I just didn’t know. Like, I would rant to people about stuff and they’d just be — oh, you’re just crazy, it’s just in your head and you’re fine, you look fine. And it was, it’s, yeah. Body dysmorphic disorder.
[00:09:03] CHRIS: So I have heard of this.
[00:09:06] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:09:06] CHRIS: I’m gonna put out — I think I have a a very, very, very basic, bullet point understanding. Maybe you can let me know about the complexities. My understanding — I actually met a comedian who talked on stage about body dysmorphia. My very vague, basic understanding is that this is a condition where when you look in a mirror, you might be perceiving things about yourself that other people, from the outside looking in, would say are not the total reality. Is that the truth of it?
[00:09:40] CALLER: Yeah. Well, I mean, if you, again, want to explain it to someone in an easy way, because even when I talk to people about it, they’re like, I don’t know what that is. And the best way I can explain is, yeah, like, being in, like, one of those funhouse hall of mirrors. Everything’s distorted and you don’t see the truth and you don’t — but it goes further than that, too. Like, I didn’t like being in pictures for the longest time. I didn’t, I didn’t like social media. I didn’t like going out, like, it was a huge anxiety thing for me. Just being paranoid about, like, what angle is someone looking at me from? And, you know, some people feel like, I’ve got a good angle, I’ve got my bad angle. And I just didn’t want people looking at me. And yeah, it was so bad. Like, it definitely isn’t as bad as it is now. I have my days and, again, it’s more hormone driven. So I get like kind of, in a mood for about a week, but it’s better now. But definitely at the time I didn’t know what it was. And my mom just said, oh, you’re just — you stare in the mirror too much, you’re just crazy. But I literally just thought like, no, I just, I can’t. I don’t think what I’m seeing is real. Like, I can’t relate to my reflection. It’s really sad.
[00:10:55] CHRIS: Wow. So you might you might look in a mirror and go, oh, wow, I’m way too skinny or I’m way too heavy. And someone would look at you and go, actually, you’re kind of like, right in the, right, right in the zone of where someone of your height should be.
[00:11:14] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:11:14] CHRIS: And you’d go, that is not true. Not true.
[00:11:14] CALLER: And I’ve never struggled with, like, an eating disorder or anything. I think I’ve maintained a healthy weight. Actually I think I could put on more weight or, like, muscles specifically. I think I could be stronger. I’d like to be able to, like help myself off a building if I ever fell off one or something, like, I don’t know, or falling out of a tree. I don’t know, I’m not typically doing that. But I want to be stronger. I want to feel empowered.
[00:11:40] CHRIS: That’s more practical than cosmetic at the end of the day, too.
[00:11:42] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:11:43] CHRIS: Everybody needs to climb up the side of a building every once in a while.
[00:11:46] CALLER: Yeah. Everyone should be — it’s just a practical skill. Everyone should be able to lift their upper body. And I have basically no upper body strength.
[00:11:55] CHRIS: Same here. We have that in common.
[00:11:56] CALLER: So, that’s something that I think I could work on. No, it’s more — like, I tried when I did end up actually, like, going to therapy for it and speaking with the therapist and it helped. And then she went on maternity leave. That really sucked. But basically we kind of narrowed it down and she gave me really good tips on how to deal with it, how to kind of control it because it’s, it is really in your head, it’s a mental disorder. Actually, I listen to the RuPaul podcast, too. And he had a really great quote and I wrote it down because it helps me a lot. And he says, you are not your thoughts. And it’s — and I believe it. Thoughts can be very intrusive, especially ones when you look in the mirror and say, God, you’re so ugly, like, you look old, or even suicidal thoughts. It’s very intrusive. So that was a big thing for me is kind of controlling it and kind of telling those thoughts to go away and — or in meditation, too, they say acknowledge them and move on.
[00:13:12] CHRIS: Absolutely.
[00:13:12] CALLER: So there’s a couple of things that I did and the therapist kind of told me to find things that you like about yourself and focus on those, make a list if you have to and remind yourself and cover up the mirrors or take them down if you have to and just find things that make you feel beautiful and — or don’t focus on those things. And then I did end up getting a job in a cosmetic department that requires me to wear makeup every day and spend upwards to like an hour on my face, so. It can be challenging.
[00:13:39] CHRIS: I was going to say, I was going to say, it’s amazing that you’ve wound up — but it’s funny because you had — you said the word before, you know, empowerment. And I wonder, I wonder — because there’s you know, there’s some aspect to which especially –and again, as a dude, what do I know? And you can correct me on anything wrong — but, you know, from the outside looking in, like, there’s some degree to which it feels like cosmetics are a thing that are almost like, you know, like it’s a drag for me that, like, when my wife and I want to go somewhere, I can just throw my jacket and be ready to go and she goes, Well, no, now I gotta go put on my face. That’s a drag. But there’s another side of it that I would imagine might — it might be interesting for you to be working in the cosmetics department because some of it is about empowerment, right? Some of that is going, I am going to define my look. I’m going to define who I am. And like you mentioned, RuPaul, there’s whole cultures that I think — makeup, cosmetics, things like this are used towards: I will define my look. You will not judge me based on what you see. I will let you know what I am and who I am.
[00:14:46] CALLER: Absolutely. And that’s why I mention a lot to customers, too, like especially when someone comes up and goes, I don’t think I can pull this color off. And I go, Why not? What’s stopping you? Like, Oh, my skin tone. And I’m like, if you like the color, just wear it. Like, makeup is subjective. You can do it. I mean, put it on as eyeshadow or do whatever you want with it. I try, again, try, like you said, I try to be more empowering. And that’s a lot of gratification in my job where I get to do makeovers and not just sell products. That’s my favorite part about the job is if I could just do those all day instead of standing around and selling stuff, I would do that. And maybe I can work towards that in the future, but right now it’s just a retail job. But I typically will get a chance to sit down with someone and give them a makeover. Even if it’s just for a wedding or if it’s — I’ve had a woman come in before and just said I just got of therapy, I’m just super bummed out, can you just fix my face up? And I said, absolutely. She had, like, mascara tears and everything, so it just, you know, really calmed her, and —
[00:15:51] CHRIS: Mascara tears.
[00:15:52] CALLER: And she was so nice and kind.
[00:15:52] CHRIS: I hate to laugh, but that’s such a, it’s just such a sad image that all I can do is just to — laugh awkwardly.
[00:16:00] CALLER: Well, I didn’t laugh, ’cause…
[00:16:01] CHRIS: Of course.
[00:16:01] CALLER: …she told me some dark stuff. And like, like things that I didn’t really pry about. Like, I didn’t, you know, I’m — with body dysmorphia, too, and again, anxiety and that is much less in my life now than it was a few years ago, but I’m a bit more closed off. I like to tell people: I’m an open book, just maybe the pages are stuck together a little bit, you have to, like, peel them, like work a little bit. ‘Cause I don’t like to, like, just, tell people stuff, but when I’m doing makeup, people just tell me things that I just, are unwarranted, I just did not ask about. She told — that particular woman told me her mother died that year. She just had a miscarriage…
[00:16:49] CHRIS: Wow.
[00:16:49] CALLER: …and she just got out into therapy and was just not feeling good. And, you know, I helped her feel better. And spending an hour like that with someone and they open up to you — again, without me even really prying. I’ll ask, like, How’s your day? Where are you going? Like what’s — you know, what’s on the agenda? But I’m not, like, asking a lot of personal stuff. So it’s, it’s weird how people feel so comfortable and relaxed and it’s just a makeup artist. It’s kind of li — I guess it’s kind of like a therapy session, but it’s — I find that really odd. I do theater makeup as well, too, not just in retail and that’s kind of my escape is that I get to be more creative and more challenging. There’s more of a, a time constraint. And it’s the same, though, backstage. People will just go on about stuff. And I’m, I’m fascinated with what they’re willing to share.
[00:17:50] CHRIS: I guess it makes sense, though, I’ve never thought of it, but it makes total sense, right?, that when you’re seeking out a way to sort of redefine your look, you are, in effect, redefining yourself, and that it might lead to situations where you start maybe pouring out some of the things that have led you there. That makes a lot of sense to me, as you say it — I never would, it never would have occurred to me before this conversation.
[00:18:14] CALLER: Have you ever, like, had your makeup done on, like, The Gethard Show? Or like, you know, for men typically it’s like, you know, a little bit of powder, maybe some concealer if you had, like, dark circles. Have you ever had to wear makeup before?
[00:18:25] CHRIS: Oh, yeah. I mean, every acting —
[00:18:25] CALLER: Well, yeah, on movies and stuff, too.
[00:18:28] CHRIS: Yeah. Every time I go on camera, you know, you gotta throw makeup — and, I tell you what: When you got this amount of forehead, you gotta throw some powder on there. You know that. If you’ve done theatrical makeup, you know..
[00:18:39] CALLER: Yep.
[00:18:40] CHRIS: …when you have this, just, you don’t want any type of light hittin’ this forehead without a little bit of powder there to help dull the effect. But it’s funny, yeah, like, I’ve been through it a bunch of times. And I’ll tell you: I once — the first time, the first time I did stand-up on TV, it was a half-hour special. I don’t think I should name the network ’cause I don’t want to make anybody feel bad. But when I watched it, like, they used, like, a very orange makeup on me, and I, I watched the special once when it first aired and I’ve never been able to go back because it looks like, it looks like I have a spray tan and I’m a pale guy.
[00:19:23] CALLER: Oompa-Loompa. That’s what a lot of people like to call it.
[00:19:24] CHRIS: Yeah, it had —
[00:19:25] CALLER: Oompa-Loompa face.
[00:19:26] CHRIS: It had — I had Oompa-Loompa face my first ever time doing stand-up on TV. And it does make me just feel very insec — I have a lot — I will be very open with you and say, I don’t know if I have body dysmorphia, I will say that I have a lot of insecurity about looks and appearance.
[00:19:40] CALLER: I think you might. Maybe a very minor — I think a lot of men, specifically, I think it’s found a lot commonly in men, just, again, from doing my research because, you know, look at bodybuilders, too, where they just — it almost borderlines on body dysmorphia or could be a form of it because they want to reach perfection. And even men that are built so huge look in the mirror and still go, I’m too skinny, or women that have size G breasts, they go, Oh, they’re too, they’re too small still.
[00:20:10] CHRIS: Yeah. I know —
[00:20:11] CALLER: And…
[00:20:12] CHRIS: Oh, go for it.
[00:20:13] CALLER: It is, it is dysmorphic, it’s literally a disorder where your mind is warped and you, and you can’t see it. I was gonna say, about the makeup, where there’s stage lights on your stand-up special…
[00:20:23] CHRIS: Yeah. Yeah. There were lights —
[00:20:25] CALLER: ‘Cause sometimes in theater they use a shade a little bit darker to — ’cause it’s, the stage lights are on your face, so they don’t want it to look too pale. So maybe they thought, Oh we’ll go a bit darker and, and he won’t look so ghoulish.
[00:20:38] CHRIS: I had like —
[00:20:38] CALLER: And then it ended up looking orange.
[00:20:40] CHRIS: Yeah. Yeah. I mean I hope they weren’t thinking I was ghoulish before they put any big amount, but I mean I wound up —
[00:20:47] CALLER: You’re definitely not ghoulish.
[00:20:48] CHRIS: I wound up looking like a, like a character from like, like The Love Boat from like — remember in the 70s when everybody else had like bright white teeth and super orange skin? I had that vibe going.
[00:20:58] CALLER: And, well, yeah, tanning was so big back then, too, they all just, like, baked in the sun and were super crispy.
[00:21:05] CHRIS: George Hamilton, that was famous for his tan?
[00:21:08] CALLER: Yup.
[00:21:08] CHRIS: Had, like, a George Hamilton thing going on there. Yeah, I will — I’ll say, on my end, there are, there are times when I look in a mirror and I’ll go, I think I look pretty alright today I might be a good-looking guy. And then there are — later that day, hours later, I’ll look in the same mirror and go, Man, I’m, I’m a hideous monster. I’m a hideous monster, that’s what I am. A monster.
[00:21:28] CALLER: Yep, I can relate. I have some good days, and I’m like — or I catch a nice angle, and I’m like, Oh, damn. And then later on, I’m just like, Oh, my God, what — and it’s — again, I’m at kind of an age now, and, oh, I don’t know if it was an epiphany, but I just had a point where I’m like, I’m getting too old to care and, just, who cares? And literally, I was not able to leave the house without makeup on, even if it was just to go to the post office, which was like a five minute walk. I couldn’t do anything. I ordered food a lot. I just couldn’t go out. And I wanted to mention, too, the biggest part with me, too, is not only — on top of already having body dysmorphia, I, my nose was broken when I was 15. I was assaulted in a mosh pit.
[00:22:14] CHRIS: Oh, wow. There you go.
[00:22:17] CALLER: Yep.
[00:22:17] CHRIS: Mosh pits. Get outta control.
[00:22:18] CALLER: And I didn’t know. I didn’t know it was broken. I was just like, Oh, I got punched in the face, whatever. And, you know, as years pass when you don’t correct that — I was having breathing issues. I was having insomnia. So on top of, again, having body dysmorphia and not sleeping, I literally felt like I was losing my mind and going crazy. And finally looked into having it corrected. So I did that when I was 24…
[00:22:45] CHRIS: That must’ve helped.
[00:22:45] CALLER: …and so that’s 10 years, yeah, about 10 years that I lived with a broken nose and when I had it corrected, you know, I felt pretty good after it, I felt, like, normal and — well, a bit more balanced, I guess, not normal — but it felt a bit more balanced and, and more confident. And I don’t know, I wasn’t very happy with the surgery. And if you — I don’t know if you’re familiar with cosmetic surgery at all, but if you — I don’t know if it’s the same everywhere, but if you basically don’t like what the surgeon did, you can typically go back to the surgeon or — at least where I live — and get them to correct it for free, or at a discounted rate or whatever, like you might have to pay for anesthesia, so a year or two passed and I just kind of consulted with him again and said, Look, I’m not very happy, like you did a great job fixing the broken bone and everything, but I’m just not very happy with how it looks and if this is how it’s gonna look for the rest of my life, like, I would, I’m considering another surgery. And so I went ahead and did that a year and a half ago? So I’ve gone through some physical changes on top of, like, trying to balance myself mentally, and I have to say I’m not, I’m not promoting cosmetic surgery to enhance beauty, but definitely if there’s something that’s bugging an individual, I think it’s worth looking into. Like, I’ve had moles removed on my back, too, I had a really big mole and they made sure it wasn’t cancerous, too. But I also didn’t like wearing tank tops for that reason.
[00:24:17] CHRIS: Right.
[00:24:17] CALLER: So there was a couple physical things that I didn’t enjoy about myself that I actually really, really wanted to correct. Not just for cosmetic reasons. I also couldn’t sleep because my breathing was impaired, but that was just a bonus that he was able to kind of make my nose look a little better.
[00:24:33] CHRIS: Wow.
[00:24:34] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:24:34] CHRIS: It’s so funny. It’s so — here’s the thing that is really striking to me in this conversation is that, on one level, you have suffered from an actual disorder that makes this stuff such a struggle, but it also seems like between your descriptions of how you treat people when you’re giving them a makeover, the way that you think about cosmetic surgery, it also feels like there’s some elements by which, Well, I’m not going to let this control me. And the way I will do that is by really taking the reins and controlling it. You know what I mean? Of almost like, I’m going to — like, I would imagine when someone comes into and realizes — they’re getting makeover and they don’t feel good and they start talking to you, they must sense pretty quickly, Oh, it’s good this person is not trying to, like, hustle and sell me too hard on stuff, because your mentality is one of really wanting to help and showing, This can be something that’s almost — puts the choice back in your hands of how you’re gonna feel about yourself. I think that’s pretty cool.
[00:25:36] CALLER: Yeah, I try, again — Well, a big reason why I’m, like, a huge, long-time fan of this podcast, too, is because I’m extremely empathetic in, just having gone through a lot of different experiences and having those feelings. It can be overwhelming — and also, intuitive individuals. I know when someone’s gonna steal at work. I know when, you know, someone gives off bad energy. And sometimes it’s really hard for me to kind of shake that stuff off. But I’m, you know, an intuitive individual. And I know when someone wants a makeover done, too, that, if they’re not feeling exactly comfortable and to communicate with that, because I can feel it. I can sense it. I’ve dealt with many different clientele. One of my first makeovers when I first started at this job was a newly transgender woman and she asked me to — I don’t — Can we kind of position ourselves so not many people can see us? I’m just very insecure. And I 100 percent related because I’ve been there. I’ve been in that situation. And after we were done, they, they felt so good and comfortable with me. And I see them all the time now. And it’s just nice to make that connection with someone. And, like you said, not kind of hustle ’em out and be like, Okay, buy our stuff and get out. Because I’m by no means like that. Maybe in theater just cause it’s like, ‘Kay, you have to be onstage in 15 minutes, but…
[00:27:02] CHRIS: Right, there’s a deadline on that.
[00:27:04] CALLER: …theater makeup doesn’t have to be perfect. Just, just to kind of look good from a distance.
[00:27:07] CHRIS: Right. Right.
[00:27:09] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:27:09] CHRIS: It’s a lot more about like, Hey, we’re gonna — you’re someone who has not been — you’re, you’re someone — like, if you’re someone who feels maybe judged or boxed in, it sounds like you’re going like, No, we’re gonna sit down and you’re gonna be able to sort of, like, tell your own story moving forward, like we’re gonna — Here’s what we’re gonna do. What do you feel good about? Let’s go figure out how to make it happen.
[00:27:32] CALLER: Yeah, like I like to ask people, too, if they’re, you know, if there’s something in particular they want to focus on. I had a makeover last week where a woman just needed makeup for a photo I.D. That was it. Just for a photo I.D.
[00:27:46] CHRIS: Simple as that.
[00:27:46] CALLER: And she said, Can we focus more on my eyes, though? And I can — I like being able to focus on their needs or if they have something that they’re, you know, looking to — I don’t want to say cover up, but I like to enhance rather than just, like, make makeup so heavy and have someone be unrecognizable.
[00:28:09] CHRIS: Right.
[00:28:09] CALLER: Although, yes, I love drag makeup. I think it’s wonderful. I’ve done it on men before. It’s so much fun. But, I also — when someone — you know, just from my personal perspective, I don’t want to just cover it up. I want to still feel like myself, but just enhance it. And there’s a lot of ways you can do that even without makeup. That’s just been a big way for me to kind of explore that on my journey, too, and again, after having corrective surgery it’s just kind of like, Okay, like, I feel a bit more like myself, I don’t have a big huge bump and, you know, dent in my nose anymore. Like, it was kind of like — I could — the best I can describe it, it was kind of like Owen Wilson’s nose. And now it’s very straight and narrow and a bit more, you know, defined, which I’m very happy with.
[00:28:57] CHRIS: So you walked around for 10 years with a shattered nose.
[00:29:00] CALLER: Yes.
[00:29:01] CHRIS: Wow. Brutal.
[00:29:02] CALLER: I couldn’t sleep on my right side because I wouldn’t be able to breathe.
[00:29:07] CHRIS: Wow. Were you a punk rocker in the mosh pits?
[00:29:10] CALLER: Yeah. I was like — I went through my emo goth phase. That’s kind of the whole, you know, I’m ugly and I’m misunderstood and I’m gonna dye my hair black and wear lots of eyeliner. And, yep, it was a phase for about, I want to say four-ish years. And yeah, that happened when I was 15. Did not know it was broken. And there wasn’t even many people in the mosh pit, literally. It was, like, a pretty sparse mosh pit. And a girl just punched me in the nose for no reason.
[00:29:38] CHRIS: But listen, I’ve been to enough functions. Sometimes when you go into the small ones, that’s when people really start to target — a big mosh pit, somebody falls down, somebody else picks you up. But then you get some of these kooks who want to be violent for violence’s sake and that’s not what it’s about, man.
[00:29:51] CALLER: Yeah. Well, sometimes, I don’t know, do you ever feel like maybe you meet someone and you’re just like, I don’t know what I did or why, but this person just doesn’t like me.
[00:30:04] CHRIS: Yeah. That happens to me all the time.
[00:30:05] CALLER: And I feel like it was one of those situations where this girl is just like, I don’t like this girl, I’m gonna punch her in the face.
[00:30:09] CHRIS: Yeah, that’s being a teenager, too, right?
[00:30:12] CALLER: Yep.
[00:30:12] CHRIS: Just these like, raging — It’s so funny. We keep — you just brought up, you know, you brought up drag culture. You brought up goth culture. I brought up punk, which I have a lot of background in. And it’s so funny. Those are all cultures that you, like — even theater in a certain way, but less in a self-defining sense, like, those are all cultures that sort of say: How I feel on the inside is not how I look on the outside, and I’m going to correct that. I’m gonna show you how I feel on the inside.
[00:30:43] CALLER: Absolutely. It’s a, like, it’s a transformative tool. And you certainly, you can go on stage without makeup on, but when you have it on, like — I’ll just give you an idea of a show, I’ve done Rocky Horror Picture Show. Imagine Frankenfurter going on stage without makeup on.
[00:30:57] CHRIS: Yeah, no, thanks. Sounds like a weak production. Sounds like a watered-down production.
[00:31:00] CALLER: Like, it’d still be great, but, yeah, it would be a production with almost no budget, or the actor showed up late…
[00:31:07] CHRIS: Or no ambition. Or visionless directing.
[00:31:11] CALLER: Yes. It’s a transformative tool. And yeah, it’s — out of all of them, I mean, I don’t like going to shows as much, just, I don’t know — like, loudness and crowds still kind of, like, make me — not feel nervous, but I just, like, I’m just like, I just want to be at home and, yeah, watch Drag Race or like, watch — just be alone or, yeah, listen to podcasts or just wash my makeup brushes. I don’t know. I just want to do, I just want to be an adult, really. Not that going to shows isn’t being an adult, but I just kind of phased out of that. But theater definitely changed my life. I started, out of nowhere, doing makeup for that three years ago. Before I was working in a cosmetic department, I was like a sandwich, I was literally a sandwich, a sandwich lady at a university cafeteria.
[00:32:03] CHRIS: Ain’t nothing wrong with that.
[00:32:05] CALLER: Not glamorous, but yeah, I did still have nice makeup. The girls would compliment me all the time and there is nothing wrong with that, but I was just like, I hate this. I don’t want to make sandwiches.
[00:32:15] CHRIS: Uh-huh.
[00:32:16] CALLER: And I would talk about makeup with another coworker. There’s a really good special effects TV show called Face Off, and we would talk about it and, like, talk about who got eliminated and stuff because it’s a competitive show. And it’s really cool, more than just, like, beauty makeup, it’s special effects. It’s really cool. And you actually learn stuff when you watch it. And, just out of nowhere she asked me if I wanted to help on a production and at this time I had no kit, no brushes, nothing. And I said yes, just because I was just like, Oh, sure. And just fell in love with it. Was immediately welcomed and just had that feeling of, like, these are my people because everyone was so weird, but, like, accepting and fun and kind. And it was — it’s thrilling. And I’m sure, you know, too, like, being in a production and seeing it all come together and being part of that, like, it’s a really big, like, rush of adrenalin.
[00:33:16] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:33:17] CALLER: And after doing that, yeah, I’ve done it for a solid three years now. I usually do about — I try to do a production a month, sometimes two, if it overlaps, but this year I’ve kind of chilled out a little bit. I’ve only done one this year. Two. Sorry, two.
[00:33:35] CHRIS: Wow. Yeah.
[00:33:36] CALLER: Yeah. It’s changed my life. I really, I really enjoy it. Meeting the people has opened me up a bit more and made me — again, just keeps me being a caring individual and always empathetic.
[00:33:54] CHRIS: That’s awesome.
[00:33:55] CALLER: A good listener. I might not open up as much — although I am now!
[00:33:59] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:34:00] CALLER: Yeah. This is my, this is my makeover.
[00:34:04] CHRIS: That’s awesome. I tell you what: I think — I don’t know if it’s running anywhere, they’ve toured it around a few different cities, I saw it at the Brooklyn Museum, I feel like you in particular would love it. Couple of months ago, I went and saw this David Bowie exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.
[00:34:21] CALLER: Oh, my God. Yes. I’ve seen pictures.
[00:34:24] CHRIS: Oh, it was good.
[00:34:24] CALLER: And, oh, and, like, yeah, the conceptualization that he put into all of his looks and the makeup, the face charts.
[00:34:32] CHRIS: It was eye opening.
[00:34:33] CALLER: You weren’t supposed to take pictures that somebody, like, snuck some and put them on Tumblr or something. They were beautiful.
[00:34:38] CHRIS: I’m glad other people get to see — that’s a bummer, though, if they ask you not to. But it’s funny because I always like David Bowie’s hits. I liked some of the music. Some of it was, like — with my music, it was — like, I like theatrical stuff, but it almost went a little too far in that direction. But I went to that exhibit and I was like, Oh, I never got it. It wasn’t just about the music. He was — he almost didn’t even consider himself a musician, like, it was a full package. It was costumes. It was makeup. It was characters. It was, you know, certain, certain tours pushed a certain level of androgyny. It was — everything was a stylistic choice. It related back to, you know, German theater from the 20s and 30s. It was just — everything was about — like, presentation. How can I package this and present this where I, as a human in the middle of it, am just taking stands?
[00:35:28] CALLER: Absolutely. He re-invented himself over and over.
[00:35:32] CHRIS: It’s so cool. It was so cool. I was like, I get it a little more now. I get it a little more now. I get why people obsess over this.
[00:35:38] CALLER: Yeah, like you get what you pay for, really. And he — I, like, I’ve watched a bunch of documentaries. I’m a pretty big Bowie fan. Never got to see him live, but. He — I found out he retired his Ziggy Stardust persona on my birthday. July 3rd.
[00:35:55] CHRIS: Look at that.
[00:35:56] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:35:57] CHRIS: That’s a real connection right there.
[00:35:58] CALLER: Yeah, that’s also Tom Cruise’s birthday.
[00:36:00] CHRIS: Wow. That less — seems like it ties in less to what we’re talking about.
[00:36:04] CALLER: Yep. What’s — OK, this is really random and we don’t have to talk about astrology. What’s your zodiac sign?
[00:36:11] CHRIS: Gemini.
[00:36:12] CALLER: Gemini. Cool. I’m a cancer. ‘Kay, we don’t have to talk about astrology, though, like, I feel like that, no. We don’t have to talk about it. Anyway —
[00:36:20] CHRIS: We can. We can talk about whatever you want.
[00:36:21] CALLER: I was gonna say, too, I love Bowie, and another one, if you are familiar with her work at all is Kate Bush. And she, in my opinion, is, like, the, almost, like, the female Bowie. She was even trained by the same dancer that trained Bowie how to mime and dance onstage.
[00:36:36] CHRIS: Oh, that’s cool. Yeah —
[00:36:37] CALLER: And she’s a UK female, like, pop artist. And she also came out in the 70s and she’s amazing. You’ve probably heard Wuthering Heights or…
[00:36:49] CHRIS: Yeah, I know —
[00:36:49] CALLER: …heard someone do it at karaoke or something.
[00:36:52] CHRIS: I know a little bit. Yeah, I have friends who are obsessed with Kate Bush, but once again…
[00:36:55] CALLER: Yep, I’m one of those people.
[00:36:56] CHRIS: …I missed the boat on the cultural stuff. But I’m a big Morrissey fan and there’s someone who also, like, packaged image as much as music.
[00:37:06] CALLER: Yeah, that’s true. Same with — well, I don’t know, Robert Smith, too. And I don’t know —
[00:37:10] CHRIS: Absolutely.
[00:37:11] CALLER: Do Morrissey and Robert actually hate each other?
[00:37:13] CHRIS: They hate each other with a burning, fiery passion.
[00:37:16] CALLER: Do they actually? I thought it was, like, an ongoing joke.
[00:37:19] CHRIS: No, I believe it’s real. I believe Robert Smith once had a quote: “When I found out Morrissey was a vegetarian, it made me want to eat meat.”
[00:37:27] CALLER: Oh, no.
[00:37:28] CHRIS: Yeah. He does not like — they do not like each other.
[00:37:29] CALLER: I’m a vegetarian.
[00:37:30] CHRIS: I’m a pescatarian. I gotta — I gotta shit or get off the pot on that. I gotta stop with the fish. It’s so good, though.
[00:37:36] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:37:38] CHRIS: It is — and — I remember when I was a kid, when I was first getting into punk, there was a documentary called Another State of Mind, which — it was pretty good. It followed a couple bands on tour. I don’t know if it holds up, but…
[00:37:48] CALLER: I’m gonna write it down.
[00:37:48] CHRIS: …when I was 15, I was obsessed with it. But Social Distortion is one of the bands they follow. And Mike Ness has this beautiful speech about why he wears eyeliner where he’s like, It basically is just like, I feel like someone who is a cast off, and when I deal with bullies and I deal with jocks, I know they think I’m a freak and if they want to see me that way, I’m gonna go ahead and draw a line in the sand and I’m gonna be that and I’m gonna own it. And then say, yeah, you’re right, I am different from you. And if you want to be hateful towards me, that’s on you. That’s not on me. But I’m not gonna apologize for who I am anymore. Made this whole philosophy about why he puts on eyeliner as a punk and everyone watching at the age of 15 and being like, Wow. Yes. Yes, yes. Got to stop apologizing. You got to stop apologizing. When you manage to stop apologizing, you let your guard down. That is very often when all of a sudden people are like, hey, what’s up with you? It’s fun– I’ve spent my whole life feeling — You want to hear something sad? You wanna hear something sad but beaut– actually, it’s not sad at all. It’s beautiful. I will…
[00:38:53] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:38:54] CHRIS: When I do stand up, I’ll very often make self-deprecating jokes about my appearance. And my wife, just about a month ago, said to me, I don’t understand why people laugh at those jokes. I think you’re really handsome. And it made me — I’m starting to cry a little bit right now, talking about it.
[00:39:13] CALLER: Noooo.
[00:39:14] CHRIS: Little bit. What a nice thing to have somebody say. Because I can make all the self-deprecating jokes I want — they come from somewhere, when I’m making fun of my own appearance. She goes, I don’t get why people laugh at that. You’re handsome. I was like, Man, I love my wife.
[00:39:26] CALLER: Yeah, I think when you open up and kind of make a joke about it that makes people think, Oh, it’s OK. And again, even like — yeah, as a kid, too, if I made a joke about my nose or something, too, maybe someone else might have. And then I’m like, Hey, that’s not, that’s not cool. That hurts my feelings.
[00:39:44] CHRIS: Right.
[00:39:44] CALLER: But because you made a joke previously, they thought it was OK. And, yeah, doing a joke about it, and people paying to go see a show, they think: Here’s where we laugh, you know.
[00:39:57] CHRIS: Yeah, exactly. And it’s one of those things, one of the instincts, right — I’ll get there firs– I’ll make a joke about my nose before you can so that I have the power and you don’t. But it’s…
[00:40:07] CALLER: Yeah, and then it just gets into the wrong person’s mind and they — they know, Oh, that’s her weakness. Like —
[00:40:14] CHRIS: Right.
[00:40:15] CALLER: We know, like, we have dirt against you sort-of-thing. Or, you know, we know where it can get you.
[00:40:18] CHRIS: Yeah. You just — You gave us the ammunition.
[00:40:21] CALLER: And now not much, not much can really, really bug me, like, I had done a lot to help with that. But yeah, you have to — you have to be kind to yourself, Chris.
[00:40:32] CHRIS: Yeah. And you do as well. Person whose name I will never know.
[00:40:38] CALLER: Yeah, maybe not.
[00:40:40] CHRIS: We all do. Gotta be kind to yourself.
[00:40:44] CALLER: Yeah, it’s hard. I don’t know. Yeah. RuPaul says, You are not your thoughts. So, don’t let — really don’t let those dig into you. Do nice things to make yourself feel better, like, yeah, you’re into jujitsu. And I wanted to do that a few years ago, but I just — the gym membership was too much money, so I never did. But I did really, really want to do it because I thought about, yeah, being stronger and stuff. And I consulted with a couple of people on — A friend, like, I wanted to do karate or kickboxing or something. He’s like, no, you should do jujitsu. It’s, like, actually useful.
[00:41:17] CHRIS: Yeah, it’s the best.
[00:41:19] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:41:19] CHRIS: It’s the best.
[00:41:20] CALLER: So I’m still — I would still consider it if there was a different training studio or something.
[00:41:26] CHRIS: It’s fun– it’s funny you bring that up. I wonder how you feel about that, because I got really — I came back a year ago. I’d done it for a few years. I stopped. And then came back and I was watching — I tell you, I can’t watch back episodes of my TV show because I see my gut.
[00:41:42] CALLER: That was a good episode, though.
[00:41:42] CHRIS: I see my — thanks so much, yeah. That was — I had fun with those dudes, those dudes were — they’re, like, the best. They’re the best in the world. And I got to fight them. It was awesome. It’s like an honor. But I tell you, I have such a gut and I can see it. When I did Career Suicide, I had this, you know, I was doing it off-Broadway and The New York Times reviewed it, and they gave me this pretty glowing review. And the only line that I could see was they said that I had a pot belly. It was the only thing —
[00:42:08] CALLER: Why even mention that?
[00:42:09] CHRIS: I don’t know how it applied to my show about my feelings!
[00:42:13] CALLER: No, it doesn’t at all unless you were like a singer or something and that, like, helps with singing, but no…
[00:42:18] CHRIS: Yeah. Who cares about any of that –
[00:42:21] CALLER: No, it’s unnecessary. They’re just diggin’. Again, diggin’. Grasping at straws, as they say. No. You feel better though? That you’ve lost weight, I think, doing jujitsu?
[00:42:30] CHRIS: I’ve lost 20 pounds…
[00:42:32] CALLER: Holy shit.
[00:42:32] CHRIS: I’ve lost 20 pounds in like 10 months. And there’s a part of me that’s like, there’s a part of me that’s like, am I giving into the insecurity or the judgment of others? Or am I kind of taking the reins? Changing things about myself in a way that I really love. And in a way that’s healthy. It’s always so hard to walk that line.
[00:42:52] CALLER: Yeah, I don’t think it’s — like, it could be subconscious, too, if you’re just making, again, more effort and you’re not like, Hey, I’m gonna fast for a day or, like, I’m — you know what I mean? It just — if you’re just doing it naturally by doing jujitsu, you’re not obsessing over it. I used to do, like, 100 crunches a day, like, I would work out five days a week. And I think a lot of it, too, was just taking my mind off of things, because literally when you’re working out — and you might relate, with jujitsu — you don’t have time to think about other stuff.
[00:43:23] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:43:24] CALLER: You’re thinking about not getting hurt, thinking about being balanced and keeping your core tight. Like, you don’t have time for intrusive thoughts. Like, literally if I’m doing, like, squats or anything like that, if I unfocus my mind for a second, I’ll lose my balance and I start to fall over.
[00:43:42] CHRIS: Right.
[00:43:42] CALLER: So that’s why I liked working out, because I’m like, I don’t have time to think about anything else. This is great.
[00:43:46] CHRIS: Yes. Similar with jujitsu. I’m like, Man, like, between, like, my insecurities and also my career pressure I always put on myself, I’m like, it’s the one time a day where I know I’m going to be able to turn that off because you can’t worry about any of that when some 23-year-old aspiring UFC fighter is trying to choke you unconscious. Like, you better focus on that first.
[00:44:05] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:44:06] CHRIS: And then at the end of it, I’ve lost weight. It’s nice.
[00:44:09] CALLER: Yeah. So it’s just a really good — it’s like, you know, therapeutic and also good physical activity.
[00:44:16] CHRIS: Health. I want to ask you —
[00:44:17] CALLER: I don’t — Yeah, go ahead.
[00:44:18] CHRIS: Can I ask — I want to ask you something about body dysmorphia that I’m interested in and it relates to something you were talking about before. So it’s a mental disorder. And I’ve spoken very publicly about my own, I know those are things that are just kind of in you, you got to deal with them and learn how to coexist with them. But I also wonder, is there anything that you or your therapist has relayed to you or research that you might know about, like, as far as being a woman. Like, I would imagine — ’cause, I’m talking about all my insecurities and I have to walk a much easier path. There’s just, I think, more pressure on this stuff with females. Which is very unfair. Like, in a world that puts that pressure — in a world where it’s like, Hey, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is out again and it’s just all these people and it’s airbrushed and these images of perfection that are held up. Is it a chicken and egg thing? Like, do you feel like there’s — does body dysmorphia alway– Like, can it be compounded by that? Can be caused by that? Or is it something that’s always sort of in the brain? Do you know what I mean?
[00:45:20] CALLER: Yeah, I don’t know if it’s, like, genetic, but definitely when you’re younger, you know — like I — my mom was like, not — she was never, I think, purposely hurtful, but she definitely had that tough love attitude. So sometimes if I was like, you know, eating something, she might be like, Oh, you better watch it. Or like, When you’re my age, like, you’ll look like this. And it’s like, But you also had four kids and I’m only fifteen. Like, so she did have kinda, I think, an influence on it a little bit. And bullying and all that stuff and certainly advertising — but I never… like, I did, honestly, just, yeah, after getting into like, you know, being emo and goth, I thought, like, I just — like you said, makeup was fun and I thought it was really fun to play with it. And now look at me. I’m a makeup artist. Like, it certainly helped me to build my skills. But definitely I think there was a good influence from my surroundings. And, you know, family is a huge thing. Huge. Like, high school, too, just people are so hard on each other and not even hard — rude. So evil, almost. Just — unapologetically. And it had a really big strain on and impact on how and why it just kept developing, like, it just wouldn’t stop. I don’t think if I had isolated myself that it would have, but I think it just would’ve made it worse in the long run.
[00:46:54] CHRIS: Right.
[00:46:55] CALLER: But I think I’ve almost built up a bit of a tolerance to it at some point, but in my –in the last, maybe, I want to say 10 years — again, I’m 28 — I, or, let’s narrow it down to 7, I have not been picked on really, or have anyone say anything unwarranted and explicitly rude about my physical appearance. And when I do, when they do, I just — you can shut them down and — or, like how you said, the article mentioned something that was unnecessary. I kind of — I don’t — I like the whole back — or not hold back — I like to, kind of, speak up against it because that’s the whole big thing about cyberbullying and bullying is that you can’t let people get away with it.
[00:47:41] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:47:42] CALLER: So I try to tell people, is that necessary to have said? Or if you say somethi– like, Oh, I don’t think that looks good on you or — you know, my mom still does stuff like that, too. And I just kind of go, Thanks, mom. Like, that’s just your — I like using the quote from The Big Lebowski: That’s just, like, your opinion, man. Like I lov– It’s relatable. So. It is. It is just their opinion.
[00:48:07] CHRIS: One of the many fantastic quotes from The Big Lebowski.
[00:48:11] CALLER: Pardon?
[00:48:12] CHRIS: One of the many fantastic quotes from The Big Lebowski.
[00:48:14] CALLER: Yes.
[00:48:15] CHRIS: In my opinion, one of the great films of all time.
[00:48:18] CALLER: It is — it’s true, though. Like, that is — you are entitled to your opinion. But also, was it necessary to have mentioned? And I try — when, even when — I don’t know, I get people that come in and kind of help themselves to makeup testers and they come up and go like, Oh, how do I look? And I just go — I don’t want to be like, Oh, you could have stayed in the lines a bit more. I’m like, they’re trying at least. Like, I’m not going to be nit-picky. I do have very — like, again, body dysmorphia makes you very aware of things, like, and you can see every little — like, I don’t know, I also hope that, like, I don’t wear glasses and I have very good vision so I can literally see everything. It’s not like I’m just going about blindly and not really knowing how I look, I can see everything and I try not to reflect them on other people because it’s not my business unless they really, really begged me to to tell them, then I would give them like, a kind, professional opinion.
[00:49:17] CHRIS: Right.
[00:49:20] CALLER: You mentioned, yes, through therapy, too — I don’t know it — if we really got into if it was, like, genetic or not. I don’t — I would like to do maybe more research and figure that out. But for anyone curious about how to correct it, one of the best things to do for yourself is cognitive behavioral therapy. And they use it for people with OCD…
[00:49:41] CHRIS: Yup. Yup. My shrink has roots in CBT and I think it’s great. For anyone who doesn’t know, I would also give it a big thumbs up. It’s my understanding is that cognitive behavioral therapy is less about discussing your childhood and more about, Let’s come up with some practical…
[00:50:01] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:50:02] CHRIS: …Practical strategies that you can change right now in small ways that will help you get to a point where you’re changing some bigger things. And it’s very cool.
[00:50:10] CALLER: It’s an action plan. It’s cognitive behavior therapy. So, it’s correcting how you approach, again, certain thoughts or behaviors. And yeah, we went through a little bit with them and, again, she did go on maternity leave, which really sucked. But again, that was a while ago. So maybe I should call her up and just kind of check in with her and be like, Hey, like, I’m doing much better now. But she, you know, was off to have her first child. So I was happy for her. But also kind of sad that we — I didn’t know she’s pregnant when we started and then just, she kind of — must have been about five or six months and then further on into our therapy she just was like, really pregnant. And I was like, Oh, I had no idea. I had no idea! So it was just like, OK —
[00:50:56] CHRIS: So that’s — Must be a tough part of being a shrink where you — there’s so many people in your life who are like, I need you, you can’t — you, you can’t, how can you go and have a real life? I need you.
[00:51:06] CALLER: It was a little, you know, it was a little sad on our last session…
[00:51:10] CHRIS: Of course.
[00:51:11] CALLER: …it was kind of just, like, I would go a couple times a week and, yeah, our last session was just kind of cut short and just, like, Well, have a wonderful new adventure. Yeah, I’d like to maybe check into it more. But, like, as I mentioned, I’m not struggling as much. I definitely have my week, typically, as a woman. It’s common to get it, maybe a week or two before your cycle starts, so. Kind of in that right now. But it’s OK.
[00:51:45] CHRIS: I tell you what…
[00:51:46] CALLER: I’ll get through it.
[00:51:47] CHRIS: I tell you what: the number one regret I — my life is very fun and very easy. And I kind of hate when entertainers, especially comedians, talk about how hard it is. There’s — it’s not that hard. There’s people who — there’s people in coal mines who put their lives on the line. It’s not that hard. That being said, if there’s one thing I don’t like about being a public figure, it’s that people on the Internet feel total freedom to let me know what they think about my physical appearance. And that is not great.
[00:52:18] CALLER: Yeah, I noticed that — I love Paul Scheer. I’m a huge Paul Scheer fan — and he gets that so much on his Instagram. And he actually had to make a public announcement about it on one of the many episodes, he said it, or a post or something. He did a big thing about it or something where he’s like, Yeah, I know I used to have hair. Like, it’s kind of weird that you guys make those comments like I was born without it. And like, you can tell that he’s just sick of hearing, like, Oh, you had hair before. Like, I actually think he looks great now! And June, both, they look fabulous. So it’s just stupid. And even for me, social media is still, like, you kind of have to have it when you’re working and trying to build clients and stuff, but I have a private account and I don’t let it be open to the public ’cause I don’t want people saying stuff, like, I don’t want, you know, bots following me and posting promotions for shit I don’t need. Like, I don’t — I don’t know. I feel sorry for you and I am — I’m sorry people have to feel like they, you know, are entitled to saying stuff like that. For anyone.
[00:53:30] CHRIS: Nah, it’s all good — I mean, I signed up for it.
[00:53:31] CALLER: Think about any celebrity who’s just walking around, they’re just trying to go get coffee in the morning and then there’s paparazzi taking pictures of them without makeup on. Maybe they feel good without makeup on, but then they sell it to a magazine.
[00:53:44] CHRIS: Yeah. And it becomes a big joke.
[00:53:45] CALLER: Or distort it with photo editing tools so that they look worse than they actually do. And, like these are people that can afford good, good skin care and stuff, so I just I find it —
[00:53:58] CHRIS: That paparazzi’s got to make a buck, though. They got to make a buck.
[00:54:03] CALLER: Well —
[00:54:03] CHRIS: Gotta sell the tabloids. What can you do? I have —
[00:54:06] CALLER: I think there’s better jobs you could do.
[00:54:08] CHRIS: Sometimes people will say, they’ll be like, Oh, you have weird-looking hands or they’ll be like, Oh, Gethard’s hands, Gethard, your hands, freak me out. I’m like, I was born with, like, a joint condition. Chill out! Calm down!
[00:54:19] CALLER: And that’s something — your hands are really, something you can’t fix.
[00:54:24] CHRIS: Yeah!
[00:54:24] CALLER: Like, if you have big feet, like, and big hands, you can’t really fix them. Like, that’s just how it is. If there’s a joint problem, you could probably get, again, like some sort of corrective surgery to fix that. But it’s not going to — You can’t be like, My feet are size 12 and I want them to be a 7. But you can’t.
[00:54:42] CHRIS: Yeah. Yeah. And it’s also like, where is this logically with the Internet where someone sees my hands, goes, Those freak me out, but then also goes, You know what I’m going to do? Bust out the phone, go to his profile and make sure he knows it. Like, what is that step all about, people?
[00:54:58] CALLER: I don’t know…
[00:54:59] CHRIS: Think it to yourself!
[00:55:01] CALLER: I used to see stuff about all the time like there was, I think it was a meme or something, that was like, before you write that angry comment or, like, rude comment and press send or enter, really think about what brought you here. Like, why are you doing this? And maybe — and they’ve literally said maybe go do a face mask and have a bath. Like, and just think about, like, why are you doing this?
[00:55:24] CHRIS: I had a guy once messaged me that he thought I was ugly. And it was on Facebook and I saw in his profile picture he was holding a baby. And I wrote back and I was like, Dude, I don’t wanna —
[00:55:33] CALLER: Oh, yeah, you said that, like, You have a baby. Like, why are you doing this?
[00:55:36] CHRIS: Yeah. Have I talked about that on Beautiful Anonymous before?
[00:55:39] CALLER: Yup.
[00:55:40] CHRIS: Yeah. Yeah, I was just like, Dude, what are you doing? What is this example you’re setting? And he was like, Yeah, you know, I have a really sad life actually. I’m like, Oh, that’s why you lash out on the Internet. I get it
[00:55:48] CALLER: Exactly. At least he opened up and was just — wasn’t like, you know, trolling you. You made him introspective.
[00:55:57] CHRIS: I’d like to say something very schmaltzy, something very cheesy, but something that I mean.
[00:56:02] CALLER: Okay.
[00:56:03] CHRIS: You’ve been telling me about body dysmorphia, about these feelings of insecurity, about your nose, your body growing up, how you felt the need to sort of hide from the world for a long time. And one of the very convenient things about this podcast is that I do not see you, I only hear you. But I can say, no matter what you look like, I think you’re a pretty beautiful person.
[00:56:25] CALLER: Oh, thank you, Chris.
[00:56:26] CHRIS: I think you’ve said a lot —
[00:56:27] CALLER: Don’t make me cry.
[00:56:28] CHRIS: I think you’ve said a lot of very smart stuff that’s going to hit home with a lot of people and have a lot of meaning.
[00:56:32] CALLER: Yeah, like, I do think it’s great that you guys posted it. I’ve literally tried to call dozens of times. I think I even have the number in my phone so that I could just, instead of having you look it up every time I would, I could just call the contact and then it wouldn’t get through. I’ve submitted on stuff for The Gethard Show, too. I, you know, I relate and I think you’re awesome.
[00:56:58] CHRIS: Well, thank you.
[00:56:58] CALLER: And I really — that makes me feel really good, Chris.
[00:57:00] CHRIS: Yeah. Because I tell you —
[00:57:01] CALLER: It’s hard. I have, again, I have good days, I have bad days. And I try not to focus on my physical appearance. I know it’s definitely — my image is part of my job, but it’s not who I am. I’m a kind person. I do think I’m moderately intelligent. And I have just a really deep intuition and empathy for people. So, my biggest thing is just listening and making sure that I know, you know, how to really connect with the person. And I, you know, I spent my whole life developing it — and maybe body dysmorphia helped that a bit rather than just making me, like, crazy and — I mean, I don’t have the money to get, you know, thousands of surgeries and I haven’t really considered getting much more. I mean, I think I’d get, like, maybe braces. That’d be cool. And again, that’s a big thing, too! People used to judge people for wanting cosmetic surgery, but braces are cosmetic surgery, you don’t really need it. But like, it certainly helps straighten out your teeth and, and I don’t know much, too much about it, but it would, you know, it’s something that makes you feel better about yourself. And I don’t see a nose job being much different from getting braces. Like, if it’s gonna help you and make you a better person? It’s certainly made me a lot kinder and open to talk about it with people because I don’t want to be ashamed of making a decision like that. And I would never shame anyone for that either.
[00:58:39] CHRIS: Yeah. No way. I mean, you read stories about people who like — sometimes you’ll see like, Oh, this woman has had — wants to look like Barbie and has had 450 plastic surgeries. And you’re like, well, that’s, that’s pathological. That’s a problem. But I think, like you’re saying —
[00:58:55] CALLER: Could also be clickbait. Could just be Photoshop pictures.
[00:58:58] CHRIS: Could be. Who knows? You never know with this digital world we live in. But like you’re saying, someone who has a broken nose or someone who has something that’s leading to a long-term insecurity and you can get it fixed, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. As long as it’s a healthy choice that you think hard about, do for the right reasons.
[00:59:17] CALLER: Yeah. Like, I had friends in elementary school, that would say, If you — well, and again, my nose was always a bit large, but once it was broken, it was, again, Owen Wilson. It was big. And even then, I still didn’t really like it ’cause I just, I didn’t look like my sisters, they had cute little petite noses. And I don’t know, I felt like a black sheep. And I had friends — when I had talked about it because I didn’t want to just keep it in — they, like, I had friends that literally said, If you get that done, I don’t think we could be friends with you anymore. And at least they were trying to say, like, we just want you to be yourself. We don’t want you to change. But there were kinder ways to word it.
[00:59:55] CHRIS: Sure. Of course.
[00:59:56] CALLER: Like, maybe, If you go ahead with that, like, we support you. But I’m just saying, you don’t need it. And when I talked to my mom finally about it, because I needed her to drive me to the hospital and everything, she was 100 percent supportive. That’s the biggest thing, is that she may have caused me a little bit of grief, and just trying to accept to who I was naturally, but she was very supportive of helping me get to where I needed to go. She even helped me gather money for the surgery. She was very, very supportive and still is, to this day.
[01:00:27] CHRIS: Wow.
[01:00:27] CALLER: She just, you know, she’s — it’s a different generation, so they have that tough love mentality.
[01:00:34] CHRIS: Tell you, we have about 45 seconds left and…
[01:00:37] CALLER: Oh, my God.
[01:00:38] CHRIS: I really want to thank you for calling and talking about this stuff, because I know if you have a disorder that makes you kind of want to hide from the world, it’s very hard to stand up and talk about it. And I really applaud you for doing so.
[01:00:49] CALLER: Yeah. I don’t think, I don’t think people should hide. I think it’s very important to speak up about it. And luckily, there’s lots of resources online that certainly helped me, kind of looking into it and then really seeing that therapy was very, very helpful in kind of getting me to where I am today and working where I work helped as well, too. And still does. I love it.
[01:01:14] CHRIS: I think you’re super cool. Thanks for calling the show.
[01:01:16] CALLER: You’re so cool, too, Chris. Thank you.
[01:01:20] THEME MUSIC
[01:01:24] CHRIS: Caller, Thank you so much. Thanks for letting us know about a lot of the stuff you’ve thought about in life, a lot the stuff you’ve struggled with, a lot of things you’ve wrapped your head around, and also the ways in which you are coming to own them more and more and help other people own them. It’s very cool of you to open up and let us know all about it. Thank you for calling. Thank you for listening. And again, thank you to Ulta Beauty for presenting this episode with limited interruptions. I thought it was very, very nice of them to reach out, say, Let’s team up, do a whole episode together. And they allowed us to do it in a way that had some integrity to it. It didn’t turn into one of those things where they were trying to push us around because they’re a cool company! And I want everyone to remember that Ulta Beauty, whether you’re ready to run the town, rock a certain look or tell your story, Ulta Beauty is here to help you show it to the world. Visit Ulta.com to learn more. Find an Ulta Beauty near you. That’s Ulta.com. The possibilities are beautiful. You know one thing? One thing I really love about Ulta Beauty that they’ve made clear? That their — one of their main missions is to celebrate the idea that everyone can define whatever and whoever they want to be. It’s one of the main mission statements they have. I think that fits really well with a lot of the calls we’ve had here over the years. Thanks to Jared O’Connell, thanks to Harry Nelson. Thanks to Alex di Palma. Thank you to Justin Lindville, thank you to Shell Shag for the music. I’m always out on the road. ChrisGeth.com where you can find all those dates. If you like the show, go to Apple podcasts. Rate, review, subscribe. Really helps the show when you do. We’ll see you next time on Beautiful Anonymous.
[NEXT EPISODE PREVIEW]
[01:03:14] CHRIS: I love therapy, but I’ve never done wilderness therapy. What’s that?
[01:03:18] CALLER: We take kids who, you know, maybe they’ve suffered some kind of trauma or they were caught shoplifting too many times or they’re not going to school and we put them in these small groups where they’re out there for like, 85 to like 100-ish days at a time. And it forces them into these situations that, like, pushes their negative pattern of responding to situations in ways that they can learn from their mistakes.
[01:03:49] CHRIS: Wow.
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