Kings of Plastic Surgery

Welcome to Beverly Hills, a city of 35,000 inhabitants and 80 plastic surgeons, where face-lifts cost $150,000, girls get their labia done at 18 and their first face-lifts at 30. Where rich housewives kill themselves after their expenisve face lifts and movie stars claim they never had any work done, even when they have a completely new face. 

I interviewed five of the best plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills (which means in the world) for the April issue of Gloria. Join me down a rabbit hole!

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Not my Kind of Wonder. Nor Woman.

I so wanted to love Wonder Woman. It caused such a big explosion of feminist emotions in the USA in the past weeks that I had to see it, in spite of promising myself I’d never watch another superhero movie again (so fed up with explosions – of any kind). What really made me want to see it was an article by a woman who wrote a whole piece about how she cried during fight scenes. And then her female readers’ comments on the article – they all cried. I too wanted to be so inspired by the beauty and fierceness of a female superhero that tears came down my cheeks.

They didn’t. Only tears of desperation because for me, this movie was so wrong in so many ways. I expected more from a woman creating a female superhero than just copying (and punching) the men.

Here's how Wonder Woman disappointed the (European) feminist in me.

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Save the Children or Pet Obesity Prevention - You Choose

Oh well, so here I am a few days ago, accompanying a friend to a trendy LA hair salon where she was getting color and cut for her usual $600 (which isn't even considered so bad in the city where may cuts start with $400 and colours with $800). And I'm flipping through the magazines which I normally don't get to read. And find this (either in Harper's Bazaar or Elle):

 

So if you're like "Yeah, what's this?" please look closer. And then let me tell you: This is the reality of the world we (especially in the USA) live in. 

Seeing these two pages side by side (in a fashion magazine, while sitting in a place where they charge $600 for doing your hair ) made my stomach cramp. First, I took the picture. And then I went online for a little research. And here's what I found (and why I had such a gut reaction).

Left page - Save the Children: In the USA, 15 million children live bellow poverty line. USA is the worst country in the developed world. One in 5 kids live in poverty. Each year, approximately 3.1 million children die of hunger worldwide. 

Right page - Pet Obesity Prevention (!!!!!!!): In 2016, USA pet food market was valued at $24.60 billion (!), and is expected to reach $30.1 billion in 2022. 31% of cats and 34% of dogs in the USA are obese. 

So if that doesn't seem bad enough, here some statistics I found while researching for my article about dog's life in Hollywood: the whole world sends $30 billion a year in financial help to the whole African continent. That is how much Americans spend on pet food - so they can then be worried about pet obesity. Total US pet industry is estimated to reach $92 billion in 2019. Three times of what the world sends to Africa. 

So where do we start?

Or even better - where do we end?

P.S. Who and why put these two ads next to each other? Completely oblivious or subversive?

Happy Birthday, Mama!

Had she not changed her form on 1st October last year, my mama would have turned 70 today. Losing her literally felt like losing a part of myself. Both physical and emotional. I'm still learning to live this new life and give myself the courage, strength, optimism and joy she used to give me. 

Two days after she left, I wrote a piece about her for "Gloria". When I sat down to write it, I wondered if I was insane for insisting I could do it. The wounds were still bleeding. But I did it. And here, to honour my mama's birthday, the translation.

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Mama Jagoda and the Truth of Style

I just accidentally came across this: my mom at the film festival in Cannes in 1971, where she was promoting her film "WR Mysteries of the Organism", and only wore stuff she found on markets while travelling through ex-Yugoslavia. She was always endlessly true to herself, never followed trends or fashion. Never let a professional make-up or hair person come close to her, even when she was filming. Didn't even know what a stylist is. So it's a bit of a surprise - which it shouldn't be - to find her pictured as a style icon. Being true just always wins.

When a Stork Lands in Hollywood

Like everything else, having a baby in Hollywood can be quite an insane thing. The core of my story for the February issue of Gloria Glam was the embarrassment of having consciously jumped into that rabbit hole. For once, I wrote a story pointing not only at the insanity of the world around me, but my own. And that part got cut out. So here you go:

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It's a Dog's Life. In LA. But What About Humans? In Africa?

The big story for the December issue of Gloria Glam was lots of fun – until I started crunching numbers. It was a story about a dog’s life in Hollywood. The luxury and the insanity. The US pet industry is growing so quickly it is expected that by 2019, it will reach $92 billion (currently, $30 billion goes to pet food). Africa receives $30 billion in international aid a year. Please someone, prove me wrong!

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Prince on Wheels

Last October, I wrote a story about the trend and history of food trucks in Los Angeles. The funniest thing about the research was learning that the prince of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy has a food truck in Venice (Beach, California) called "Prince of Venice". How would you like your pasta served by a real prince out of a truck on Abbot Kinney?

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Women, their Careers and Children

Having - or not having - children is such an important topic for women today, and one that is very rarely honestly discussed. Trying to prove we are equal, women don't want to admit we aren't - because we have children. Even after 9 months, which for some women are a very difficult experience, our children stay a part of us and define who we are and how we function. Much (much!) more so then they do to men. 

This is a crucial topic, especially in the USA where it's being completely ignored. I still can't believe women in the USA aren't marching the streets demanding regulated maternity leave and subsidised child care.  

Here is the newest interview by Marina Abramovic, one of the most influential artists of our time, in which she is talking about how she chose not to have children for the sake of her career:

Marina Abramovic for Tagespiegel, translated from German to English by Artnet

It would be great to hear more honest stories about women's choices!

A Late Nod to 1 May

The presidential elections in Austria are happening right now and it came down to a right wing candidate and a green/left candidate. I was just asked to write why I’m supporting the green/left guy and I wrote a little statement which I’d like to share here as well:

In the age of globalization, which brings along the insecurities, inequality, destruction of the environment and of natural resources, overpopulation, migration and loss of human values, the left – which for me means humans before capital, and with each other, not against each other – is the only way to survive. I choose left for my son and the planet he’s going to inherit.  And if I could choose a mother, that’s whom I would choose. Because I believe our planet (and our civilization) destroyed by male values can only be rescued by switching to female modus operandi: nourishing, repairing, preserving, reconciling and being in tune with nature.

We don't have much time left.

The 3rd Wave of Coffee

My story for the April issue of Gloria Glam dipped me in the fascinating world of coffee. I’m a tea drinker so there was a lot to learn. In spite of its roots being in Seattle (“Vivace”) and Chicago (“Intelligetsia”) Los Angeles managed to establish itself as the capital of the third wave of coffee: the first being just cheap and easily accessible coffee, the second being Starbucks and the discovery of more enjoyable coffee – which quickly turned into a massive chain (21,000 locations worldwide!). The third wave is about discovering best coffee beans and techniques from all over the world and turning them into a very personal experience.

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International Women's Day (a day too late)

Since it was International Women’s Day yesterday, here a Hollywood story about equality. Few weeks ago, new six episodes of X-Files premiered and caused a big stir. Not so much because of the fans and their genuine interest in seeing what agents Scully and Mulder have been up to in all this time, but more because of one of Hollywood’s two new favorite topics: women & Hollywood and race & Hollywood. Equal pay is all the rage for past years, becoming a huge issue after Patricia Arquette’s Oscar acceptance speech last year, with Jennifer Lawrence quickly jumping on the bandwagon.

The fact that women should be paid the same amount for the same job as men is undisputable. 

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Yoga Pants, the New Perfume

When I lived in Europe and read celebrity magazines (I’ve always been a sucker for celebrity magazines), I often wondered why famous people go out in public in their workout clothes. And get caught on camera. In Europe you don’t go outside of your home or gym in your workout clothes. Now that I’ve spent so much time in LA I finally have an answer: it’s not the people, it’s the city! I wrote a very fun article for the February issue of Gloria Glam about LA’s obsession with yoga pants. I was very honored to speak about this topic with Catherine Adair, acclaimed costume designer whose work on “Desperate Housewives” brought her an Emmy. Cate’s first reaction was: “Cars!” 

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