Cindy Joseph sits down with Experience Life editor in chief Pilar Gerasimo to share her thoughts on the lessons she’s learned about beauty and age through her modeling career that began in her 50s.
Sometimes, the best is yet to be. That's what baby boomer and fashion model Cindy Joseph has discovered as she's grown older and wiser. Here, she shares the lessons she's learned.
Recently in Cindy’s career Category
I have very exciting news to share with you …
Yesterday (Wednesday, April 11th), I appeared on ABC World News With Diane Sawyer! Reporter Cecilia Vega interviewed me for a segment on the Pro-Age Revolution!
If you didn’t catch it, no worries! Here’s the clip:
The Pro-Age Revolution is building momentum and its all because of us!!!!
For years, I believed that New York City was the only place I could find the best of anything. From specialty stores to restaurants, clothing stores to fitness trainers, NYC was it.
I moved to Yonkers in 1999, looking for the benefits of living outside the city. Within the first few days of landing in suburbia, I was waking to the delightful song of birds outside my bedroom window. In the evenings, I was relaxing to the soothing rhythm of crickets. And after just a few weeks, I was chatting with friendly neighbors, sleeping through quiet nights and taking leisurely walks along the Hudson River.
It was lovely shopping around town with no worry of my car being towed. The thrill of filling my trunk with mega sizes of everything was making the transition from city to suburb progress along quite nicely. The list of things I was racing back to the city for was growing shorter.
The thought of replacing my NYC-based fitness trainer, however, was hard to imagine. As a model, the success of my career depends on how I look. I need an expert to help keep me in shape. But I was spending three hours a few days a week going to and from the city for my workouts. I would sometimes miss the first 10 minutes looking for parking, only to be greeted with a ticket on my windshield afterward. After a year of this stressful commute, I’d spent enough on parking tickets, garages, trainers and gym fees to build a fitness room of my own.
I finally decided to do some research and see if I could find an acceptable trainer in Westchester. After a quick Google search I found one worth checking out.
I walked into Vadim Fitness Studio with skepticism, believing I would have to compromise my fitness training. Owner Vadim Vilensky’s initial persona seemed very serious. His dry humor, however, began to surface as he led me through a thorough assessment. He tested my strength, balance, stamina, endurance, coordination and body fat. I was impressed by his level of expertise. His knowledge was vast. My confidence in Vadim grew as the session continued, so I scheduled a workout with him right away.
From the very first session, I experienced results I had not felt or seen before. Vadim (pictured at right: a true Russian boot camp sergeant, “Yes, sir!”) helped me recognize my strengths and build on them. He was able to pinpoint past injuries and adjust the program to fit my needs. As the weeks continued, my training with Vadim took my workouts to a whole new level. It was everything I wanted and more. (I was especially relieved when I learned his fee was not as high as his level of excellence: He charged half of what I paid in NYC, and no added gym fees!)
Over the years, vanity has not been a great motivator for me to “stick with it.” Although my body was improving in form, Vadim led me to realize it was not my main goal. Vadim focuses on core strength, safety, balance and coordination, knowing overall fitness includes much more than having “buns of steel.”
Now, not only do I know I am I in good hands with a highly qualified trainer, I also enjoy my workouts! Vadim makes it fun. He changes up the routine so I never get bored. He often presents me with new challenges, making it fresh and entertaining. Every few weeks he pulls out new and colorful equipment that sparks my curiosity and tests me in new ways. My workouts go by quickly because of the great variety of physical-training challenges that Vadim offers.
Previously, I had never stuck with a program longer than six months. I would get bored and then discouraged. My former trainers used guilt and fear to try and get me back. Vadim uses only encouragement and positive reinforcement.
It’s been four years now and I am as enthusiastic as when I started. My body has never served me so well. I am stronger and more balanced at 60 years old than ever before!
Thanks to Vadim, I am now convinced that I can find excellence beyond the borders of NYC.
I come from a lineage of women who hardened themselves to survive in a man’s world. My mother was practical. She kept me safe, clean, fed and busy with fun things. I grew up, however, without the feminine exchange I longed for from her. Looking back, I see that I made sure I always had many girlfriends — that’s how I quenched my thirst for the feminine connection I did not get at home.
When I was a teenager, I was painfully self-conscious and focused mostly on my appearance. I held my bangs down in the wind for fear that people would see my forehead, which I judged as too big. I sat on my hands because I was once told I had masculine fingers. I spent hours on my hair and makeup before school. I did whatever it took to look like the models on the magazine covers, wearing foundation, powder, blush, eyeshadow and two pairs of fake eyelashes every day. I helped my girlfriends do the same thing. We were all hiding behind a facade of beauty products, and I often wondered how I would keep my future husband from seeing the real me if I ever got married.
Little did I know, I was developing skills for my future career.
During the summer of 1968, I went through a huge transformation. I was living in the heart of San Francisco and my peers and I began recognizing the hypocrisy of society’s dictates. We searched for new ideas and lifestyles that we could relate to. I threw away all my makeup and beauty products, most of my wardrobe, and anything that was not natural, authentic and honest. I even stopped shaving my legs and underarms.
A few years later, my rebellion softened and I found a happy medium. I realized I could honor my interest in beauty, and still be genuine and natural.
But once I started working with professional models, my self-esteem was confronted once again: I still had heavy negative judgment about my appearance (though it was far from the extreme I went through during puberty). It was difficult to spend days with these girls and feel good about myself, though I definitely enjoyed many aspects of working with a team to create a beautiful image. I knew deep down, however, that there was more to attractiveness than shiny hair and big eyes.
I realized that models did not come through the door looking like they did once we spent hours transforming them. So as I became more familiar with the concept of ideal beauty and worked closely with the girls who the world deemed the most gorgeous, I could see that surface beauty was only fleeting. Once I got to know the models, I could see that they were only attractive when they were happy, kind and loving themselves. I saw they were the most beautiful when they were truly enjoying their lives. I was no longer intimidated by their “package.”
I was a makeup artist for over 25 years, and during that time I married, raised children, traveled the world, and learned more and more about myself. After years of taking myriad transformational workshops, psychology courses, and classes on human nature, I started living my life according to what pleasured me.
And once again I recognized that when a woman is taking joy in her life, she is her most radiant and attractive. Her beauty has nothing to do with the size of her nose, her height or the shape of her body. A woman’s beauty is in her ability to experience pleasure.
So it was not until I was in my 40s that I started discovering all that being a woman is about. When I started living according to what pleasured me, my persona changed. When I started feeling “right” for who I was rather than thinking I had to fix something, or change in some way, others took notice. That is when I was recognized on the street and asked to model at age 49.
Honoring that most innate part of my feminine nature is what makes me most attractive.
I am now 60. I have found that the riches in life are all around me if I allow myself to notice and appreciate them by following my spirit. There is no external place to find what I carry right in side.
I continue to model and have created a pro-age, believable beauty cosmetic line, www.boombycindyjoseph.com.
Aging is really just another word for living. Life continues to be a magical and fascinating adventure. My passion, my feelings, and all that I am are intact and functioning. The concept that aging is becoming less in some way is really the antithesis of what happens. One becomes more and more as life continues.
I am always and forever in the “prime of my life.”