People 02 March 2018
You might call Diana Madison an “It Girl." That would certainly make sense considering her high profile life as an influencer, entrepreneur, and TV personality. She walks the red carpets of Hollywood.
She hardly ever misses a major premiere. And she can often be found front and center at the hottest celeb soirees. Beauty and fashion are her first loves and now she is working side by side with one of the first ladies of beauty and fashion and all things celeb - Kim Kardashian.
They are working together on Glam Masters, a brand-new Lifetime beauty competition series. Madison and Kim Kardashian are co-creators and executive producers on the project. On each episode, beauty bloggers compete to prove they have what it takes to be a part of Kim Kardashian's “glam empire."
Madison got her start at the E! Network and on Entertainment Tonight, working her way up to doing red carpet interviews with top celebs, including Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, and Brad Pitt. She's also the co-founder of Obsev Studios - the digital media content provider behind Hollyscoop, The Fumble, Obsev Food, Obsev.com, Style Lab, and the Low Down with Diana Madison – her weekly talk show. She's also a mom or, as some folks call her, a momhustler.
Madison grew up in East Hollywood in Little Armenia. “My parents were Armenian Immigrants and came to American in pursuit of achieving the American Dream. As a kid, I always would look at the Hollywood sign in my backyard and dream about making it big in Hollywood."
As a kid, Madison says she was very outgoing.
“I have always been social and have had a large group of friends. As you get older, you realize that your circle of friends shrinks in size. You become more selective on who you want in your life and trust. As a kid I would always tell people that I was going to have my own talk show and be on television. People would laugh at me, but now I get the last laugh."
She attended a private Armenian School in Little Armenia called Rose and Alex Pilibos, and later attended the University of California Santa Barbara. Madison says she's always wanted to be a talk show host. “I started creating my own videos on YouTube which led to the creation of my digital media company, Obsev Studios. I co-founded the company with my husband, and we now produce 150 online shows a week with our properties like Hollyscoop, Fumble Sports, Obsev, Style Lab, The Lowdown with Diana Madison, and WT Food. We reached eight billion views through our syndication on AOL, Amazon Prime, Directv, Roku, YouTube, and Facebook."
Madison says that Glam Masters was created from “the idea and my belief that there were a lot of talented makeup artists in the world that needed a platform to show their skills. I would get a lot of makeup artists doing makeup for my shows saying, 'My dream is to be discovered by Kim Kardashian on Instagram and work on her glam squad.' It was to a point where every single person would say the same thing to me. I thought that there has to be a show there."
She describes Glam Masters as “a beauty competition show that showcases amazing talent. The winner gets amazing prizes, and gets to collaborate with Kim Kardashian West. Can it get any better than that?" It doesn't hurt that Laverne Cox is the host and the judges include Mario Dedivanovic, Kandee Johnson, and Zanna Roberts Rassi. “Anyone who loves makeup is the perfect audience for the show. It's inspirational and entertaining, which is a perfect combination."
The biggest challenge they faced in crafting and launching the show, Madison explains, was choosing the contestants.
“We were so blessed to have so many amazing people applying to the show. It was hard narrowing down the contestants as we had an overwhelming response of people applying to be on the show."
Despite any of the challenges, Madison explains, she is “so happy about the reaction the show is getting. I get messages every day from artists asking me if they can audition for Season 2. I also get artists thanking me for creating a platform for them to showcase their talents. The beauty community has been waiting for a show like this for a long time now."
Madison says she loves the fact that you never know what awaits you around the next bend. “That's the beauty in life, you never know what you will be working on and doing. It's always important to dream big, and work hard to make your dreams come true. Every day is filled with surprises and tiny miracles. I embrace all my blessings."
This project is an incredibly exciting one for Madison. But it's not even close to the end of the road. Madison explains, “In the next five years, I hope to take my online talk show to a major network. Oprah has always been my inspiration, and I would love to inspire people all over the world like Oprah has done with her career. In the next ten to twenty years, I hope I can still be doing what I love and inspiring people all over the world."
Her life is pretty remarkable. In fact, it looks like Madison just may have figured out to have it all. How does she do it?
“It's very difficult juggling a career with motherhood. However, as mothers, we just make it work somehow. There is a lot we sacrifice in being a working mother. But woman are great multi-takers. My best advice is to always prioritize your time for what's most important for you and your family."
Above all else, Madison says she feels very blessed to be able to do what she loves. “I am also fortunate to have a supportive husband and beautiful, healthy kids." And, she adds, despite how it may look from the outside, her life isn't all glitz and glitter. “Behind all the glamour is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. One lesson I have learned is nothing good comes easy. Although I love the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry, nothing beats being at home with my husband, kids, and English bulldog."
Her secret to having it all is much simpler than it seems, she says, “Always dream big and never stop pursuing your dreams. Believe in yourself and make it happen!"
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."