There is a certain “It Factor” expected from television hosts. They should capture your attention immediately, sometimes from just a short introduction. Lucy Norris has this quality in spades.
Currently a Lifestyle Expert and Contributor to multiple platforms including the FNL Network and WhatTheDoost, Norris has broken into the New York media industry without representation, connections or American television credits.
“I’ve never had a manager, and I’ve never had an exclusive agent,” Norris says. “I’ve had people tell me, ‘you don’t have a large enough following,’ or ‘you’re too British.’ That’s important for me to share because you can do this.”
Lucy Norris by photographer Raven Adams. Hair by Adi Nujeidat. Top by independent designer A.Lynn Designs, bag vintage from @Housingwork
Norris began her television career in London as a
host for a late night pop culture show. Every night from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m., she would produce segments that had been brought in by the audience. “It was the hardest entry level job I could have imagined,” recalls Norris.
From there, she was ready to jump into an acting career. She received a scholarship for Film and Television from the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and moved to New York City to start her training. Her focus on becoming an on-camera host spurred from her inability to master the American accent, she jokes.
“I thought – I’ll just be myself on camera,” explains Norris. “I’ve focused and dedicated my career to being a host and a correspondent.”
Norris readily acknowledges that the media industry is over saturated with talent. Her success, she says, comes from her specific self-branding and ability to identify what she’s creating and who she’s creating it for.
“When I moved to America, I realized to stand out I had to be very specific with what I was offering,” says Norris. “When I stepped away from acting, I knew I had to redefine who I was as a TV host.”
It wasn’t long until Norris was being asked to appear as an expert in fashion and lifestyle on-air. Before focusing on consumer trends, she shared her love of clothes and passion for styling on a budget with audiences on different networks and series.
Her interest in fashion and thrifting bloomed from necessity. As the child of a single mother, Norris grew up scouring second hand stores for clothes, something she was extremely self-conscious about growing up.“I remember being embarrassed about wearing second hand clothes. But [my mom] was teaching me about quality and what to look for and the real value of something,” says Norris. “From then on, as an actress and working in this space, I’ve had to present an image of someone who’s very successful.
The only way I could do that was through my clothes. I became very savvy.”
As a host, Norris believes that it is imperative for people to understand the value of what they want. Whether it’s fashion or décor, it’s about expressing yourself and discovering the story. She also clarifies what it means to be an expert in the hosting world.
As a Consumer Trend Expert, Norris dives into macro trends through financial or social impact angles. Photographed by Raven Adams. Hair by Adi Nujeidat.
“The term expert, especially over the last three years, is sometimes overused,” she explains. “When I was starting out in the hosting industry, there was a trend where people didn’t want a host selling them something. They wanted someone who was an expert in their field and able to share, critique and review. I was only really able to become an expert when I started creating my own content that focused specifically on that. I went from an expert to consumer trends.”
Her interests in consumer trends inspired her to expand her research and production efforts to projects involving social impact and sustainability. Norris recently wrapped production for the pilot of a Docu-series on the Conscious Fashion Campaign featuring Kerry Bannigan. The series intends to follow how detrimental fashion, specifically fast fashion, is to the environment.
“Rather than just wanting to talk about the trends and what was happening on the runway, there was something inside me that wanted to speak to the consumer,” she explains. “Why this? I want to dive into the story behind the labels.”
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."