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Ep. 139: @beautybydrcat, Dr. Cat on Plastic Surgery, Being on Dr. 90210 on E!, Cattyness in the beauty business & important life lessons

  

"Be yourself and believe in yourself."

    

Those are the sage words from this episode's guest, Dr. Cat. If you don't already know her, you need to get on that quick. Go follow her on IG. Right now. Did you follow her? Okay. Good.

So Dr. Cat is an incredible board-certified plastic surgeon based in Beverly Hills CA who pioneered labiaplasty and has changed the lives of SO MANY women. She's not only an incredible surgeon but she is one of the bravest, most sure of herself women I've had the pleasure to talk to. She's also like, the sister I always wanted. We have so much in common and even though we haven't had the chance to meet in person I just feel so connected to her. I understand her and her story and she understands me. And I know a lot of you will connect with her too.

In this episode, we're going to get real deep. We're gonna dig into some of the darkest points of Dr. Cat's life, how she got out of them, her best advice for overcoming hardship, cattyness in the beauty industry, and overcoming the overwhelming pressures society puts on women. Plus so much more incredible content. So let's not waste any more time, okay? Get into this.

 

 

Here are the episode highlights:

‣‣  [17:17]  To get us all warmed up we're gonna start with some get-to-know-you questions.

‣‣  [24:38]  If you're familiar with my story then you'll know that I love Legally Blonde and I really relate to Elle's story. Here Dr. Cat and I talk about how people see women like us who are attractive, put effort into and care about their appearance, and think that they get some sort of free pass to just, you know, take a dump on us. It's something that we especially deal with as a permanent makeup artist and plastic surgeon.

‣‣  [35:24]  Next, Dr. Cat and I talk about the darkest times of her life and advice she would give her younger self.

‣‣  [44:59]  What do you need to succeed? Like, what are the basic pillars, characteristics, the things you need to KNOW and be prepared for in order to succeed?

‣‣  [47:15]  Let's talk about the pain and pressure of other people's expectations.

‣‣  [01:09:16]  Speaking of expectations, here I ask Dr. Cat to share one thing about her that none of us get to see, only the people who REALLY know her.

‣‣  [01:11:01]  Finally, I ask Dr. Cat what her ultimate life advice would be. Like, if she could put anything up on a billboard in Times Square, what would it be?

 

 

I'M READY TO RELEASE EXPECTATIONS AND JUST BE ME! (Listen Here) 

  

I'm so grateful to Dr. Cat for coming on the show and sharing all of her wisdom. To keep up with her and her work, follow her on IG here!

 

You can follow me, Sheila Bella, on Instagram @realsheilabella!

  

Here are the links that were mentioned in the podcast! 

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You can enjoy a transcript of the podcast here.

Sheila Bella:

Dr. Catherine Begovic, otherwise known as Beauty by Dr. Cat on Instagram, she was just on E!'s Dr. 90210, and she is the top female plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, with a commitment to excellence, attention to detail, extreme technical skill. So impressive, and might I say she, has an elevated aesthetic eye. She is today's guest on Pretty Rich Podcast.

 

Welcome to Pretty Rich Podcast, where you're totally the heroine of your own story. I'm your host, Sheila Bella, and I built a seven figure PMU beauty biz, and a seven figure online business without a degree, without a fancy website, or a sugar daddy. And if you and I hang out on here long enough, you're going to start to believe that you can do it too. How about that for a side effect of listening to this podcast? Because you really can. I know you think, "I don't know you. I have no idea who you are." But I do. I really, really do, because I am you. I was you, and I believe we are all on the same journey together.

 

My perfect job didn't exist. So, I created it. The job I wanted, wasn't hiring me, wanted nothing to do with me. So, I skipped the line, and I hired myself as CEO, just like you can. So, consider me your secret beauty biz BFF, in case you need to be reminded on a weekly basis, that power is never just handed to you. You have to take it. Are you ready beauty boss? Let's jump in.

 

Hey friends. Welcome to another amazing episode of Pretty Rich Podcast. Today I'm so excited to have Dr. Cat. Dr. Cat Begovic is a board certified plastic surgeon. She is the pioneer of labiaplasty, vaginal reconstruction, and she... Oh my gosh, she's so beautiful, and she's so amazing, and she has inspired me in so many ways.

 

And for those of you who've listened to this podcast for a while, maybe if you go back in earlier episodes, I'm pretty sure I've mentioned her once or twice. Guys, today my personal podcast dreams are coming true. I've wanted to have Dr. Cat on here for, I think, yeah, since the very beginning, since the very first episode. She has always been on my list of dream guests, and purely because I've always wanted to connect with her on a woman to woman level.

 

As I perused her Instagram, her heart, and her soul was just so apparently beautiful to me. And I said, "There's something about that, there's something about this woman that I wanted to connect with." And I had my chance today. And just as I had suspected, she is even more beautiful after a one on one conversation. So, I'm sure that will be so a parent here. You guys are going to love her. But before we get to that, I just quickly wanted to chat about something that a friend of mine is going through.

 

It's basically, surprise surprise, cattiness in our industry, in the beauty industry. So, listen, there's very few things that occur in our industry that can literally destroy another woman's sense of belonging, and general harmony more than catty behavior. It's a really big deal. I think it's time that we step up to it, because it's no secret that us women, our gender has a reputation for having crab mentality, so they say, being catty, right? Being mean girls.

 

And to be honest, before, it used to prevent me from reaching out to other women, and enjoying female relationships. But, female relationships have been so healing in my life. I would not be where I am today without the help of another woman. And every time I have a deep conversation, connected conversation with another woman, I feel so good in a way that my husband cannot accomplish. My husband can't make me feel this way. There's something about a woman to woman connection that is just so special. After I chat with my girlfriends and connect with them about something, I feel so much better, so much lighter.

 

So what do you do when you witness cattiness in our industry, or cattiness in the workplace? Cattiness at school, or the gym, wherever you are, that you experience this? Because it's bound to happen. I have to say the majority of my encounters with women have been positive. So, I didn't want to let that 1% spoil the whole experience of female relationships.

 

Okay, so what do you do when it does happen? And you know what, I'm changing my tune on this, because for a long time, for a long time, I've done the good girl thing, that my parents always told me to do, well, just let it go, you're above it, blah, blah, blah. But, sometimes you kind of need to call it out, because people should know that it's not okay to talk to you that way. It's not okay to treat you that way, because they're going to do it to someone else.

 

So, sometimes I think you just need to tell yourself, "Go ahead. be bad. It's okay." Let me explain. Right? As you guys know, I'm a big fan of being your own "Parent," especially parenting yourself in your mind, as an adult, because nobody's going to tell you what to do, when you need to do it. How to feel when you need to feel it, how to be brave, when you need to be brave.

 

At 38 years old, my mom's off just having fun with my dad. She's just relaxing now. My mom isn't by my side all the time to coach me anymore. Right? And I'm sure neither is yours. And our grown intuitions know what needs to be done better than anyone. So, what do I mean by that? telling yourself, "Go ahead, be bad, it's okay." It means that you can give yourself the permission to disappoint others.

 

As children, we've been programmed to seek approval, people please, don't say anything negative. Even when it's not in alignment with our true selves. We're not children anymore. You have my permission, if you need permission, you have my permission to offend. You have my permission to say, "No," To toxic relationships, to say, "No," When something is not in alignment with who you are, because you will never be enough for who you are not enough for, and your behavior is not necessarily going to change that. People see through to your soul.

 

So, if there's somebody in your life that's making you feel like you know she doesn't like you, she's not truly a cheerleader, right? She's like a frenemy, right? So, if you're feeling that, listen to your gut, that's a real thing. If you are constantly feeling rejected, or excluded from the people who say that you are not enough, know that you will never be, unless you water yourself down to their expectation of you.

 

No. No, you're not going to do that. We're not going to do that here. And if that's the case, you must offend. So many of us expect so much out of a new friendship, right? Or a new group of girls. So, when you encounter jealousy, and hate, and just ugliness, you know what? Extend grace upon them, extend grace upon yourself. Things aren't always going to be perfect.

 

People are flawed, you will encounter flawed people in this life, but don't do what I used to do. Which is, I was hardened from making connections with women. But I found that the good really outweighs the bad, and if you just stay true to who you are, true to your tribe, true to those who will truly love, and accept you exactly as you are, your tribe will start to appear.

 

But, you can't find them if you don't show up as your authentic self. So, dare to disappoint, dare to offend, dare to be all the amazing, loving, compassionate, and magical things that you are today, because you are worthy of authenticity in all areas of your life. And with that thought, girlfriend, I'm so excited to introduce you to my guest, who is truly an example of authenticity, and bravery, and talent, and hard work. Oh my gosh, she works so hard. I want to introduce you now to my friend, Dr. Cat.

 

All right, guys, I have an incredible guest for you all today, Dr. Cat, otherwise known as Beauty by Dr. Cat on Instagram. She is the epitome of girl power. It is no wonder she has 1.2 million followers on Instagram. She is absolutely gorgeous, and not only that, she has a god given gift for aesthetics, and plastic surgery, and I love that you're so unapologetic about that.

 

Her Instagram is a daily sight to behold. Dr. Cat showcases her surgical work on a regular basis, and I find it to be so fascinating, as somebody who's gotten plastic surgery myself. It's absolutely incredible. I feel like I should have been a plastic surgeon in another life. She is the founder of my favorite current skincare line, luxury skincare line, MD Glam, which products have been scientifically proven to fight aging.

 

She's located in Beverly Hills, which is 20 minutes away from me, and Dr. Catherine Begovic pioneered vaginal reconstructive surgery. It is a procedure that changes lives for women every single day. She is a Harvard, and UCLA graduate, a devoted wife, and mother, and over the past few months, I have obsessed over watching her on Dr. 90210 on the E! Network, which made me love her even more. I cannot believe she's finally here, on Pretty Rich Podcast. Guys, it's our lucky day. Dr. Cat, how are you, girl?

Dr. Cat:

I'm amazing. And Sheila, I'm going to bring you everywhere with me, just so you can introduce me like that.

Sheila Bella:

Down, down.

Dr. Cat:

For real.

Sheila Bella:

I'm for hire. I'll be there.

Dr. Cat:

I'll be like, "Here, I'm just going to follow behind you. Lead the way." Thank you so much for that intro. And likewise, I'm really, really happy to be here. I know we were just trying to connect, but I'm super excited to be a part of your podcast, and I think you're amazing, and I also love watching everything that you post on Instagram. It's just so positive, and inspiring, and I think you're awesome.

Sheila Bella:

Thank you, thank you so much. I will receive that. Women, we have such a hard time accepting compliments, and so that's something I'm trying to get better at, to not deflect. Because as women, I think what we do is we downplay things, we're like, "No, no, no, you." But I'm trying to get better at that.

Dr. Cat:

Okay, I can keep complimenting you, if you want me to.

Sheila Bella:

Me too, me too. Listen, girl, just to be completely honest, I was inspired by you years ago. And it's really interesting, because it's not necessarily to become a surgeon, but to become the best version of myself. You know what I mean? Is that the feedback that you typically get from women?

Dr. Cat:

Well, first of all, thank you so much for saying that. I mean, that really means so much to me. I mean, I can't even tell you. Yeah, I mean, I think that, just like you said, I mean, as we go through life, society, people, we get all this outside influence, or outside opinions that all of a sudden become like this voice in our own minds, which creates doubt, or makes it so you don't trust yourself. And I think that, really what I have tried to do, especially through my social media, is just really encourage people to be themselves, and to trust in themselves, and just know that who they are is enough. You know what I mean?

Dr. Cat:

I think too often, we get just so many of these messages, and I think on social media, a lot of times it gives people so much pressure to be a certain way, and look like a certain way. And I just think it's really important for every single person just to find their own truth, find something that they love, find things that they're passionate about, and just have that faith, and confidence in themselves to really just go all the way, and know that they can do it.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Cat:

So, it just means so much to me that you say that it's something that's helped you, because I think that's really something that's important to me, that I've really tried to do.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, I mean, I see you've been producing pretty consistent content for several years, and you're probably wondering, "Is this hitting anybody? Is this changing anyone's life?" And I'm telling you, you've really inspired me. I started putting myself out there more because of you. And at the beginning, I didn't know what I was doing. I just knew that there was something about you that I wanted to emulate, and I think that's the best way I can describe it. You've really inspired me to become the best version of myself. So, thank you for that.

Dr. Cat:

Aw, thanks Sheila.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah. Don't stop.

Dr. Cat:

No, thank you. I think that it's interesting, because it was actually hard for me also, in the very beginning, just to have that courage to put myself out there. And if I go back to like, way back in the beginning, when I first started posting, I mean, I can still see a lot of hesitation. And I think that, especially being in medicine, which is a very authoritarian type environment, where you're told, like, "This is what you're supposed to do, this is what you're supposed to say."

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, like, "Don't like vulnerable, don't be vulnerable as a doctor." Right?

Dr. Cat:

Exactly. Yes, of course. And then also just, like my parents, even though I love my mom to death, and she's such an amazing mom, just some of the things about like, "Don't dress like that, people aren't going to take you seriously." Or, "This is how a doctor is supposed to..." You get all these input, and voices in your head that really stifle your own true self, and glow, and make you feel like you have to be a certain way.

Dr. Cat:

I think just gradually kind of putting myself out there, and then when you do that, it gives you more courage, you know what I mean? And just at a certain point, you learn to really appreciate, and love yourself just for who you are, with all the positives, and minuses, and it doesn't have to be perfect all the time. I think that, that has allowed me just to be really open, and transparent.

 

I think that all of us nowadays are looking for something that's real, and authentic, and a real connection. And people aren't looking for perfect, or an idea, or a stereotype. I mean, I think real, and authenticity is something to be valued, and I see that in you as well, which is why I also appreciate having this conversation with you. I think it's amazing that social media has allowed people a safe place where they can slowly become more courageous, and have more trust in who they are, just them being themselves.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, I've seen your content kind of evolve over the years. And yeah, I'm just so excited to dive deeper with you, because you said a bunch of things that I have questions about later. So, let's start with some rapid fire questions.

Dr. Cat:

Okay.

Sheila Bella:

Okay? So, okay, where are you from? And where did you grow up?

Dr. Cat:

So, I am from Delaware, from the smallest state ever, but I grew up in Delaware, and it was a really small town. I haven't been back for a long time, but it was a really safe place for me to grow up. Yeah, both my parents worked for the University of Delaware. So random, right? Everyone used to tease me with Wayne's World. Are you too young for Wayne's World?

Sheila Bella:

No, I'm not.

Dr. Cat:

No? Okay.

Sheila Bella:

I'm 38, I'm 38.

Dr. Cat:

Sometimes I get this blank look, but they're just like, "We're in Delaware." But now Delaware is famous, right? Because Biden's from Delaware.

Sheila Bella:

That's true.

Dr. Cat:

But I grew up there, and then I went to Harvard for college. So, I was in Boston for four years, and then I came out to California to go to med school at UCLA. And I just... LA is my home. I've been here ever since.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, that's awesome. Okay, cool. Favorite beauty tip?

Dr. Cat:

Use a daily facial sunscreen. That's my favorite.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, you say it all the time. I've gotten better at it since you've been saying it a lot.

Dr. Cat:

I can't even leave my house without it, because I just... It's like, I mean, I think that, you see, for me, I've seen how just the signs of aging can really affect people, with the hyperpigmentation, and the changes in the texture of the skin, and a lot of those are irreversible. So, it would be really, really difficult for me to go outside in the sun without. I would feel completely naked without a facial sunscreen.

Sheila Bella:

Oh my gosh. Yeah. And guys, if you've never seen what Dr. Cat looks like, you need to go on her Insta right now, because you would be lathering that on every single day if you knew. Awesome. So, book that's changed your life? Or is there like a book that you keep giving to people as a gift, or anything that's sticking out that's memorable, where you're like, "That one. That one really hit."

Dr. Cat:

You know what? The book that changed my life, but is not available, is actually a book that my husband wrote last year.

Sheila Bella:

Really? It's not available?

Dr. Cat:

Actually two years ago. No. He briefly released it. It's 365 stories, and I think there was a very select group of people who got it, and then it's no longer available. And the reason why it's significant to me is this. There was a period of time where we were both just caught on that, what do they say, the hamster wheel?

Sheila Bella:

Yep.

Dr. Cat:

Where we were just like full speed ahead. I mean, I was operating Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, I was working a ton, we had a fitness magazine, my husband had three companies in Europe, we were just... You get in this thing where you feel like you're chasing something, but you don't even know what the hell you're chasing anymore. And I think it just kind of came to a breaking point for both of us.

 

I mean, I had a lot of health issues, like I had like a lot of stomach things. I mean, I was nauseous, I was getting scoped, trying to figure out what was wrong. It sort of all came to a head, where my husband and I realized there is so much more to life than just this crazy running around chasing, we don't even know what.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

So, we took a serious step back to reevaluate, like what is truly important? And he took a year of personal growth, and self reflection, and wrote this unbelievable book of truths, which is amazing. And I think there's so much that we learned from experiencing life, and learning from it, that was in there, that I go to it time to time, just to read it, to remind myself of all the things that we discovered, and the priorities in life, and what really is important.

Sheila Bella:

Oh my gosh. Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

So, I think taking a pause is always important, but I think it's hard for people to do. And so, that's one, so it doesn't just symbolize... It's not just about the message and the lessons in it, but it more symbolizes a significant transition, and turning point in both of our lives, that's just made such a huge difference for us.

Sheila Bella:

Wow. Any plans to release that? And how do you pronounce his name? Binais, right?

Dr. Cat:

It's Binais, yeah.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah. Okay, I follow him on Instagram. I love everything he posts. So, he should release that, now I'm intrigued.

Dr. Cat:

There are some copies that people got. I mean, there was like a very select... of people who were very closely following a lot of the things that he was writing, and discovering, and then, a lot of times when we put things down, it's like it's mostly for us, right? Because we think about things, and we connect. So, I don't know, we'll have to see. Probably another future thing in the works.

Sheila Bella:

I love how you speak about your husband. I love it. You guys are such a team. I love it. What are you grateful for right now?

Dr. Cat:

Oh, gosh, I mean, so many things, but always, primarily my family, and our health, and just the fact that we have so much love. I mean, I think that's the foundation for everything. So just, my husband, my daughter, my parents are doing well, and healthy, especially in this time, this last year where it makes you reevaluate what's really important, you know what I mean? So, that's everything I ever need, and then everything else in life is just a bonus.

Sheila Bella:

I love it. Absolutely. I totally think that way too. What is the saying? That the healthy man wants a million different things, but the sick man wants one thing.

Dr. Cat:

Yeah.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

I know, I think I commented on one of your posts. I don't remember exactly what it was recently. But, I'm like, "It's just family, love, and God." And really, that's all any of us truly need, and the rest is just bonus.

Sheila Bella:

I know. I feel so blessed. I feel so overwhelmingly blessed right now, too. It's been a really amazing holiday season, just basking in the blessings. I have to be honest, and as corny, and as cliche as it sounds, we have our health, and we have each other. That sounds so corny, and cliche, but that's reality.

Dr. Cat:

Yeah, no, it is the truth. Yeah, it is.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, it's the truth. Yeah. I feel so blessed to have that. And especially like, my husband had a stroke about two years ago, and that-

Dr. Cat:

Oh, I didn't know that.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, he was 36 years old, and that really shook us as a family. But, I'm so grateful for that experience, because it really grounded us even more.

Dr. Cat:

Yeah.

Sheila Bella:

So, okay. Okay, next thing. So, what really drew me to you initially was your story. So, one of my favorite musicals, ironically, is Legally Blonde the musical. I like the movie too, but the musical is so much better. I have a musical theater background. Because when I watch Legally Blonde, I'm like, "Everyone thinks this is such a funny movie." But to me, it's dark, and it's real, and it's like it's a drama to me, right? Because I feel I relate to it so much.

Dr. Cat:

Yeah. I agree.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah. Great. Because I relate to it so much, because my appearance, and how I present myself, how I choose to present myself, right? I've always been underestimated by people. I know what it's like to not be taken seriously. When she goes to Harvard, and then everybody's looking at her like, "Why are you wearing so much pink?" I've seen that look a million times, right?

Dr. Cat:

Yeah. No, of course.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah. Like, how could anybody spend that much time on their looks? And just like Elle Woods at Harvard, you actually lived it in real life. So, I know that your freshman year at Harvard, you said you got hate emails from people saying like, "This isn't a fashion show. Girls like you don't become doctors. You're supposed to be somebody's trophy wife." And I just totally relate to it when you say, "Why can't you care about the way you look, and also be academic? What's so wrong with just caring about the way you look? You don't judge people for not caring about the way they look. But why do you care that I care?" So, can you tell us more about your experience with that, and what your views are on that?

Dr. Cat:

Yeah, I mean, I think that it's so funny, because when you were kind of describing that, it did, it kind of triggered these old emotions from when I was when I was younger, and obviously in a much more vulnerable place, because especially when you're at that age, where you don't really know yourself that well, and you aren't that sure about yourself, to have so much negativity, it's really hurtful.

Dr. Cat:

And I know that, because I did a lot of modeling, and I did a lot of pageants when I was in high school. It's something that I enjoyed, it also gave me scholarship money, so it could help me pay for school, and I modeled through, I mean, pretty much college, and medical school, even in residency, because I was a student, and it helped me pay my bills, and I enjoyed it. I mean, both of us are in the beauty industry, and I think that beauty... For many women, it makes them feel good, and feel happy, and I feel like there shouldn't ever be any reason to have that be something that's negative, or someone should be shamed for.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

So, it was hard. I mean, like high school and also college, there were many dark times like that. And it almost frustrates me sometimes when movies portray how this sort of shaming, like this look shaming, or this female jealousy, because I think that it makes it seem like it's okay to do that. You know what I mean?

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, I feel like when somebody's attractive, it's almost... I'm about to curse. When someone's attractive, it's like, okay to shit on them.

Dr. Cat:

Yeah, because even like this recent movie that I watched with my daughter, where these two girls had to switch, it's like, somehow the girl who maybe happens to be a little bit more into beauty, or makeup, why is that always like the evil one who's mean?

Sheila Bella:

That's true.

Dr. Cat:

What is this stereotype? I mean, and I don't know if that's what creates this underlying animosity.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Cat:

I don't know if it's the media, or just like anything else, maybe there's some people who are nice, and some people aren't nice. And if someone looks different from you, they're going to attack you in a negative way. So, yeah, it is sad. It is sad that that happened, and I feel like through my social media, I have had a lot of young girls reach out to me, who are either, they're in a pageant, or they did modeling, or they just happen to love makeup.

 

Like, right now makeup is... I mean, people love makeup, makeup tutorials, and they tell me these stories of just things that other women, or even their family members have told them that make them feel like they can't accomplish their dreams, or somehow the fact that they have an interest in beauty makes them less of a candidate to go into something that's serious. Sometimes it's not even in medicine. It's like engineering, or science or just anything. And I just feel like, in our world today, where people are so, so different, there's just absolutely no reason why we can't see past what someone looks like on the outside, and see someone for who they truly are. I mean, I don't want my daughter to grow up in a world where it's okay to judge people in that way. You know what I mean?

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, it's not okay to judge people, no matter what, no matter what they look like. And if your version of being true to yourself is not wearing makeup, great, then be that. If your version of being true to yourself is wearing false eyelashes every day like me, then do that. I think authenticity takes on many forms.

Dr. Cat:

Yes, it does, of course. And I mean, I feel optimistic that through the courage of people just putting themselves out there, and showing like, "Why not this?" That we can all be more open minded to accept each other's differences, and appreciate each other for who we really are. So, I mean, maybe there'll be more movies made out there that have a different narrative, that allow people to appreciate others, whatever their appearance.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, yeah. I mean, it's the same concept. Judge people based on the content of their character, no matter what. What I like about Elle Woods so much, and you, is that you're kind. You're kind. So, when people don't like Elle Woods, it has nothing to do with how she treats others. It's everything to do with her appearance, or how she chooses to present herself. That's a choice, like I choose to wear wigs, and wear a lot of makeup, that's a choice.

Dr. Cat:

Yeah. And I think what I find, that I appreciate from that movie is that she was able to not... She was still able to be positive, and find herself, and not let anyone get her down, which I think is really difficult to do. And so, I think that courage comes in all forms, and courage to be yourself, and express yourself, and be able to separate yourself from other people's opinions, I think that that takes real strength.

 

So, I think that's one of the things that I hope people can learn to develop. And it's one of the things that I really hope for my daughter. I always just try to... Because she's on social media, she has her TikTok videos, and there's some comments and things like that, and my husband and I, we read them with her, and we talk about how it makes her feel, and have her understand, a lot of times people sit behind a computer screen, and they just type stuff, and to have that separation, and not let other people's views affect how you feel yourself, just because you know yourself, I think is a really important lesson. Not just for children, but for all of us out there.

Sheila Bella:

Wow.

Dr. Cat:

What people put at you is more a reflection of themselves, than us.

Sheila Bella:

I wish I had that. Can you imagine having that kind of training as a child, so that it could prepare us for the ugly world of social media sometimes? Like when I first started to do this, I didn't know how to detach. I didn't understand it yet.

Dr. Cat:

Yeah.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah. And people don't realize that you're a human being, and you have feelings.

 

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Okay, next question, what was the lowest point in your life? And if you could go back, what advice would you tell yourself at that time? So it's a two part question.

Dr. Cat:

Gosh, the lowest point of my life? I mean, there's been a lot of ups and downs. I don't know. I mean, I always go back to this, maybe just because I've talked about it so much, and spent so much time working through it personally. But, I think my freshman year of college was probably the hardest time for me. I think mostly because it was the first time I was away from home, and I'm really close to my family, and I went through a really difficult time during my first semester exams, where my best friend at the time, passed away, he committed suicide.

 

And as a result of that, I was swept up in a bunch of different things, like, I mean, it sounds bad. I had to file the police report. It was very traumatic for me being a young girl, on my own the first time, my first set of exams at Harvard, which was something I dreamed up my whole life. And a lot of it is a blur that I've tried to kind of rework, in order to be able to move past that.

 

But yeah, I got sent home in the middle of finals, I missed two of my exams, I had a lot of sort of personal issues, and then I had a major health issue, I was hospitalized with a severe kidney infection before my next set of finals. And then I was just like, "Wow, I've dreamt my whole life, to go to Harvard, thinking it was going to be this amazing experience, and I just had setback, and hardship, one after another, that just sort of stacked on themselves."

 

And being able to... I'm so grateful for my family, because without my parents there to help me through that time? I mean, my dad actually came back with me to school after that happened, and he stayed with me for two weeks, and just was like, "You know what? I'm here for you. If you feel like it's too hard, that's okay. What matters most is how you're feeling, and how can I support you in any way?" And I was able to just... I had to go back, and retake some classes, and pull through.

 

And the reason why I share that is just because, and I think I posted about this recently, it was just because I think a lot of times, things happen. Things happen in life, or things don't go as we plan. And just being able to kind of keep going, not give up, and have faith, and keep trying, I think is the most important thing.

 

One of the wisest things that my father ever told me is... What did he say? He said that, There's many roads to Rome," Or, "There's many paths on Rome." And in our minds, we see like, "Okay, I'm going to do this, this." And I'm a planner. So for me, I'm like, "This, this, this, this." I have my plan of how it's going to go.

 

But just being able to accept the unpredictabilities, and the journey of life, and just know, "Fine, maybe you're going to take this path off to the side, and end up meandering." Or maybe things take a little longer, or maybe you have to backtrack, and go back. As long as you have that vision, that hope of where it is that you want to go, and you can sort of appreciate any meandering, or ups and downs, or anything along the way, I think that that's the most important lesson.

Sheila Bella:

Adaptability.

Dr. Cat:

Yeah, because, just not giving up and getting discouraged, I think is the hardest thing. Like resilience, I think, is truly important. That, and just like my eight year, crazy surgery residency, that is like, honestly, I think that [inaudible 00:39:37]. Surgical training is like a very... At least when I did it, it was like a very abusive system. I think it's better now, but when I did it, it was like hazing, like every day. I'm telling you.

Sheila Bella:

Wow.

Dr. Cat:

I mean, you're like this young person that's never been exposed to anything before, you just want to help people, and save people, and then you're thrown in these traumatic situations, you see all kinds of crazy things, without a lot of emotional, or mental preparation for it. And when I did it, it was like before the 80 Hour Work Week law. There's now a law that a resident can... For real, you can only work 80 hours a week. Before that, it was just like-

Sheila Bella:

A free for all.

Dr. Cat:

We were like, "No way, we're only going to work 80 hours?" Now, on the outside of that, I'm just thinking, "Seriously?" I mean, I think the first week of my internship, I worked all except for eight hours total. I mean, I put my head down for the first time on a Thursday. I remember, because I had like half an hour to put my head down, and I was... You don't even get time to go to the residents' office. I like passed out in the computer place where you write notes, you know what I mean? And I was on liver transplant, which is so insane. It was my first week.

 

And I remember this, I got a call, a page from the front desk. It was my best friend, and she said, "Your mom called me. She was crying. She said that you haven't eaten, you haven't slept for four days, and it's three in the morning and you have to go in for another surgery. She just wanted me to tell you, 'It's not worth it. Don't worry, your parents will take care of you. Just quit now.'"

Sheila Bella:

Oh my gosh. So, my question for you is what kept you going? Did you always think in your head, even as a young child, "I'm going to be Beauty by Dr. Cat one day?" What kept you going? And yeah, you had an out. You had an out, your parents said they would take care of you.

Dr. Cat:

I just loved medicine. I mean, it's one of those things that's kind of like... I always equate it to relationships, because I tell people, when it comes to love, and you meet the one, you just know, and there's no amount of hardship, or ups or downs, or anything that can happen that will make you give that up, right? It's like, for my husband, I would follow him, and be with him, to no matter where on earth we got dragged, we would just be together, you know what I mean? And I think that when it came to just wanting to be a surgeon, I literally just felt it in my core, that that's what I was meant to do.

 

I mean, I didn't know per se, specifically plastics, like that kind of evolved, and then once I latched on to it, I'm like, "Oh, I just know this." But just being a doctor, and even being a surgeon, I just felt like it was what I was meant to do.

Sheila Bella:

It's your calling. It's your calling.

Dr. Cat:

It's really just hard to explain. I think it's just like this intuition. I always believe all of us have intuition, where you just know in your gut, and I think that that really carried me through, because I was like, "Wait, I just started. I can't quit now." But there were so many times where it was just like... I mean, you're so tired, and you're like... Because for plastics, a lot of people don't know, plastic surgery is not just cosmetic surgery. A lot of it, especially in our training is reconstruction. We do cranial facial, like for kids who were born with various facial deformities, that need to have complex reconstructive surgery.

 

We also do hand surgery, a lot of cancer reconstructive surgery, trauma. So, when you're on call, and you're the only person in the hospital that's covering facial traumas, and hand traumas, it's like you already operated all day, and then you think about all the different emergencies that can come in, you can just see the whole hallway full of people, with some sort of thing.

 

I mean, it's a really intense training process. I mean, I think, in retrospect, I mean, there's so much that I appreciate about it, because I was able to learn so much, but I honestly feel that medical education, and training can be done in a way that's so much kinder, and that teaches doctors way more about self care, and self compassion. And that's one of the things that we just don't... You almost learn to neglect that part of yourself, and take pride in just being hardcore, and just [inaudible 00:44:19] almost hurting yourself. And it's taken a lot of work for me to break from that pattern.

Sheila Bella:

Wow. I didn't know that. Thank you for that glimpse into the medical field, and what it takes.

Dr. Cat:

It's pretty intense.

Sheila Bella:

It's like the Navy SEALs, but for medicine.

Dr. Cat:

It is. It's like that. The word residency, surgical, like when you're talking about residency, it actually was because before, you just moved into the hospital, and you lived there. I think it is better now. Thank God.

Sheila Bella:

Oh, wow.

Dr. Cat:

I know, so-

Sheila Bella:

I feel like I just watched your movie. I just watched your movie.

Dr. Cat:

Yeah.

Sheila Bella:

That's amazing. Thank you for that. Okay, so-

Dr. Cat:

Yeah, so I just tell everyone, a lot of times people see... They see the end of the tunnel now, right? And just know that there is a journey, there is hard work. Anything that you truly desire, it does take dedication and hard work, and it's not just all glam. And I think that it is helpful, though, to see the end of the tunnel, because I know I have a lot of followers who are studying, or students, or are working towards something, and I think they just need to be able to see like, "Okay, I'm in that time, but I can get past that, and I can achieve what I'm hoping for, for myself."

Sheila Bella:

I mean, there's just so much to becoming successful. You basically said all of the things. You named all the things. It's just resilience, it's ignoring the critics, and it's just being so committed to your calling that it doesn't matter what comes in your way. And you can apply that honestly, for any goal.

Dr. Cat:

Right. And I think also, the one thing that I have learned, just through everything, is that success comes in many forms, you know what I mean? So, I think because I grew up in such an academic family, both of my parents are PhD doctors, and for them, education was the number one thing, that's something that they really, really stressed as being their definition of success.

 

But I think where I am in my life, now, I realize that success comes in so many forms. It's not just about what you do, or what school you've gone to, or anything like that. There's so much more, and I think who you are as a person, the love that you have in your life, and what you've nurtured, and how you care for the people around you, I mean, I think that that type of success is also equally valid, if not more important.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah. Yeah. I love that, that you've also admitted how you've evolved. And that's actually related to my next question. So, I'm an immigrant. I came here from the Philippines when I was eight years old, and my whole life, I've wanted to belong to this country, right? I know your husband's an immigrant too.

Dr. Cat:

Yeah.

Sheila Bella:

So, I think just belonging is such a basic human need. So, I've always just wanted that. I also wanted a seat at the table, I suppose, in the United States. I didn't have a degree, and I still don't have a degree. And the way I thought that I could get acceptance, and legitimacy was making money.

 

So, I made my first million in permanent makeup, and I was disappointed, I was so disappointed that for some people, it still wasn't enough. I'm like, "Wait, wait, wait. No, no, I can sit here. I can sit here, look at my purse. I bought this." In a way, I use designer things too, to kind of validate myself. Here's me getting real deep, and real vulnerable, right?

Dr. Cat:

Sure.

Sheila Bella:

But, for some people, and I'll admit it, for some people in my husband's family, I wore too much makeup, or I care too much about the way I look, or the way I made money was in beauty, and it wasn't academic, and then so it doesn't count. Right?

 

But then, it's really interesting, because I think as children, as young girls, we all play with Barbie dolls. Right? We play with Barbie dolls, and here's Barbie, she has her kick ass job, her Ferrari, right? She has her house in Malibu, and as a young girl, I said, "This Barbie doll, this is the American dream. This is who I need to aspire to be." Like in a very simple, childlike way, right?

 

And then one day I, "became that." And it's such a mind F that it's still not enough. You want to be the whole package. You want to be the ultimate female. Right? Have a high paying job, be a wife, mother, the clothes, the shoes, the whole package. And it's really disappointing, and interesting, that people will still find reasons to let you know that you're still not enough.

 

And this is true, I think, for a lot of people who might be experiencing this, because we just all want to belong. We just all want to be appreciated. We want to feel important. We want to feel special, and I think that's okay. So, what advice... Go ahead.

Dr. Cat:

Yeah, no, go ahead. I'll let you finish your statement.

Sheila Bella:

Okay. What advice do you have for young girls who feel this way? And do you relate to that?

Dr. Cat:

Well, my advice is this honestly. You just being you is enough, 100%. So, I almost feel sad that someone gave you that Barbie, and made you feel like you had to emulate that, in order to feel that you had value, or significance, or importance, because none of that stuff matters. You know what I mean? And I think it's interesting, because my mom was like the opposite, and she didn't give me any Barbies, [inaudible 00:50:36].

 

So, I'm just hearing you, and I'm just trying to figure out... I feel like, a lot of times the way that we are influenced, and maybe no one knew, maybe someone just was like, "Here's a cute Barbie." But somehow it put that in your mind, you know what I mean?

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

So, breaking down some of that, that inner voice of expectation, I think, is what hurts us the most, right? Because, just like you said, we expect, we're supposed to look a certain way, have a certain number of things, be able to do A, B, C, and D, in order to feel like we're doing a good job, or that we're not, you know what I mean?

 

So, I think I would encourage everyone just to really pursue things from a place of true love. So, if what you love is beauty, and the beauty industry, then you do it from a place of love. If what you love is... If you do love that bag because it just... You're like-

Sheila Bella:

It's amazing.

Dr. Cat:

You just think it's super cute, and you want it, you do because you love it. And to come from... Or anything you do, or if not, if that's not your interest, and your interest is in something completely different, or out of the box, like building something, or some other unique way of expressing yourselves. Because in the end, it's all about us being able to express ourselves, and feel, and finding that love. I think that without any sort of expectation on what we're going to receive, I think-

Sheila Bella:

That's really hard to know.

Dr. Cat:

Yeah.

Sheila Bella:

[inaudible 00:52:10].

Dr. Cat:

And it's hard, because I'll be honest with you, some of the issues that I had with the first way that we shot the TV show I was just on, Dr. 90210, is that I felt like it was putting unbelievable expectations on women. I just wasn't comfortable with the way that it was being presented, where it's like, "Okay, you want to show what I'm doing for a job, and how I look, and all this stuff." And it's like, I don't want... I want people to know that anything you dream of you can achieve. But there's so many different paths, and every single person's journey is equally valid, and any choice that you make is enough. You know what I mean?

 

So you don't have to look a certain way, or have a certain number of items, or any of those things, because it really isn't important. I mean, what's important is the core of who you are, where your heart is, and the people around you, that love you. Because, I would just say, for any one person, you're going to have a bunch of people that adore you, and a bunch of people that dislike you. It's impossible, we're all so different, to have everyone click in a way that's harmonious, and we all get along. I just don't think that's realistic.

 

I think just finding people that are close to you, that you trust, that you value, if you have their love, and they see you for who you are, I mean, that's enough. I really, I really strongly believe that, and the thing that I get, that sometimes scares me, or makes me nervous about social media is that sometimes I do worry, is this... Some of the things that are put out there, I would never want it to have anyone feel like they weren't enough, you know what I mean?

 

I think that's a really big, what do they call it? It's like a... I have to think of what the term is. But, basically, this whole comparing with what someone else has, and someone else looks like, I think that there's a little bit of danger in that, and I would really, really try to encourage people to look within, and turn to themselves, and really see, to really value what it is that's unique about them, that makes them just special, just the way they are. I just think that's such an important message, because you're always going to find someone, or something, or some image that, in your mind, you think is better, and I think in order to be able to have that true sense of peace, and contentment, it is being able to really value yourself, just the way you are.

Sheila Bella:

Just the way you are.

Dr. Cat:

And I really spend so much time telling my daughter that. I'm just like, "Layla, you're so special. You're so amazing, just you being Layla." Nothing else, you know what I mean? Really, nothing. I mean, I think it's always great to encourage, to reinforce, and celebrate achievements. But, coming from a background where it was just so about accomplishments, achievements, grades, just only these surface tangible things that I was attaching my value to, being able to break from that has taken a lot of work, and I think that's one of the things as a parent, I'm really trying to do so.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

So, I would just be like, "[inaudible 00:55:49] Even without all that stuff."

Sheila Bella:

Yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

And I see, like I said, this is the first time, us talking to each other.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

But, I can feel you through the things that you post, the things that you say, and the things that you write. I can see your heart, and who you are through that. Even if we both were just kicking it with nothing [crosstalk 00:56:15].

Sheila Bella:

Yeah. I know, it's just like no makeup-

Dr. Cat:

[crosstalk 00:56:17] Hanging out, or like, even if we didn't have any of the possessions, whatever, I just find that the connection person to person to me, has so much value. I don't even care about those external things. It's not the core of who anyone is.

Sheila Bella:

Right. What I find really fascinating, and healing, I would have to say, about watching you, and your platform, and how you use your platform, is that to me, you are that Barbie. You are. You've got the McLaren, you've got the stuff right? You are that Barbie. And the most important thing is you're just so kind. You're just so kind hearted. I find it really healing, and also, yeah, it's weird to say, but you still have haters. You do. And it's like, "Oh my gosh, why? Why? I don't get it." And when you talk about it, and it's...

Dr. Cat:

I mean, honestly, I've been fortunate, because, I think on my social media, I've been fortunate enough to not have a lot of negativity, and if I do get negative comments here or there, I think, if it's someone who I don't know, I'm like, "You know I'm okay with that. Right?" But no, yeah, I mean, recently, I had just like this shocking and horrible experience with two of the doctors who were on my show with me.

Sheila Bella:

I remember that.

Dr. Cat:

Well, first of all... I mean, most more than anything, it was just super disappointing, because the TV shows that I worked on, Dr. 90210, was a project that I had been a part of, that I actually brought to the network five years ago, and what I loved so much about it was that I want... I really, like every time we filmed, I would give this speech, like, "We are going to change the course of history. It's going to be positive, and female empowering, and it's going to change the way that women are portrayed in media."

 

Like, and I see that you're like that. You are a woman that celebrates the successes, and the joy of other people. That's just who you are. That's also who I am. So, when I started, like in these group texts, finding out... And like I said, like the two other women on the show, even before we started, I mean, my husband and I, we took them, and their husbands out to dinner, so they would be welcome. It was the first time they'd ever been on TV, and I felt like I was an ambassador for the project, to help bring people in, help them feel comfortable, help them open up, because I loved this project so much.

 

And then when it just kind of degenerated into this thing, where like they were mad about my social media, and I mean, pretty much it started because, you know how each week we would get these little clips?

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

These little videos.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

And we would get videos that had ourselves in it. The PR team would just tailor it to, like, "Here, you put this on your page, it's a clip about you." And in the second episode, one of my patients had, because of COVID or whatever, and they were out of town, I couldn't do that.

 

So, I wasn't in the second episode, and literally, in this group text, out of nowhere, it just started like, "Oh, why didn't you post our videos? You didn't promote our episode." And I'm just trying to explain to them like, "Okay, it would make no sense for me to put a video that I'm not in on my social media. It just doesn't make sense." And then from there, it just sort of just degenerated into where they're like, "Oh, you don't promote us, you didn't put our video up, you're just a fake."

 

And I'm just like, "Okay, I'm just trying to..." I mean, you know, you do social media, I do social media, it is a business in the end. It's like, I've invested a lot of time, we spend time on content, and there's a certain order, and pattern that just makes sense to the audience. Right?

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Cat:

And it's something that I put a lot of care and thought into, to make my page engaging, and I invest a lot into it. So, I think that just... And it's weird, because I have not experienced that type of jealousy, animosity, and for me, I'm just thinking, like, "Oh, my God, these people are new, and let me just be friendly."

 

And for one of the doctors who was new, I mean, I was the first person in her office. When she found out, she was renting a room in my surgery center, one of the doctors. I went in, I'm like, "I want to introduce myself. I didn't know anyone, I remember how hard it was starting off in Beverly Hills. Just ask me if you need anything. I'm so excited we're on this show together." And so, I didn't even... It did not even cross my mind, because I'm just not the kind of person that would see something that someone else has, and be hateful, and envious of it. I can't even comprehend that.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, you don't work that way. Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

It's not part of my vocabulary.

Sheila Bella:

Right. I understand. Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

And so, when I started getting these screenshots people were sending to me, and realizing, as the episodes were going on, and on, these two people were mocking me, and making fun of me, and making fun of what I was wearing, and with my parents, there was this very private, private, personal, intimate information that I had had a conversation with myself, my husband, and them, and they basically kind of exposed that, and posted it publicly. I was like, "This just has to stop."

 

And I think, for me, I've always tried to be above it, you know what I mean? I'm like, "I want to be the bigger person. I'm just going to look the other way." But I think there's a certain point in life where things just cross the line. And it was really hard for me to speak up, because it's like, you're like, "Oh, wait, am I supposed to just be above it?"

 

But I think sometimes in life, it's like, you just have to stick up for yourself. I know, if I'd never said anything, it would have just continued, and it just would have eaten away at me, just to have this constant negativity around me, you know what I mean? And I was really sad about it, because I feel like it definitely took away a lot of the joy that I had in creating this project, that was supposed to be so positive, and amazing, and uplifting. But I'm like, "You know what? I do not want my daughter to grow up in a world where it's okay, if someone has something that you want, or is somewhere that you want to be, you can just gang together with someone else, and try to make them feel bad about it." You know what I mean?

 

That type of behavior, like cyber bullying, has no place in this world. I just find that to be completely unacceptable. I think, if you choose not to like someone, that's fine. If you see something, and you want to be... You just have these feelings within yourself, fine, you deal with it on your own. But to try to make someone else feel uncomfortable, shame them, embarrass them publicly, I just find that to be extremely wrong.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Cat:

So, I think that's why my next project that I'm working on, I'm going to be co-producing it, because I just want to have better control over the narrative, to really be able to focus on more depth, things that I think are important, to have better control over the cast. And I think that overall, I feel like it was still a really amazing, beautiful project, that I'm super proud of, because I feel like it still was able to showcase plastic surgery in a way that was positive, transformative, and inspiring, with amazing patients.

 

I just, like I said, I mean, I think I learned so much from that. And I know that just in the future, anything that I do, I'm just going to make sure that I surround myself with really good, positive people that have the same values as myself.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

I think it's so important just to protect your space. And I do that with my life, and I do that with my practice. I mean, you've never visited me in my office, but one day, you're gonna go [crosstalk 01:05:04].

Sheila Bella:

Yes, I am.

Dr. Cat:

But when you go in, it's just everyone around me, everyone that I work with, my employees, we just create this serene, positive space. You just feel this, it's like this energy where everyone cares about each other. And with patients who are coming in, we're there, we guide them. It's not just like a physical transformation. It's like a mental, emotional one, where people learn to love themselves, and they come out just feeling better overall. I just try to protect that space, that world around me, and I think that even when it comes to TV production, or anything like that, I have to really do that for myself, as well.

Sheila Bella:

I really relate to that. When you say you don't understand jealousy. Yeah, because when I've experienced that in my life, too, I always think like, "Oh, my gosh, it must feel so bad to be that dark." Because hurt people hurt people, and my body just doesn't understand that. Which makes it even more confusing when girls do that when they're not happy for you, because you don't know what that feels like.

Dr. Cat:

No, I know. And it's funny, because when I made that post, I literally had, probably almost 20 women from all parts of my life, middle school, grade school, college, residents, they literally called me, or texted me, it was like, "Oh, my God, are you okay?" Because they were like, "What happened to you must have been so bad, for you to have said something, because in my entire life of knowing you, I've never heard you say anything bad about another person."

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

They're like, "You've dealt with so much, plus, minus, but you've never, ever said a harsh word about someone else. You always just tried to give them the benefit of the doubt, or be understanding, or have that empathy." Like you said. And they were just like, "Are you okay? It must have been so horrible, for you to have really stood up for yourself."

 

And I'm really glad that I did, because sometimes standing up for yourself, it takes a lot of courage, and it was really, really hard for me to do. And like I said, I saw your comment, and I appreciate your feedback, because I did get a lot of feedback from many people, and many women, who said, you know what? The same thing was happening to them at work, or with a group of friends, or with colleagues, or even other students.

 

And this type of cyber bullying now, because people can do it behind the screen, or do it in a way that's not face to face, it is really hurtful. If you look at what's going on in some of these high schools, and how it's affecting young girls, I mean, there's been a lot of really, really horrible consequences to this type of ganging up on someone, or negative behavior, or shaming. And after the fact they were just saying like, "Oh, we were just joking. We're just kidding." No, that is not okay, and it's not a joke. It's not a joke to hurt other people's feelings on purpose, or gang up against somebody, and it's just wrong. So, I mean, it was definitely not fun.

Sheila Bella:

I felt that post. I felt that.

Dr. Cat:

Yeah, we've all been there.

Sheila Bella:

I was like, "I totally know what this feels like."

Dr. Cat:

Yeah.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

A lot of us have been there.

Sheila Bella:

And I've never heard you post anything like that before, either. So yeah, I was like, "I agree with your friends." I was like, "This must have been really bad for her to say something."

Dr. Cat:

Yeah. And I think like I said, it's hard. I mean, it's not easy to stand up to that. A lot of times you just feel uncomfortable, and you just want to make it go away. But I think there comes a certain point where things cross the line, and you do have to speak up for yourself, otherwise, it just never ends.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah. You've got to boss up sometimes. I'm so glad you did. So, a couple more questions before we wrap up. Okay, so I really want to ask you to fill in the blank.

Dr. Cat:

Okay.

Sheila Bella:

Fill in the blank. If people really knew me, they would know that I blank. Like what do people who really know you, what do they know that maybe none of us get to see?

Dr. Cat:

That I am a super fun, silly person. I mean, especially at home. I mean, like when I'm at work, everything is so precise, and I'm very obviously, really kind of controlling. I like things done in a very particular way, and I have a ton of rules. But people who really know me, I'm really, really laid back, and funny, and I like to do silly things.

 

Like for example, this is so bad, but like I remember when I went trick or treating with my daughter, and one of her friends, and there were certain houses that were marked for trick or treating, and I'm like, "Let's go to the one that's not, and just ring the doorbell, and run away." I don't know. I mean, so fun things like that. And especially with my daughter, I mean, I try to let the child in me still survive and thrive.

Sheila Bella:

Whenever you talk about Layla, there's a smile in your eyes, even that's just different. There's a different spark, whenever you say her name, or when you talk about her, or when you talk about Binais, too. I noticed it, and it's really cool. It's really cool to see.

Dr. Cat:

Oh, thank you.

Sheila Bella:

It's subtle.

Dr. Cat:

No, it's like the joy in my life.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, that's what it is. It's like it's pure joy. I see it in your face, and so, it just warms my heart. Okay, next question. So this is a question that I stole from Tim Ferriss, and I love it, so I always use it. So, if you had 24 hours to put something up on a billboard in Times Square, and it can't be for Dr. 90210, or MD Glam. Okay? So, if you had a chance to put up like a quote, or a saying, or a message up on Times Square for 24 hours, for millions of people to see, what would it say? What message would you want to share to the world?

Dr. Cat:

I would just put, "Be yourself, and believe in yourself." I think that's the foundation for everything. It really is.

Sheila Bella:

I love it. I love that you're so succinct about that, and your message is consistent. Just be yourself. Love yourself, believe in yourself. And then, first of all, I wanted to give a plug, a shameless plug for MD Glam, because I have been using this for about two months, and no joke, my skin feels different. I don't know how you came up with this formula. I heard that it took you five months to come up with this one raw material of hyaluronic acid. I think that's what got me, when I heard the story behind it.

Dr. Cat:

Yeah, I mean, the details of skincare are... I mean, I just don't think many people realize it, because it's easy to get distracted by the marketing on the box. But, when it comes down to it, it's just like anything else, really the quality of the ingredients, and also, the science behind it is just so important. You know what I mean? And for me, I mean, I just I really wanted to find something for myself. I mean, I'm much older, I'm 44, so I'm much older than you, and I mean, skin-

Sheila Bella:

Well, you look like you're in your 20s. I'm sure you get that-

Dr. Cat:

Oh, thank you.

Sheila Bella:

It's so good.

Dr. Cat:

I feel like I'm in my 20s. I feel like I'm in my 20s. But, when I formulated the products, I really just wanted to create something that had everything that I wanted in a skincare, because before I used to turn over the bottle, and look at the raw ingredients, and then I would kind of mix and match stuff from different companies. I'm like, "This one has a vitamin C that I like, this one has this ingredient."

 

But then when I was mixing them, I just didn't know like, "Okay, are these compatible? Are they going to end up canceling each other out?" Because there's a certain... When you combine ingredients, there's like a certain amount of stability that's important. Otherwise... Just like the pH, or the way that they combine, it just makes it so it doesn't work anymore.

 

So I think for me, knowing all the details of what I was putting in each product was really, really important to me, and it just takes time to really do that hunting, to make sure you get the ingredients that you want, to really look at just the molecular compound of vitamin C, to make sure it actually is going in your skin, to make sure it's synergistic with the other things.

 

I mean, I don't know what other skincare companies do. I mean, for this it's just me. You know what I mean? It's me, I took my time. I wasn't reporting to like a CEO of some multi level, with investor, it was just me being able to take my time to create something that was quality, that I really believed in.

 

But yes, the night I think is one of my favorite products because that to me, I feel like the night moisturizer is like the time where, you know When you sleep, your skin opens, and it really absorbs all the ingredients. So, vitamin C, as well as glycolic acid, those are really, really essential for building collagen, and also for hyperpigmentation, for skin texture.

 

And also, the hyaluronic acid though, is really hydrating, because I have this weird, combination, sensitive skin, where it will get really dry, but then also feel oily, you know what I mean? So, all of the products in MD Glam are all hydrating, because I think that hydration is what protects your skin, and keeps it looking supple, and glowy. And so, then the hyaluronic acid in the night... So there's a certain particle size of hyaluronic acid that it actually goes inside. Otherwise, it just can't. It's too big.

Sheila Bella:

It's just there. It just sits there.

Dr. Cat:

It just [crosstalk 01:15:50] skin's surface. And then it's almost like drawing water out. And hyaluronic acid is very hydrophilic, that's why people get lip filler, and their lips blow up, it's because they're absorbing water into the product. So, the hyaluronic acid is a really critical ingredient. It's just that, you can put hyaluronic acid on the box, but it doesn't even... You don't even know what it is.

Sheila Bella:

I see it everywhere. Hyaluronic acid is everywhere.

Dr. Cat:

Yeah. And I remember when I was formulating this, I was asking my manufacturer for the raw materials. I'm like, "What is the size in kilodaltons?" I'm like, "It has to be this particular size." And they were just like, "We just have the normal hyaluronic acid that everyone uses." I'm like, "I know, but I don't care. It has to be this certain size." And they were just like, "Oh my God, no one's ever asked us this before." And they're like, "What about if we try this?" I'm like, "No, it just has to be this, and this is the ingredient I want, and you just have to find it." You know what I mean?

 

So, with that, and then there's other particular ingredients. Like for example, the cleanser. Cleansers are so critical. The cleanser is also one of my favorite products, because I have sensitive skin. So, a lot of cleansers are like... They just take everything off. They have soaps, alcohol, like when you use it, it's just like it feels bare. I don't know if you're used to that feeling. I used to feel that feeling all the time with cleansers, where I'm like, "Oh my God, my skin feels so raw."

Sheila Bella:

It's stripped.

Dr. Cat:

Then I'd try to put something on, and then it burns. So, the cleanser is super hydrating, and it's only until you use the MD Glam cleanser, you're like, "Wait, I can use a cleanser, and it actually feels soft. It feels moisturized."

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

So, I mean, every product just took forever, just took forever to formulate. And I remember, because my husband's my business partner in that company. He's like, "Oh my god, it's taking forever." He's like, "What's taking so long?" I'm like, "I know," I'm like, "I just have to make sure it has this, and I wanted to double check it." And then even the sunscreen, that probably took the longest, because I'm like, "I have to make sure I try it on myself."

 

And literally, when I finally finalized the formula, we went on three tropical vacations. We went to Costa Rica, we went to the Dominican Republic, and we went like, I can't remember what the third place was, and I literally did these experiments on myself, where I was just like, "Okay, I'm going to put this on. I'm just going to go in the sun, for the whole day [inaudible 01:18:19]."

Sheila Bella:

And see.

Dr. Cat:

Yeah, and then, obviously other things like the fragrance, and the texture, because everything's fast absorbing, so when you put it on, it doesn't have that gross, greasy feeling. You put it on, you're like, "Oh my God, my skin feels so good. It's not sticky. It feels fresh, it feels light. It doesn't smell so perfumey, and strong."

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Dr. Cat:

And I think, because I feel like, you know how it is, we're all busy running around, we have like that 10, 15 minutes in the morning, or in the evening to do that, we're alone with ourselves, in the bathroom, and it was just so important for me, for that precious time of self care, to make it be a really, really amazing experience. You know what I mean? It's not just like, "Okay, let me put this on so my skin looks good."

 

I want it to be like that feeling you get like, "Oh, I just love doing my skincare regimen. I love just using the cleanser, and then putting the moisturizer on my face, and I feel it going in, and my skin is drinking all this nourishing..." And you know, you're going to wake up in the morning, and it's going to feel glowy, and hydrated, and just all the little details of that experience, as well as it just working for people, were so important to me.

Sheila Bella:

I feel that. I mean, I put this on my husband now every night, of course it's me, and I go [inaudible 01:19:49], I'm like, "Come here. Come over here." And yeah, it does feel different. It's not oily, it's not greasy. It feels like velvet. I think the Night Complex, I feel like my skin feels velvety soft in the morning. It doesn't feel slick or anything like that, but it's like a smooth, rich feeling. And thank you so much for creating it. There's certain experts, in certain fields that you really trust. So, thank you for doing the work for us, so it takes all the guesswork out.

Dr. Cat:

No, you're so welcome, and I'm so happy to hear that you love it, and that it's made a difference for you. I mean, that always makes me really happy, to hear how it makes women feel good, and feel beautiful. I mean, it just means a lot to me, really, for you to say that.

Sheila Bella:

Thank you so much Dr. Cat. So guys, I am going to put a link to Dr. Cat's Instagram, and also to MD Glam, and her website, all in the show notes, so you have got to go check it out. You've got to check out some MD Glam, and also tag me, when you guys order it, and tag Dr. Cat. Last question, where can we find you? How can we work with you? How can we get more of you? And I'm so excited for your upcoming project.

Dr. Cat:

Thank you. I mean, well I'm on my Instagram, which is beautybydrcat. I also have a TikTok, which is a combination of things, like some silly stuff too, which is also beautybydrcat. For those of you who are really into medical stuff, and surgery stuff, I have a page called Surgeon. It's really medical, so not everyone wants to see all that, but some people really love seeing surgeries, medical stuff. So, that's my page, Surgeon. So, beautybydrcat, Surgeon, and for skincare, myMDGlam. And then just stay tuned.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah. Oh, I'm so excited. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for joining us on Pretty Rich Podcast. This has been a dream come true for me. So, until next time, you guys.

 

Hey, thanks so much for listening to today's episode of Pretty Rich Podcast. If you want to continue the conversation longer, check me out on Instagram. It's my favorite place to connect with you guys, @realSheilaBella. I'm happy to answer any of your questions, or simply to chat, and get to know you better.

 

And if you end up doing something super awesome, like screenshotting this episode, and reposting it on your stories, that would put the biggest smile on my face. Don't forget to tag me. I appreciate every share, and love feedback from my listeners. Also, do you have my number? Do you have my number? Because if we're going to keep hanging out, you should probably have my number. So, you can actually text me. That's right, you can text me at 310-388-4588.

 

And if you're sick and tired of doing business alone, and you're interested in accelerating your success by hiring a business coach, or joining our mentorship program, called Pretty Rich Bosses, go ahead, and just apply. Why not? Check it out. Go to SheilaBella.com/apply, and we'll schedule a free strategy session with either myself, or one of my advisors. And of course, I've got to include my kids. So, here to send us off are Beau, and Grey.

Grey:

Hello.

Sheila Bella:

Grey, say, "Share with your friends."

Grey:

Share with friends.

Sheila Bella:

Please review my mommy on iTunes.

Grey:

[inaudible 01:23:37] Mama iTunes.

Sheila Bella:

Thanks for listening.

Grey:

Thanks for listening.

Sheila Bella:

Hey, Beau, can you tell everybody what our family motto is?

Beau:

Yeah. I can do hard things.

Sheila Bella:

I can do hard things. Good job, buddy.

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