Bonding over Beauty Review & Interview with Erika Katz
A Mother-Daughter Beauty Guide to Foster Self-Esteem, Confidence, and Trust
By: Erika Katz;
Foreword by: Jane Greer
Cover and interior illustrations by Ted Dawson
Greenleaf Book Group, Publication Date: March 2011
There was no question about the fact that I was going to purchase the newly published book, Bonding over Beauty. The suspense was whether I would be able to interview the author, Erika Katz, and impress my oldest child, my teenage daughter!
Fortunately, a happy ending!
I’ll write about Bonding Over Beauty, and include interview questions with Erika Katz, who is not only the author of the book, but also the mother of two children.
Bonding over Beauty is, as advertised, a Mother-Daughter Beauty Guide to Foster Self-Esteem, Confidence, and Trust.
How does Ms. Katz achieve that goal? First, this paragraph really spoke to me, and I will quote from Bonding over Beauty “…this book is not about making your daughter “beautiful” or turning her into a beauty queen. Rather, it is about helping her deal with the joys and struggles all girls face as they grow into womanhood. I want your daughter to consider you the best resource to help her handle the beauty and hygiene issues…I also want you to seem like the “coolest” mom in the world to her.”
So, I really don’t believe that I, Moxie, have to “sell” you on the fact that it’s a must purchase book, it’s just a fact. I want to be cool, but I also want to be providing correct, up-to date information and truly bond with my daughter.
There are nine chapters in the book, and an index. You can also learn more about Erika Katz in the “About the Author” page. Here’s a list of some of the chapters in the book:
*Bonding over How She Cares for Her Skin
*Bonding over Makeup & Brows
*Bonding over Puberty & Hygiene
*Bonding over Nutrition & Fitness
*Bonding over Aromatherapy to Feel Beautiful
Erika, in the chapter you entitled, Bonding over her Hands & Feet, you write that it, “embodies the essence of my message to moms.” Would you please go into a little more detail about that for my readers?
One day, my daughter came home from school and was clearly upset. When I asked her about it she said, “I don’t want to talk about it.” I was a little concerned but did not know how to get her to open up. Later that day, I had to clip her nails and as I started to cut the second nail she said, ” A boy at school was teasing me.” By the time I finished clipping her nails, I realized there was more to the story. So, I reached for a moisturizer and gave her a little hand massage. Desperate to get the last bit of the story, I slowly started to paint her nails with clear polish. By the time I was done with her mini-manicure, I had found out everything that had happened and was able to help her handle her feelings. When you care for your daughter that way, she is getting your complete attention. You can’t text and paint her nails at the same time. Plus, you are doing something to make her feel good so she knows she has your complete and utter attention. That is how we “bond” over “beauty.” We take a simple grooming activity and we make it a forum for a dialogue. Its just like when you go to hairdresser and tell him/her your whole life story. There is something special about being pampered that makes us feel love and cared for.
As a mom, I’d love to know the secret(s) to not only having your son and daughter, give you ideas for bonding & support you with your writing of the book, but also, apparently not ask you to “duck down” “hide” or the like, when around their friends? (Yes, Moxie has had that happen; very sad!)
Its funny you ask that because I have had an interesting experience. Up until my son was 8, I was a stay-at-home, pick-him-up-from-everything mom. While I am a writer and work from home, my schedule has become busier and I am not as available for him. I saw this was difficult for him so when I was writing the hair bonding activities, I asked him for ideas. He told me to put glitter in your daughter’s hair and braids. When he saw that in print, he was thrilled that I had listened to him and included his ideas. When the book came out, he told all is friends and he stood right behind me when I was on the TODAY show. I have also noticed he has an understanding that while I am his mom, I also have my own identity. I think this has been an important lesson for him. As for wanting to “hide” me- I do not get hurt by that. In fact, I am happy they feel that way. It means they are starting to pull away in a healthy way. As a parent, we selfishly want our children to want to be with us all the time. But, our jobs as parents is to give our children good values, teach them right from wrong, and give them the tools to be strong, independent individuals. When they do not want to be with us, it is a healthy part of their growth. Can you imagine having a sixteen year old that only wants to be with his/her parents? While we want to keep them close when they are 8 and 9, it is healthy for them to start to pull away. If they do that, you are on the right track as a parent.
You write about how your friends from childhood (your guinea pigs) let you experiment with products and facials, etc. Any products or beauty fixings that didn’t go as planned?
When I was 16, I tweezed a friend’s eyebrows. I overtweezed the middle so her brow ended up starting just above her pupil. Fortunately, hair grows back. With hair fiascos there’s not much you can do except wait. I think short bangs are probably the worst because it can take 3 months to get them to a decent length.
I really love the way your book presents so much information in a very up-front, supportive way; each chapter having activities to do with our daughters. One of your goals is to promote a “strong dialogue to last a lifetime.”
Do you ever cringe when you see people (that you know personally, or just are observing them,) that are clearly not sending the message that they’re open to a dialogue with their tween or teen?
It starts with simple things. If your daughter asks to shave her legs and you give her a knee jerk reaction of “Absolutely NOT,” you have shut her down and told her she can not come to you. It is so easy to ask her why she is thinking about this, if there is something she is umcomfortable with, or maybe the girls at school are doing it. By asking her about her feelings you open the dialogue.
I was talking to a couple the other day that were afraid to teach their 11 year old about sex even though she has already started to menstruate and she has many questions. They were so uncomfortable as if talking about it would somehow encourage her to be sexually active. I really do not understand what parents are so afraid of. It is our job as parents to teach our children the facts of life. The best part about being the teacher is that you can impart your views on the issue and give her a guideline as to what is appropriate and what isn’t. So, yes I cringe because I also know what those children are doing behind their parents back.
You write about wanting your daughter to come you for questions and concerns and not go to her friends. I certainly agree with you for putting into words what I believe as a mom, that I need to be my “…daughter’s greatest resource for her beauty and hygiene issues.”
When did you realize that you needed to put all your great ideas/advice/activities etc. into a book?
Girls are going through puberty as young as 8 years old these days. I wanted to give moms the tools to know what to say to their daughters and how to say it. It is tough talking about periods with a child who is still clinging to a stuffed animal.
What did your family do (scream, call lots of people?) and what did you all do, to celebrate learning that Bonding over Beauty was to be published by the Greenleaf Book Group?
We were very excited. I think I jumped up and down. When they first said they wanted to do my book, I think I said “Are you sure?”
In Bonding Over Beauty, you provide a packing checklist for long trips. Have you ever forgotten something when you’ve gone away on a trip (business or pleasure?)
When I travelled to Spain in college, I forgot to bring elastic bands for my hair. So, I went into a drugstore and asked for gommas which I thought was elastic bands. It turned out it was slang for condoms. They gave me a very dirty look and told me to get out of the store. My friend got a yeast infections on the 9 hour plane ride from NYC to Spain. We went to the pharmacist and tried to explain it by using latin words like candida. They gave her this flourescent yellow cream. It worked but it would have been much easier for her to take one pill of Diflucan instead of a week of inserting some bizarre cream. That is why I always recommend girls bring yeast infection and bladder infection remedies with them when they go away.
Do you have one or two favorite organic/natural beauty products that you, or your daughter, would recommend to my readers?
Strawberries are rich in salicylic acid and great to dry up a pimple. Liquid Vitamin E oil is the best moisturizer ever. I use it on my hands and around my eyes every night before bed. I also put it on my daughter’s cuts and scrapes for faster healing. I make a toner from 1/2 cup grapefruit juice, 1/2 cup witch hazel, and half cup green tea. I put the mixture in a bottle and use it as a toner to remove dirt and residue.
Do you have another book you’re working on that you would like to divulge to us?
Right now I am contributing to various TV shows and magazines. I would like to do a parenting show to help build better communication between parents and their tweens.
***You don’t want to miss this: Erika will be on Foxnewslive.com tomorrow, August, 19, 2011!***
At the Bonding over Beauty website I signed up to receive Erika’s blog via email. You should, too!
Disclosure: I have nothing to disclose. All links provided are for your convenience only.
Moxie Reviews™ 2011. Content copyright. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner, Moxie, is strictly prohibited.