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Margaret Cho Interview: On Beauty, Makeup, and Body Image

Margaret Cho Talks Beauty, Body Image, and Tattoos


Wanna know Margaret Cho? You're in luck, because the hilarious comedian is getting her own reality series. The Cho Show premieres tomorrow at 11:00 p.m. on VH1 (check the trailer here) and it's a hilarious look into her smart, funny, raunchy, and endearing world.

Cho is known for her riffs on race, sexuality, and saucy topics that most other comics won't touch. And she's not shy about talking about her long journey to self-acceptance — as you'll see here. Read on!

On The Cho Show, you mention that you didn’t feel glamorous as a girl, but now you do. How did you start accepting—and loving—your looks?
It was a process, and it is still a struggle, but I try to compliment myself as much as I can. I try to be as loving as I can toward myself, but it is hard. Growing up and being told that you are ugly and fat — and then going into show business, where when I first came on the scene, all people could talk about was how ugly and fat I was. I realize now that had a lot to do with racism. People had never seen an Asian-American face on TV, so they panicked and said I was ugly because they were so racist they didn't know what else to do. So now I just don't value those opinions. I am beautiful; that is all anyone needs to know about me.

For Cho's take on plastic surgery, plus a few words on her beauty "obsession," read more.

In your current tour, Beautiful, you talk about how we define beauty. What kind of response are you getting from audiences?
It is wonderful and overwhelming and beautiful. I love this show and I love everyone who is coming out to see it. I am so honored.

You blog about women being “constantly at war with our bodies.” What do you do to stop that war personally? What makes you feel better?
Doing good things for myself. Being happy. Eating what I want. Belly dancing. It all has to be celebratory — every act is an act of celebration and joy.

So from the trailer, we know you spend some time chatting about plastic surgery with Joan Rivers. What’s your opinion of plastic surgery?
I think it is something that women can choose, I don't have any judgment about it. I prefer getting tattooed, because that feels more right for me, but different women take different paths. We are all beautiful, no matter what.

OK, a few less-heady questions: Is your healthy skin really due to water alone? And what would we find in your makeup bag?
My skin is also my semi-obsession. I never go anywhere without sunblock. I also moisturize several times a day. My skin is dry and can look very thin, so I drink lots of water to plump it up. And I am a total makeup junkie. I love all MAC makeup and my great obsession is with Kat Von D's new line for Sephora. It is all the best colors — and there's lots of pigment, so everything is very rich and deep and perfect!

Photo courtesy of VH1.

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