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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,"

.

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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Join The Conversation
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I appreciate Margaret's message -- it's very positive. I completely agree with her about self-acceptance and self-love. However, I must confess that sometimes I find her too raunchy. This is nothing against her -- I'm just really sensitive sometimes.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I appreciate Margaret's message -- it's very positive. I completely agree with her about self-acceptance and self-love.However, I must confess that sometimes I find her too raunchy. This is nothing against her -- I'm just really sensitive sometimes.
crankygirl crankygirl 7 years
I think it's great you interviewed Margaret Cho. I really like her message and her accepting attitude. Also, I've seen her perform and she cracks me up.Suprised to see people don't know who she is. She's not exactly in the mainstream, but she's had a pretty successful career. I agree with the person who said we weren't there to know whether the situation she experienced was racist or not. But given the lack of diversity in American TV and movies, I'd be willing to bet that she's probably right.
crankygirl crankygirl 7 years
I think it's great you interviewed Margaret Cho. I really like her message and her accepting attitude. Also, I've seen her perform and she cracks me up. Suprised to see people don't know who she is. She's not exactly in the mainstream, but she's had a pretty successful career. I agree with the person who said we weren't there to know whether the situation she experienced was racist or not. But given the lack of diversity in American TV and movies, I'd be willing to bet that she's probably right.
em1282 em1282 7 years
I totally wish I was friends with her...and I wanna go MAC makeup shopping with her. Love her so much!
MsWalton MsWalton 7 years
I absolutely LOVE Margaret! Thanx Bella:)
wackdoodle wackdoodle 7 years
I saw Margaret Cho at the SF Pride Parade and everyone in the crowd I was standing with was in absolute awe. She is actually really gorgeous in person. Her skin was radiant, her her wasn't flat black but subtly toned and her makeup was terrific. She made her make up look good not the other way round. Her tats rocked.
MissMarisol MissMarisol 7 years
The LOGO network ran this show last night and I was able to watch the first episode. She was so endearing and her parents are just too cute. I will keep watching.
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 7 years
I don't remember her having tattoos, cool!
puddlesworth puddlesworth 7 years
She is repulsive.
puddlesworth puddlesworth 7 years
She is repulsive.
allinavhcnerf allinavhcnerf 7 years
i can't wait to watch her show! she's really talented and beautiful :)
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 7 years
She's awesome! Great interview!
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 7 years
She's a comedian. And to correct one of my sentences, I meant that along with Hollywood, it seems that the general masses also have very narrow views about beauty.
brutalcupcake brutalcupcake 7 years
who is she?
brutalcupcake brutalcupcake 7 years
who is she?
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 7 years
"I don't really buy that. Ignorance? Probably. Racism? I don't think so. But maybe that's just me. Plus, show business is notoriously shallow and vain, if a white woman of similar proportions and features were to be in her position they'd probably say the same thing. " Maybe you're right, but we weren't actually there to know whether or not her choice of words is accurate. And when it comes to Hollywood being shallow and vain, I also think Hollywood's perception of beauty is really narrow and so do the general mainstream masses, or least that's what people's online comments would give me reason to believe.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 7 years
"I don't really buy that. Ignorance? Probably. Racism? I don't think so. But maybe that's just me. Plus, show business is notoriously shallow and vain, if a white woman of similar proportions and features were to be in her position they'd probably say the same thing. "Maybe you're right, but we weren't actually there to know whether or not her choice of words is accurate. And when it comes to Hollywood being shallow and vain, I also think Hollywood's perception of beauty is really narrow and so do the general mainstream masses, or least that's what people's online comments would give me reason to believe.
dannysf dannysf 7 years
Love her! Fun interview Bella.
gabiushka gabiushka 7 years
"It all has to be celebratory — every act is an act of celebration and joy." Love that she said that, even though I have no clue who she is and I'm not interested.
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
I like her nonjudgmental attitude about plastic surgery. It's refreshing.
itsme3683 itsme3683 7 years
For the record, I'd just like to say that I think she's an awesome woman with a great message and I actually really like her, it was just that statement that didn't sit with me very well...
itsme3683 itsme3683 7 years
"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." I don't really buy that. Ignorance? Probably. Racism? I don't think so. But maybe that's just me. Plus, show business is notoriously shallow and vain, if a white woman of similar proportions and features were to be in her position they'd probably say the same thing. I mean, I'm sure the fact that she was Asian in a time when few minorities were on TV didn't help, but I'm not convinced. That's just my two cents.
melissaluz melissaluz 7 years
cant wait for the show, i loved her since her first tv show i think it was all american girl
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 7 years
I want to hang out with her.
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