Maysoon Zayid and Marie Forleo on Moving Beyond Looks

I absolutely love Marie Forleo and every Tuesday she puts out either a Q & A Tuesday video, where someone will ask her a business question and she answers it – usually in about 5-7 minutes – or she will put out a longer video where she interviews someone.

This week she interviewed a comedian by the name of Maysoon Zayid.  It made such an impact on me that tonight I had Mike and the girls watch it again with me.

There were a few things that stood out to me about this interview.  First of all, Maysoon has Cerebral Palsy, yet the obstacles she has overcome and the physical “limitations” she has broken through are awesome!  It reminded me of how important the mind is and how the body can do some pretty amazing things.

It also reminded me of how we need to take charge of our health and challenge what doctors say to us.  If Maysoon’s parents had listened to her doctor when she was young, Maysoon wouldn’t be walking today, doing yoga, doing stand-up comedy, and she certainly wouldn’t have graduated from college!

The other thing that stood out, and even more so, was how our society tends to judge people and pick them apart.  For some reason, we tend to look for something negative to say about people or we tend to feel the need to categorize them and label them according to how they look or act or how they behave, as if this brings clarity to who they are.  We seems we think that if we label everyone, the world will then be somewhat more organized and we can better deal with it.

The challenge with this is that each of these “labels” is only a fraction of each person’s whole being, AND, these labels are, more often than not, not even relevant to who those people really are.

In the interview, Maysoon says her biggest challenges came after doing a TED Talk and having over 5,000,000 views (to date).  She openly talks about her disability, so people felt they couldn’t really comment on that… so instead, they called her “fat!”  And that has been really hard for her to recover from.  She doesn’t consider herself fat – she has always felt like she is a healthy person – she eats healthy, she works out – but she has no abdominal muscles, due to her weaker back and the Cerebral Palsy.  So there are comments like, “I don’t understand – her face is so beautiful, why is she fat?  She would be so beautiful if she wasn’t fat.”

Now, when she goes on for an interview or to do a show, rather than thinking about what she is going to talk about, she’s stuck thinking about what is she going to wear and how is she going to look.

It’s a reminder of how far down this road we have gone – so much emphasis is put on how we look and not on who we are and what we have to say.  And, I feel changing this perspective will happen when we actually connect with people from the heart.  When you open your heart, have a conversation with someone, and feel a little compassion, you can’t help but move past the external features.

I hope you enjoy the interview, have a few laughs (she is a comedian, after all), and are inspired!