We recently attended a fun and inspiring panel discussion in NYC that was all about female empowerment, beauty and aging, and being a successful businesswoman. Hosted by Merz Aesthetics—whose products include Ultherapy, XEOMIN, and Cellfina—the panel featured model, actor, businesswoman, and Merz ambassador Christie Brinkley. Entertainment lawyer Debbie White (she represents Christie and other world-renowned entertainment figures) was also on the panel alongside Dr. Patricia Wexler, a sought-after dermatological surgeon who’s long been a pioneer in cosmetic procedures. Tech entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg moderated the lively, insightful discussion.
Here are some of our favorite moments and takeaways:
Christie Brinkley has had to prove time and time again that she’s so much more than a pretty face.
Sure, we all know Christie as a supermodel who’s been at the top of her game for forty years. But she’s also been an activist for years, fighting for nuclear disarmament and using her platform to discuss the potential dangers of nuclear power plants. She shared her experiences as an activist, especially the ways she’s been underestimated and stereotyped as “just a model” by men in power. One time, she recalled, as she was speaking before Congress, a senator questioned her understanding of the issues, to which she replied with a well-researched, well-thought out answer, to his surprise.
As for aging? Christie made it clear that women her age and older aren’t going anywhere. And neither are women of different body types. She mentioned the importance of models like Maye Musk and Ashley Graham, who are pushing the boundaries of what models should look like.
Beauty and aging are personal journeys. Focus on what’s right for you, not others.
Dr. Wexler has been working with women to make them feel more beautiful for a long time. She talked about the importance of doing what’s right for you, your skin, and your body—not what your friends think you should do, not what they’ve done, and not what the current trend is.
We also loved the emphasis Dr. Wexler put on doing your research before getting a cosmetic procedure. She urged all women to find a doctor you trust and who understands the goals you have for the procedure. She said the best way to do this is through personal recommendations and firsthand accounts.
Successful women deal with lots of double standards and sexism. And Debbie White has experienced her fair share.
The successful lawyer spoke about the obstacles she’s had to face as a woman with power in her industry. “There were times when I was coming up in the business that people would say, ‘Wow, she’s so aggressive. She’s a bitch.’ And I’m not,” White said. “In the beginning, I was the only woman in the room. And it wasn’t enough to just be the woman in the room. I had to be heard. I had to express my clients’ interests, and I guess to some people, that’s aggressive. To me, that’s doing my job. And I don’t want people to feel that if they’re bold or assertive, that they’re a bitch or doing something wrong.”
READ THIS NEXT
FIND BEAUTY AND WELLNESS EXPERTS
Read client reviews, book appointments, and get advice from the experts in Charlotte’s Book. Only the best cosmetic doctors, skincare gurus, nutritionists, and fitness and wellness professionals make it into our book.