PROMOTING ADVOCACY WITH JOANIE LAURER

Joanie LaurerI recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with one of the most influential women in our time, Joanie Laurer.

Joanie has accomplished so much in her career that her resume and list of accomplishments seem endless. We admire this woman for her passion, her strength, her ability to encourage others, and her enthusiasm for life. Among her accomplishments include two top-selling magazines, a book featured on the New York Times best-selling list, numerous championship belts, international fame, product endorsements, and movie roles.

In this interview, Joanie Laurer opened up about her perceptions on life, relationships and her battles with domestic violence.

Moreno: Joanie, thank you again for joining me today. The last time we saw you was at Vh1’s
Surreal Life reunion show. At this time, you made positive changes in your life, can you comment
on those changes?

Joanie: I think that the positive changes were my separation from several things that were destructive
in my life. And since then, I have become an advocate for individuals in violent relationships, even
more so because I went through one.

Being a public figure there was a lot of things I did wrong, dealing with fame and trying to have a private life, because I didn’t know how to deal with them. Most of the time I didn’t know how to deal with them [violent relationship], so I kept many things hidden.

Instead of trying to deal with my problems, I thought they would naturally go away. But in retrospect, I
have learned that those things [domestic violence] don’t go away. And so the lesson that I learned
was to take the risk and do what you have to do to separate yourself from that situation by asking for
help. In addition, many women do not know how to handle such a situation.

It’s really hard to fight alone and so I had people support me, who encouraged me to walk away from a relationship that was doing more harm than good.

Moreno: When you began to gain support, was it then that you decided to make positive changes in
your life?

Laurer: No, I had already made that decision before but I was not ready to make those final changes.
Nor did I have the support to make that change, because many people don’t like hearing about things
or being around negativity.

Plus, they have their own lives to worry about, and I don’t blame them for not wanting to be around that. Even more so, I don’t think a lot of people know what to do in that situation. I wasn’t aware of any programs set up to help women in situations like this.

Most women don’t do anything because of fear, but they’re already experiencing the fear and the worstJoanie Laurer chilling part of it. The answer to the question is yes, I knew I wanted to change but it became a process for me. Since ending my abusive relationship, I am in a happier place.

Moreno: What are the happiest moments in your life?

Laurer: I would say that there are two happy moments in my life, which top the chart. The first was when I had the opportunity to fight in Japan. For that fight I was invited to wrestle by the New Japan Wrestling Corporation where I trained over a year with different fighters.

When I went to fight it was with the mentality that it was with a positive message for women, but looking back I wouldn’t do it again. I was very appreciative of the invitation and it was very humbling. My experience in Japan taught me how to defend myself, and I consider that a gift. The second happiest moment in my life is right now, and I’m in a place where I’m looking forward to more. I’m in a place where I am enjoying just being at peace.

I feel better than ever, I feel I look my best and I’m starting my acting career by going to several auditions. But there is still more growing to do, and in the future I know I will appreciate where I am right now. I feel that I have survived, and I wake up happy. Like everyone else, I’m basically living my life and I’m enjoying it very much.

Moreno: We’ve spoken about your positive changes, and how your life has changed. Can you
comment on your beliefs on spirituality and your motivation?

Laurer: I do consider myself a very spiritual person. All the choices I have made were to better myself.
They may not have been the best choices, but they never came from the wrong place. All my choices
came from a good place inside.

Not being spiritual is almost being greedy or it’s something negative. Being spiritual is trying to constantly do well and make a positive impact. I never expected my life to turn out this way, and I feel blessed to experience the things I have experienced.

In terms of motivation, I have to talk about my career. I never intended to be a wrestler but things
turned out that way, and I ended up being the greatest female professional wrestler. I never wanted to
come across in a way that was sexual, but I wanted to feel beautiful and I wanted to show people that
women come in all shapes and sizes.

I wanted to write a book about my life but didn’t expect it to be a best selling book. So, what motivates me are people, my surroundings and music. How I view how others view me helps me appreciate what I have done. Ten years ago people would see me on the street and throw things and call me names, but now people approach me with loving arms and many thanks.

It’s very humbling when people know who you are. When I was on Surreal Life, it affected a lot of
people by exposing them to my life and how I suffered.

Moreno: What advice would you give young females who are interested in the entertainment business?

Laurer: The most important thing is to surround yourself with good people. When I began the business, I didn’t know everything, so I was around drugs and things I knew were not right. The best thing you can do is to be true to yourself and surround yourself with the right people.

It’s important to stop and contemplate about your life and its direction. It’s ok to be alone sometimes, so you can think.

Moreno: Since you’ve experienced so many things in your past relationships, including abuse, do
you see yourself in a relationship again?

Laurer: Definitely. I am a relationship person, but it’s difficult. It took me awhile to start dating again.
And since I am in the public eye, it’s hard for people to get involved. I don’t know about family, since I
have never had it.

Moreno: Do you ever search the Internet and read the blogs or websites that many of your fans set
up in your honor?

Laurer: As of now, I do not. However, I am aware of one website called alivingwonder.com, which is
constantly keeping tabs on me and looks out for me. Even though I don’t look at the sites, I’m very
appreciate of my fans who take the time to do that.

Moreno: Would you ever consider returning to professional wrestling?

Laurer: I still receive offers all the time. And sometimes people say that I said I plan on returning. It’s
been eight years, and I will not return to wrestling. I am very proud of what I have done, but I have
grown and I am looking forward to future endeavors. But no, I will never go back.

Moreno: What is next for Joanie Laurer?

Laurer: After doing Surreal Life Fame Games, which airs on Vh1, I’m still looking for the right medium for me. I also have a film coming out titled, Illegal Aliens. In addition, my experience with Surreal Life has been so wonderful and I’m so appreciative to the Vh1 family.

I want to continue to act and work with Vh1. I would also like to do more movies and perhaps do something in Las Vegas. I’m also starting a line of Tailored Sportsman breeches.  And in a way I’m starting over, and it’s very exciting. I believe because I am so unique that the right thing with my name on it has yet to come, but when it does it will be great.

On a side note, I would like to extend a special thank you to Ms. Laurer and her comments on social
justice and human welfare. You can catch Ms. Laurer on Vh1’s Surreal Life Fame Game and on the
big screen in Illegal Aliens. For more on Joanie Laurer please visit www.JoanieLaurer.net

UPDATE: Joanie Laurer passed away on April 20, 2016, in Redondo Beach, CA from an accidental overdose.

Fashionable Scarves

scarfI love a scarf. They’re versatile, cool, fun, inexpensive and they can be the perfect accessory to brighten up a drab winter ensemble. Gone are the days of your grandmother’s scratchy gray wool scarves.

Today scarves are made from just about any material you can think of.

Silk, cotton, wool, pashmina, linen you name it. And the designs and colors could make any rainbow blush.

And best of all, they can be worn by anyone. Kids, adults, women and children.

A few of my favorite brands include Abercrombie & Fitch, J . Crew, and Juicy Couture  who has some nice European style designer clothes for women.

There are all sorts of styles and patterns too. Why be boring and just have a solid black scarf (as I did growing up in New York City)? There is a plethora of scarf designs out there waiting to be worn. You can even get hand painted or treated scarves for the one of a kind look.

And buying a scarf doesn’t kill a budget either. They are a simple way to add a splash of color and individuality to your wardrobe for usually less than twenty bucks. That’s actual fashion “cents”.

Here are a few scarfs I found that I really liked. And yes, both scarf and scarves are acceptable uses of the word (I had to check it!).

Sweaters Keep The Chill Away

fall sweatersFor me fall is the perfect time in Canada. It’s not cold enough for the heavy winter jackets, but it’s chilly enough to where genes, long sleeve shirts, and my favorite, sweaters!

I remember growing up watching my mother always wearing sweaters when it came to fall. My grandmother did the same. They always look so comfortable. And I remember always holding my mother when I was really young while she was wearing some of the softest wool sweaters I’ve ever touched. Even today it’s hard to find that kind of quality.

So I guess that’s why have an affinity to sweaters today. I just think they look so warm and cozy. And yet they can be very fashionable as well.

When you pick out the right sweater, it’ll never go out of fashion. Even if you have it for 34 years. And yes, my mother did have a few sweaters that I swear she had since she was a kid until the day she passed away.

Even when it does get super cold, there’s nothing like layering your canadian sweater designersclothes. Put on a T-shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweater and a jacket and scarf and you’re pretty much ready for anything. Evening the Canadian winters.

But of course if you wear a sweater for a long time, you have to start with quality. And that’s what this article is about. Here are a few of my top picks when it comes to Canadian fashion designers who know how to design.

Without a doubt my number one pick would be Canadian goose. I guess they partly inspired the name of this blog. But I like the idea of the whole goose thing as well.

Canadian goose make some of the most fashionable, yet quality clothes in Canada. And I think you’ll agree pretty much anything they make looks good. The only problem once in a while is the price. But you get what you pay for.

Don’t expect to buy a $9.99 sweater and it’ll last you 30 years.

And yes, I know that Canadian goose doesn’t make sweaters. Which is a real shame. But, nothing looks better than a nice sweater and their PBI Chilliwack Bomber jacket.

The next clothing line designer I want to mention is Wings + Horns. They do make sweaters! And very nice ones indeed. The problem is, it’s mostly for men, not women!

I’m one more company for the men is 18 Waits. This is pretty much my number one pick when I go shopping for a man. There is just nothing like their old-time rugged look. And I’m drawn to any man who wears one.

So there you have it. Three different clothing designers to look for when you’re in Canada during the fall. Who are your favorite designers?