Saturday, 14 August 2010

Why I Do Fewer Interviews These Days

     The above screenshot is from a television interview I did in Paris several years ago that I recently came across online. It serves as a reminder of one of the reasons I now turn down most of the of interview requests I continue to receive from around the world. I only knowingly deal with the few remaining programs and publications that treat their interviewees - and thus their audiences - with courtesy, intelligence and respect.
     The increasingly circus-like atmosphere of television talk shows eventually became unbearable. My dismay with the way this particular interview started out, which isn't shown in the online version, accounts for my expression in the beginning. One of interviewer's surreal opening questions was concerning whether or not my house had toilets. He said I look like Barbie and therefore must live in a dollhouse without plumbing. I could see where that was going so I pretended that my translation earpiece had gone dead and I could not understand the question. He had to repeat it so many times it was him who ended up looking silly, not me as intended. I didn't need the earpiece anyway, I understand French but of course did not tell them that. 
     I was determined not to waste the opportunity to tell the story I had been invited all the way to France to tell. The panel initially looked unfriendly and intimidating but by the end of my interview every single one of them was smiling. So yes, I can cope with these situations very well and come out on top, however it is not the way I choose to spend my time and energy. 
     The media has changed beyond recognition since I did my first talk show in the eighties. These days a lot of programs are so desperate to keep their ratings up they are willing to exploit anyone they can, while the print media knowingly invent and publish the most outrageous lies in order to sell more copies.  The resulting low level of journalism across the board means that fewer and fewer people with anything valuable or interesting to say will agree to speak to them.
     To watch the French TV interview, CLICK HERE. (Sorry, it's in French!)


  1. I missed this French interview as I decided years ago not to watch this TV programm anymore. I am not surprised by what you wrote about the interviewer who always acts this way. A kind of humor which is not so respectful...I remember anyway another interview on French TV, maybe in 1991 or 1992...I was 12 and understood your story would be helpful to me !

  2. Have you ever done a german interview, Cindy? I'm from Austria (Styria, Graz...) you know, and if I remember right I saw you once on the television show "Café Puls" by Puls 4. I searched for the interview (and many other interviews with you too) on the web, but just could'nt find it, sadly. :´(
    Would love to see it again on the web or television! ;-)
    Sorry for my bad english by the way. (=
    In love,
    Rob. :D

  3. Yes Rob, I was interviewed on Café Puls by Norbert Oberhauser and Andy Seidl in Vienna in 2007. If you remember, the subject of that particular discussion was my natural skincare products, which had just been launched at the Vitalhotel spa in Bad Radkersburg. Over the years I have also appeared on Vera Russwurm's different programs and many times on Seitenblicke, as well as RTL Germany, which you receive there. I am glad to report that I have certainly never had a bad experience with Austrian television! They are an absolute pleasure to deal with and I am happy to speak to them anytime. (But the way your English is perfect.) Mit einem recht lieben Grüße, Cindy

  4. I totally TOTALLY agree with you Cindy and it is a major reason why I have no desire to write for national newspapers any more. And it wasn't just the 'maul' that used demoralisation of subject as a key Modus Tollens (the root of falsification)....I was horrified when writing for a broadsheet that I much admired, to discover that they played the same profane game as the 'maul', by completely altering the context, by a subtle edit, so that the subject I was writing about in her defense,(I was explaining how we are all capable of dreadful deeds if pushed to our limits) became someone to despise. Instead of someone to understand. Had a big row with the Ed after publication (we were and remain good friends, altho I would never allow him to shag me again after that!!:) but he more or less said, 'that's the name of the game.... we wanted YOU to look good in the piece and not her. .......f-ckem.

  5. Hi, Cindy! I'm a teacher of English as a second language from Brazil, and I first came across your story some years ago, through a book I was using at the time, entitled Inside Out, which had a video interview with you and a detailed description of your surgeries. I was impressed not only by your story but also by your intelligence and articulation. I remember one line from the interview which I found particularly remarkable: "Good looks can open many doors, but what you do once you're inside those doors is up to you." Since I don't own the book or the video (they belonged to a school where I no longer work), I'd like to know if that interview is available somewhere, because I'd like to continue using it with my students, or if there's any other interview of yours available on the web which is in English that I can use. I'm very grateful for your attention.
    Wil Cabral de Azevedo

  6. Hi Wil, thank you for your kind comments.I know the interview you mean. It was commissioned and filmed specifically for English language education classes quite a long time ago so probably not available anymore. Perhaps you could contact the school and ask for a copy? I have not done anything similar since but you are welcome to use material from my web site in your class if it would be of any help at all.

  7. Thank you very, very much, Cindy! :-)
    Your German is perfect too!
    Yes, I remember it! ;-)
    That's really very interesting!

  8. Dear Cindy,

    I just watched the interview you did in Paris. It was shocking in how you were treated. I admired your diginity of spirit and how you handled it with much decorum.

    I wrote you a long letter in January which Tara revcieved and I was wondering if you ever received it? I look forward to meeting you one day!

    Many thanks,

    Melissa Dawson-Bowling x (I am the piano singer songwtier from Kent!)

  9. Hello Melissa, how are you? I did read get your email, thank you. If you would like to come and see me, please get back in touch with Tara All the very best to you. Cindy xxx

  10. Al from Australia11 April 2011 at 19:51

    Love your work Cindy. You go girl! Ignore the French media...

    Like you i adhere to the philosophy...if you don't have looks design, plan and create it!

    As a guy I have had over 12 surgeries; 3 rhinoplasty, upper eyelid, 5 liposuctions (2 VASER), genioplasty, buckle-fat removal, string for my eyebrows, a hair transplant and botox/fillers of course.

    I have followed you over the 80s,90s and now. I just turned 42 and I intend to defy age like you maintain my looks and feel as fabulous.

    No regrets...

    Now I am researching on a tummy tuck, edonthine for cheek implants and chest implants. Notably, surgery for males are less prevalent and fewer doctors have more experience.

    Love to hear your views,
    AL from Australia

  11. I saw that interview and I was so impressed with the way you handled yourself under such unfavorable conditions. The panel looked like they had been sucking lemons and you looked gorgeous. I am vegan and into animals rights and admire you for your big heart for animals. All the best. Summer

  12. Dont believe French can be so pathetic, but honestly everyone is allow to do whatever they wanna with there own body. You were awesome n look so gorgeous.

  13. It's awesome that you came out on top and even though I don't understand French I can definitely sense the circus like atmosphere. Just curious, what did you say to the interviewer sitting next to you that made the whole room laugh and applaud?

  14. Hi Anonymous, the guy was flirting with me and saying that there was an attraction between us. I said yes, there is a "frisson," which is a slightly stronger French term they did not expect to hear from me. I was joking of course.