PEEL BACK THE LAYERS :: Everyone has at least one thing they’d like to re-invent about themselves. No-nonsense Carnie Wilson knows a thing or ten about the subject, whether it’s having gastric bypass surgery broadcast on the internet to combat the morbid obesity she was experiencing, or transitioning through multiple identities – talk show host, reality star, one-third of the still-touring band Wilson Phillips – in a decades-long career in show business.
She spoke with GGN publisher Shaun Proulx about the potential that comes from re-creating yourself, dealing with fat comments and other hate on Twitter, and letting go of judgement.
Shaun Proulx: Holy crap – Carnie Wilson’s in the house!
Carnie Wilson: Hi Shaun!
SP: What’s going on?
Carnie Wilson: What’s happening?
SP: When I think of you I think you are someone who seems to have always tried to stay true to herself.
Carnie Wilson: I feel that it’s all about the decisions you make. You make big decisions, and little decisions, and you have this ripple effect, then everybody around you or even people far away can be, and most likely will be affected by it.
SP: I also think of you as someone who has re-invented herself many times. You did that whole gastric bypass surgery – on the Internet.
Carnie Wilson: I’m very open, because I think we’re as sick as our secrets, and I found that through a lot of therapy and 12-step work, and sobriety, and just trying to be in the present – because for many many years, I was not in the present – I’ve learned so much, especially between the last 10 years.
SP: Why the last 10 years?
Carnie Wilson: The last 10 years I’ve been clean and sober. For me drinking escalated in a short period of time. Emotionally, I’ve always been a strong girl, but I’ve always had this image of being an over-weight girl who makes people laugh. Then I go into this music career at eighteen years old, we jump into the business, we have huge success. I’m not sure if it’s like a child actor who’s so removed and then shot into fame, and then can’t find themselves. I guess I relate to some of that, but I think it was just my childhood that was quite traumatic in many ways, and the outcome of that was the insecurity. I don’t know, I’m not really sure. It’s not lack of self esteem, but it could just be the image of not having a strong father-figure for me, and not this psycho-babble bull-crap stuff, but it really does affect.
SP: You said you’re a strong girl, but everyone knows you have been the target of a lot of mean. Was that something that was easy for you to brush off?
Carnie Wilson: They criticize you when you’re up, when you’re down, when you’re happy, when you’re sad. I see a post on Twitter, or something, and it’s a stupid post, and I usually block those people, but saying ridiculous things, like, “I was out in the pasture today and I saw you out there with all the cows”. Those kinds of comments get me in the gut, because it brings me back to being about 7 years old, and being teased in school – and it’s that sore sore part where you feel ridiculed, and it’s a horrible feeling, and then my first reaction is I go straight for the beyond, like go f*ck your mother. That’s terrible, but that’s what I want to say. Actually, one time I did, then I posted back: “You know what, I shouldn’t have said that. What you said wasn’t nice, but I’m dropping to your level.”
So now if I see or hear comment I have to let it bounce off my shoulders, because I have to drive car-pool, I’m going to soccer games, I’m baking, I have businesses, I’m on tour, or I’m doing TV. There’s so much to do, you know. Why do I want to waste my energy and my precious time on this earth, on just complete shi-at?
Carnie Wilson: It is just crap on the ground. So I have learned over the years, no matter, if you’re famous or not, if somebody in your life is putting you down, that if they’re blabbing at the mouth, let them blab, and pray for them, and pray for them more, because that’s the best thing that I’ve learned to do. I think that karma is very powerful, and I believe it comes around to us. I can’t stand negativity!
SP: Negativity is so negative.
Carnie Wilson: Back to what we’re saying about re-inventing yourself, I honestly think that if you say “re-inventing yourself”, some people don’t even get it. They feel like, in their own mind, that they’ve never even gotten to a place where they haven’t even invented anything about themselves. They don’t even know who they are, or what they’re doing, and to me, it’s all about a passion in your life, something that moves you, that draws you to it, something you’re interested in, and that you find yourself gravitating towards, and that could be anything! It could be that you love arranging flowers or you want to be a plumber. It doesn’t matter, as long as you have something that interests you, and it doesn’t matter what anybody else says, because it’s your life, and at some point, you become an adult, and you make these decisions for your life to blossom, and you have to believe that you can actually accomplish something.
But for me, reinventing is kind of like cycles. We go through cycles. I think that everything that’s already within us, and right now. I’ve had this inner turmoil, maybe not turmoil, but it was a decision I had to make a couple of years ago about a business with baking. An article that came out in one of the trash mags saying I was fired from a food delivery service because of a cheesecake – because I make cheesecakes. And the truth is I was let go, and the truth is, I do make cheesecakes. But I thought to myself: my true passion is baking and cooking, and whether I had a gastric bypass or not, whether I weigh 200 or 150, I have to follow my passion here.
Carnie Wilson: So I can’t care what other people say, and I just decided to let go of the judgement, and my God, the doors that are opening right now are huge!
SP: That is just simply the way it works. You line up with who you really are and you will never be let down. I know this as fact.
Carnie Wilson: Yes! Because I stuck to my gut and my passion!
SP: You just have to trust that when you follow something that you love that the Universe will take care of you.
Carnie Wilson: YES.
SP: When you’re aligned with what moves you then you’re aligned with everything else that needs to come your way to make things happen: the people, the rendezvous, the circumstances, the phone call. Everything starts to light up if you just make that shift, that little reinvention.
Carnie Wilson: Oh yeah! And I’ve always been a risk-taker but it’s almost like when you hear the word ‘risk’ you feel like there’s all these huge implications or big repercussions or whatever. To me, it can be a positive thing. Risk doesn’t have to be associated with something negative to happen. If you’re on the fence about something, and your gut is telling you to do something, you listen to your gut. You just wouldn’t believe how many things can open up and spiral from that in such a positive way, so I wish that for all your audience.