Tanja Jess needs little introduction. We know her as an actress, columnist, presenter and nowadays also as a vlogger on her own Youtube channel. An interesting lady, who I’ve always wanted to interview. Last month it was so far. We meet at a location at a strategic location in Muiderberg, where Tanja lives nearby. It’s a beautiful, sunny day and you wouldn’t say it’s autumn already. Upon entering I get three kisses from her and the atmosphere is immediately relaxed. Tanja takes off her fashionable teddy bear coat and orders a cup of tea, just like me. We can start.
I start and ask about the how and why of her vlog. Tanja: I noticed that my sons watch TV less and less, but that they look up all kinds of videos online on Youtube. When I took a look around there myself, I saw very few videos that appeal to me. For women over 40 there is almost nothing to be found. So I decided to fill this gap and start my own YouTube channel. I have been working for about 1.5 years now and I regularly post fun videos about my lifestyle, beauty, sports and all other things from my daily life. Very funny! I get a lot of energy from it. Besides, I do everything myself, which is a huge learning process, but also very satisfying. Because you are your own medium, you do not have to take anyone into account and you are completely independent. Delicious.
But she doesn’t just vlog about easy ‘bite’ topics like beauty and losing weight. She also wants to use her platform for more serious matters and to break through taboos such as the transition, says Tanja. It’s important to pay more attention to this now. She takes a sip of her tea and continues. Tanja: isn’t it really absurd that such an important item as the transition is still kept silent? Half of the Dutch population will sooner or later have to deal with this. And then you just have to pretend it doesn’t exist, she says with a serious face. I completely agree with her and remember that I never paid attention to this on Anti-Aging Secret either. I tell her that I will do more for this as well. So to be continued!
Of course I want to know from Tanja what her beauty secrets are. She always looks beautiful, even in real live. Well, she says, first of all I do all kinds of effective treatments. For example, I get good results from Pascaud’s “the Wave”. That is based on radio frequency, aka RF. I always have this treatment done at Total Beauty in Laren (Gelderland). Furthermore, I currently use the brands Pascaud and Lancaster in terms of skin care.
Botox and fillers
I also use injectables such as botox and fillers, Tanja continues. I am very open about it, even though there is still quite a taboo on it. Many people do it, but hardly anyone dares to come out. But why, I wonder? Why should a Botox injection be any different than correcting floppy ears or crooked teeth? Or using hair extensions or expensive creams?
Let everyone do what he or she wants, says Tanja resolutely as she takes a cookie from the bowl in front of us. I am regularly treated by cosmetic doctor Olga Liplavk of the Mozart Kliniek in Bussum. What I like about her approach is that she doesn’t use injectables to comply with that ‘golden ratio trend’, where people try to perfect their face. According to Olga, everyone is perfect the way they are, but injectables are a great way to slow down the aging process. She is very careful that I do not lose the features that make me unique. That is very important to me as an actress.
Meeting the ideal of beauty
What is also spicy in this society, Tanja continues, is meeting the ideal of beauty. I’ve found that my popularity is much more linked to my looks than I’ve always wanted to believe. I thought we were getting more and more out of that. There are more and more discussions about photo shopping and the perfect picture that the magazines present us and which we then think we have to comply with.
Yet together we maintain this idyll. Even the new generation opts for this. Look at the young vloggers, for example, who exist by virtue of their popularity. Are those ugly girls? No, the handsome Monica Geuzes of this world also set the tone here. Young girls therefore choose to follow Monica Geuze over another, less beautiful vlogster who might look a lot more like them.
You are also not allowed to age in our society, there is a stain on that. Apparently being old is inherent in ugly. But if you then have something done to your ‘old head’, then it is not good either. You must stay young, but you must not intervene because then you have done it. Curve right? I once had a conversation about emancipation with a Muslim woman who deliberately wears a headscarf. To what extent does western woman allow herself to be oppressed? She asked me if we Western women were so emancipated, wouldn’t we have the guts to no longer live up to the made-up ideal picture? I thought it was a ‘thinker’ because if I’m very honest I also feel that pressure and I also want to meet the ideal of beauty. A difficult subject, she sighs.
The subject comes on the soap series with which she broke through to the general public: Good times, Bad times. Yes… that was a wonderful time, she says beamingly. Although, what I didn’t miss was the utter craziness around the entire series at times. I once had to run for my life in a shopping center with my mother, followed by a trail of totally feral Bowien fans (her character in GTST). Fortunately, my mother had a stack of signed photos with her, which she threw in the air as an emergency measure. Then we could shake them off, haha….
But hey, that was just one side of the Good Times period. We had a really nice time on the set, we were all very friendly. I especially had a close relationship with Guusje Nederhorst. We were pregnant at the same time and had great plans for the future together. I still miss her terribly, says Tanja.
I then ask her what she would say if she were called tonight for a new role in GTST. hmm…. difficult, she says. On the one hand, playing in the soap provides some financial security, she says with a laugh. But on the other hand, a soap opera is quickly made. You have to run 5 episodes a week, so it’s a permanent race against time. Then you can never really make what you would like and that can be very frustrating. That’s one of the reasons I left the series.
Tanja has a good figure, as I can see for myself. Of course I want to know how she keeps this going. That doesn’t happen by itself, she explains. Tanja: I am not an athlete by nature. I once had a hernia and then it is of course extra important that you keep moving and compensate for that weak back with a strong core. The secret is that you have to choose something that suits you, otherwise it will be an agony.
Furthermore, avoid the usual pitfalls. I chose my gym purely strategically; I don’t have to drive for it. I also have an appointment with a personal trainer twice a week. This makes it easy for me to stay in the right rhythm. I train consistently and don’t forget my big muscles. Muscle mass breaks down quickly above 40 and endurance training (such as cardio for too long) only accelerates this.
Outside of sports, your diet is also super important. I have now also discovered intermittent fasting. I basically only eat between 12 and 7 pm and not outside. That also helps like a charm. That stroopwafel from before is therefore an exception (it was before 12 o’clock), she says with a smile. But on the other hand, you also have to give yourself something now and then, then you keep it up.
I feel like I could chat for hours with Tanja, because she is an interesting and pleasant conversation partner. Unfortunately, the time is up. Tanja and I quickly take some pictures outside in the sun and kiss each other goodbye. I thank her for the nice conversation and then we both go our separate ways. What a nice and inspiring woman I think as I am back in my car moments later!
PS: also curious about Katja Schuurman’s beauty secrets? Then see this article.
Tanja Jess has a super nice Youtube channel where she shows videos about the most diverse subjects, often with a nice dose of humor. Really nice to take a look there! Click here for her channel.
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