Think botox injections are disgusting
Olivia Jones: "They have to see a psychologist, not a cosmetic operation"
So far, Olivia Jones has kept her private life top secret. In her biography "Ungeschminkt" she puts an end to it - and speaks in an interview with t-online about hatred, loneliness and hypocritical celebrities.
Olivia Jones loves the spotlight, the stage and the unadorned, sometimes ruthless language. The 51-year-old rejects flowery whitewashing. The title of her biography, "Un make-up", was not chosen by chance. She would like to provide insights into her life, but not gloss over anything. When she writes about her life, it has to be "real", she says in an interview with t-online.
In an interview, the Hamburg drag queen legend reports how she has struggled with hatred and hostility since childhood, explains why the beauty industry acts mendaciously, and also says: "I think people are silly who pretend they haven't let anything done." Olivia Jones explains why she, of all people, who "injects herself with Botox every four weeks", expresses criticism of the beauty craze - and gives specific suggestions for improvement.
t-online: In your biography you write that as a child you posed in your mother's clothes, and in your book you call yourself a "bird of paradise". What is it about you that is actually "completely normal" and maybe even "bourgeois"?
Olivia Jones: I believe a lot. First of all the way I live. I am very disciplined. I have to take care of myself, keep charging my batteries, do sports and eat well, otherwise my lifestyle - jumping around on the Reeperbahn in the evening - wouldn't work at all. I find all of this very stuffy, or as you put it: normal.
You have written a whole chapter on "My fight against fear and hate". Even when you were at school in the seventies and eighties, you were bullied, including by teachers. The "hate hurt," you explain. What is it like to be hostile to a whole life?
I don't know my life without intolerance and exclusion because I experienced that very early on, as you rightly say. Some of my teachers have already treated me with dislike, and that hurt me very much. But I also had to be afraid on the street. The Nazis persecuted me, threatened me with violence and I have to suffer insults again and again.
What did you do about it?
I put on a thick armor very early on and tried to convert this headwind into a tailwind. I don't let myself be dictated how to live. True to the motto: now even more so.
That sounds like a chore.
That takes a lot of strength, energy and courage. So I also know that not everyone has this strength and courage. That is why we are actively committed to tolerance and diversity with the Olivia Jones family, and I keep speaking out against bullying and intolerance.
You just spoke of real violence. In your book you describe a fight with a stalker, as a result of which you got a "rubble nose". Was that the moment in your life that scared you the most?
It scared me that someone would suddenly be so aggressive and break my nose in the process. These are all things that I could never have imagined, but that I am always confronted with. I also can't understand why people want to beat me up just because I look different and I'm gay. The struggle for a tolerant society is all the more important.
Olivia Jones: In front of her wig collection in Hamburg. (Source: www.kult-kieztouren.de)
Has our society really become more tolerant?
I think our society is a bit more liberal than it used to be and it's not quite as difficult for outsiders as it was when I was at school. But I have to roll my eyes when I see that there are still many of the same problems today as 40 years ago. The suicide rate among homosexuals is still higher than that of heterosexuals. Exclusion is a real problem. Even in 2021 there are still people who don't dare to come out. That's why we have to fight for it every day, even if it is tiring and grueling.
In your book it says: "After all, I've been living from home alone since moving out 30 years ago, and that's how I get along very well." Do you never feel lonely with all the hostility and the media vortex when you come home and nobody is there?
No i'm a happy single I don't feel lonely. Really, the price of my success has been that my whole life has revolved around Olivia Jones. I have a great team, I have a lot of artists around me, my colorful Olivia Jones family, of whom I am very proud. It's also difficult to be with me because I need a lot of freedom.
When was your last relationship and how long did it last?
I've been single for at least 15 years. And what is my longest relationship? It lasted three years.
When you're out and about as Oliver, you don't want to have breasts. I found out about this in the book and asked myself: How much do you separate between these two personalities and where do you find it hardest?
It's hard to separate them. Many always think Olivia is a fictional character, but that's not true. She's a part of me: the extroverted, feminine side of Oliver. That's why it becomes blurred. I put on make-up and become Olivia: the effect is then similar to that of a clown who puts on his cardboard nose. From then on Olivia also has a certain freedom of fools, can dare to do things that Oliver would never and should never dare. As soon as I remove my make-up, I'll be Oliver again. It has nothing to do with schizophrenia, it all happens automatically.
So a potential partner would have to get along with Oliver and Olivia at the same time?
Yeah, it's hard to be in a threesome, I know. And on top of that, you also adopt Germany's shrillest blended family. The Olivia Jones Family. But basically it's something nice: You get two people for the price of one plus family. (laughs)
Are you still looking for a partner for life?
No, I haven't been looking for a long time. But I still haven't completely given up hope. I know I'm not in a relationship, but maybe it will work again someday.
Another topic: What is still real about you?
(laughs) The joke is: I always thought I didn't have that much done to myself. Then I started collecting all the interventions for the book, and suddenly it became a never-ending story.
The corresponding chapter "Pimp my Body - or why Olivia always stays 29 years old" stretches over 16 pages.
I kept thinking of new things that I had done. With cosmetic surgery you really have to be careful that it doesn't become an addiction.
Are you addicted to it?
No, I would say: I am not addicted to cosmetic procedures. But if you can optimize something, then I'm always at the forefront. Transparency is important to me. I find people silly who pretend they haven't let anything done - but you can tell immediately that they have gone under the knife. "Drink a lot of water and sleep a lot" is often the motto of these people: I find that absurd and stupid. You should stand by your operations!
Her ideal of beauty is 29 years. You also draw comparisons with Heidi Klum. Why?
It just belongs to Olivia. But personally, I don't have a big problem with getting older. I'm a drag queen and not a top model. And yet I think to myself: Nowadays you can have so many things done, that's great. If you can conserve a bit, why not?
Are there any interventions that you regret?
Well, I have scars on the back of my ears, it doesn't have to be. But basically: No, I stand by my interventions. Sure, it hurt a lot and I got calls saying my nose was sagging and I looked like a cheap version of Michael Jackson. It's a double-edged sword. You have to be careful and watch out for what exactly is being done.
But often the picture that is drawn is different: The beauty industry likes to say that everything is unproblematic, everything is possible.
The beauty industry gives the wrong picture. Very young girls who have their lips, buttocks or breasts sprayed on, that's really dangerous. I have reached my limits.
When was your first procedure?
It started with Botox, the gateway drug, so to speak. That was about 18 years ago.
So you started doing it when you were in your early 30s. But today the customers of Beauty Docs are getting younger and younger. Do you see that with concern?
I see it with concern. The role models in particular concern me a lot: the Kardashians, for example. All these pictures full of Photoshop effects are very dangerous. Young women who want to look like rubber dolls these days. Awful!
Ideals of beauty based on retouched Photoshop images on Instagram ...
Yes, these ideals do not really exist at all. Actually only good photoshopped, but unfortunately the ideal image is conveyed by God. There are cases of 15 year old girls who want new breasts from Santa Claus. Madness!
Now critics would object: You have Botox injected every four months and are not exactly a role model. What would you say against that?
I'm at a completely different age. Plus, the dosage makes the poison. It's the same with alcohol as it is with cosmetic surgery. Everyone has to know for themselves, but the dosage should be right. For this it would be especially important to do more educational work.
What do you mean?
Much more needs to be done about the dangers. It shouldn't always just mean: You can have this operated on. There is constant talk of the fact that anyone can have an operation and then looks like Marilyn Monroe and zack: They are already happy. But you can see from the people who have undergone extreme operations that they are not happy. But on the contrary.
So do these people have completely different problems?
Of course. Often these people would have to go to a psychologist and not to cosmetic surgery. There are limits. And one of them is very clear that young girls are chasing an ideal of beauty that makes them unhappy. Because they want to conform to something that they can never conform to. That leads to problems.
Above all, it can be harmful to health. How is it with you, did you feel any health impairments as a result of the interventions?
No, I do not think so. But of course I noticed that the interventions were often painful. Let's just take liposuction: if you look at what is happening there, it is disgusting. Then you should rather pay attention to a healthy diet and do sport - that will make you happier.
In the corona pandemic, that seems to be becoming a big trend: There have never been so many interventions as there are currently.
Naturally! The masks are also ideal for this: you can have your nose or lips made behind them without anyone noticing. In addition, you save money privately in the pandemic, you can't travel, hardly experience anything: So many celebrities are currently squandering their money at the beauty doctor. I am friends with a cosmetic surgeon who confirms this corona trend for me.
Sophia Wollersheim: Here you can see the now 33-year-old reality TV participant in 2016 at an event in Berlin. (Source: IMAGO / Revierfoto)
What is still totally frowned upon, what would be a no-go for you?
Extremely dangerous interventions are taboo. Those ass implants are awful. Or the surgical procedure in which the ribs are removed so that a wasp waist à la Sophia Wollersheim is created. That is not how it works. Stay away from anything that is irreparable.
You describe yourself as a "political person". What is it about politics that fascinates you and how do you feel about the federal election in 2021?
All this power repulses me. Personally, I am not made for politics. But I am firmly convinced that everyone can do their part to ensure that we live together peacefully in Germany. We have a democracy that many people from other countries envy us for. And it is my aim to make conversation with poise.
One thing that other countries have envied us for is our Chancellor. You too admire Angela Merkel. Now she resigns. What will you miss most about her?
I especially admire the way she managed as a woman to bite through with all these alpha males. Erdoğan, Putin, Trump on an international level, but also internally in the CDU with all these machos. Their "thick fur" is above all admirable and something that I don't have like that. I think that's one of the reasons why we will miss Angela Merkel: Because she never allowed herself to be disturbed and because everything about her ricocheted off like a Teflon.
Olivia Jones: In 2017, she met Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Bundestag, among others. (Source: www.olivia-jones.de)
Politically, however, you are closer to the Greens, aren't you?
In any case, I am by no means a CDU voter. Above all, my respect goes to Angela Merkel's strategic talent, how she has worked her way up to the top, and her calm, unexcited manner, even in troubled times.
You told me that on the basis of your gut instinct you would have decided in favor of Robert Habeck as candidate for chancellor for the Greens. "He is a believable politician, has brought a breath of fresh air into the party and can prevail," you said. Now things have turned out differently: Annalena Baerbock has become. What do you think of that and what chances do you give the Greens in September?
It wasn't about personal sympathies, but about my gut feeling that he would win in the end. But I think it's great that the two of them have now agreed on Annalena without much ado. That is unpretentious, factual and therefore exactly the right thing in these crazy times. The two are a great team and we need more of that in politics. It's not for nothing that I write in the dedication to my biography: Democracy is exhausting, but compromise shouldn't be a dirty word.
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