This past December jobs report struck a deeply personal and disconcerting chord with me, and, quite frankly, should concern all Americans.
According to the National Women’s Law Center, nearly 40% of women age 20 and over had been out of a job for six months or longer in December, while the economy saw a dip in job growth for the first time in eight months. The twist? Women accounted for 100% of the 140,000 jobs lost in December.
While the latest jobs report fails to account for the millions of single moms who were forced to leave the workforce due to school and day-care closures as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, I was inspired to shed light on a particular single mother who is on the frontlines of making a difference amid these trying, unprecedented times.
Dr. Sofia Din is a single mother and immigrant from Pakistan who single-handedly built her successful health and beauty business, Juvanni Medical. As a renowned anti-aging expert and health care entrepreneur, Dr. Din is attempting to bring eastern and western medical philosophies together.
To her clients, Dr. Din is a board-certified Family Medical Doctor and Geriatrician. She is often referred to as the “Oprah of Anti-Aging,” but she represents so much more than that. To me, she exemplifies what can happen when women are economically empowered.
Dr. Din’s practice offers new ways to successfully age thereby allowing her clients agency over their aging process. She focuses on extending vitality and productivity for both men and women to live, work and thrive across longer lifespans. Her unique approach is rooted in the theory that aging is a disease in and of itself, which causes malfunction of our cells, eventually leading us to manifest conditions such as heart disease, dementia, cancer, and osteoporosis. She maintains that we can either choose to invest in our health, or be forced to spend money on illnesses that will develop as a consequence of failing to prevent them.
However, with COVID-19 still a very real risk to our vulnerable population amid a chaotic vaccine rollout, the harmful impact that anxiety, stress and lack of sleep has on one’s health, appearance and overall wellbeing has been at the forefront of most of Dr. Din’s patient’s minds.
I sat down with the renowned anti-aging medical doctor to discuss the Coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the beauty industry, how her non-profit organization plans to assist single mothers at risk of falling below the poverty line, and if the latest jobs report will have a devastating impact on women for months or even years to come.
JE: The latest December jobs report is, no doubt, an ominous sign of the detrimental impact the Coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak on women in the workplace. As a successful working single mother, what was your reaction to the latest jobs report?
DR. DIN: Thankfully my daughter in college doesn’t need day-to-day active management, however, this is a dire situation that I see developing with my female employees where I see young mothers struggling with the pandemic and school closures to maintain their work-life balance, while also fulfilling their duties to their children. There are countless women who are worried about their ability to feed their kids or to maintain housing for them. Unfortunately, this kind of stress prevents them from accessing resources to better themselves professionally. My advice to young women is to utilize this time to develop new skills, because when the COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely accessible and schools fully re-open, there will be an opportunity to restart and pivot their careers.
JE: Before the unforeseen economic challenges caused by the global pandemic, you launched a non-profit called the Hagar’s Foundation to assist struggling mothers and their children at risk of falling below the poverty line. After such a dismal December jobs report concerning women in America, what steps do you envision your foundation taking to help women regain their footing in the workplace?
DR. DIN: I started my foundation in 2019 just before the pandemic hit, so resources and volunteers have unfortunately been scarce in recent days. However, as the pandemic fog begins to lift, our hope for the future is getting single mothers back into the workforce with good, stable and rewarding jobs. I plan to have interview training sessions, financial literacy and resume assistance workshops as hiring in the U.S. hopefully starts to resume. I am predicting that there will be a high demand in the virtual job market, and we will see a greater transition to work with Artificial Intelligence and advanced technologies.
JE: As you’ve witnessed it firsthand, how has the Coronavirus pandemic impacted the beauty industry?
DR. DIN: In many respects, 2020 has actually increased demand for the kind of medical anti-aging and cosmetic services I provide. People are spending more time on Zoom and other social media, which means they are spending more time looking at themselves in an unforgiving mirror, so they come to people like me to help them feel more confident. Let’s learn to love ourself and also our selfie!
However, when it comes to the logistics of trying to provide services amid a pandemic, a great deal of caution is critical. The majority of my services have to be provided in person, so I’ve had to dramatically reduce the volume of people I can see in my office in order to maintain safety and comply with regulations. While I am still learning and growing as an entrepreneur, we have managed to overcome significant obstacles by offering Telehealth appointments to our most vulnerable, at-risk clients.
JE: In your latest book, “Do We Really Need Botox?”, you aim to challenge certain health myths that exist in society; namely, how we approach the uncomfortable topic of aging. What is your philosophy and mission as health care in America continues to evolve?
DR. DIN: We are starting to see more advances in medicine that give us increased agency over our aging process, for instance, by incorporating advances in stem-cell science into new therapeutics. However, we need to shift our philosophy away from merely disease management and into promoting health and flourishing across all stages of life.
We are also learning more about the interaction of psychology and physical well being, especially how thinking of ourselves as attractive affects us physically. Our cognitive biases may serve as self-fulfilling prophecies. In other words, if you are appearing old to yourself, you may start manifesting illnesses associated with that age. Therefore, aesthetic medicine is an even more important component to anti-aging—not merely vain elective procedures, but vital to overall health.
JE: Your practice Juvanni Medical offers revolutionary treatments, skincare solutions, personalized weight loss programs, medical marijuana, cosmetic injectables and IV vitamin infusions to help boost compromised immune systems from contagious viruses. What were the top three most popular anti-aging treatments during 2020, and what emerging trends do you expect to see in 2021?
DR. DIN: My top three trends for 2020, which were televised on national news last January, were vitamin IV infusions, stem cell therapies and testosterone supplements. Those three things were all the rage!
For 2021, I am predicting more stem cell treatments as we are closely watching Regeneron, IV vitamin infusions, as well as weight-loss and body sculpting.
To book a virtual or in-person appointment with Dr. Sofia Din, visit https://www.juvanni.com/. All proceeds of Dr. Din’s latest book, “Do We Really Need Botox?”, go to the Hagar’s Foundation for single mothers.