Last week, Yolanda visited Dr. Oz, a much derided figure among skeptics for his continued promotion of pseudoscience. Most of The Dr. Oz Show is devoted to medical sensationalism, the kind of headlines found at the bottom of actual content that are meant to incite you to click. (Recently, Dr. Oz has had to face congressional inquiry over his show.)
It isn’t surprising to me in the least that Yolanda Hadid Foster (now Yolanda Hadid) decided to “speak out for the first time” on his show. If you missed the March 1st episode, you can catch clips on his site or on Youtube.
The opening is a montage of Yolanda’s modeling career and move to Los Angeles. Don’t worry they make mention of Yolanda’s supermodel daughters. They make sure to mention Anwar and Bella’s struggles with illness as well.
Yolanda comes out on stage in a simple grey outfit with herringbone jacket (I do actually like the jacket.) Not nearly as made up as we saw in her first couple seasons on RHOBH, but more dressy than the bath robe scenes we’ve accustomed ourselves to on the show this season. Her makeup is subdued, but she is definitely wearing makeup- probably pore filler, definitely blush, nude eye shadow, some brightener (you can tell by the sheen), and a nude blush matte lip. You can also tell her hair has been highlighted recently (she clearly has very dark roots), but her recent blogs have claimed she uses “natural” hair dye from Whole Foods. In a box. (Are we supposed to believe a multi-millionaire uses box dye to color her hair? Doubtful.) She has to keep maintaining her “natural” self.
Dr. Oz lists Yolanda’s litany of symptoms: Tired. Washed out. Foggy. Nothing too specific though, like I don’t know, interacting with a tick?
After the brief introduction, the show pulls another “informative” montage all about Lyme Disease proper. Yes, it is a bacterial infection caused by an infected ticks. The montage mentions the bulls eye rash, though not all patients get that with actual Lyme Disease. It also accurately points out aches, pain, fever, etc.that happens when untreated. Also notes that it can be successfully treated with antibiotics. However, it does mention Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (they do NOT say “Chronic Lyme Disease”.) The worst part of the montage to me is the end with the “US Cases of Lyme Disease” CDC estimate. There is an arrow jumping up and up across the screen, with no clear defined axis and just a 0 to 300,000. That is one of the scrupulous ways Dr. Oz’s show can be very misleading. If I wasn’t informed about the disease, it is very easy to see how one could possibly fall into feeling scared.
From the get go, Yolanda immediately wants to tear down the CDC. She does confirm it was 2012 when she was diagnosed, but it seems she had symptoms in 2011. The timeline is always so wishy-washy with her, but I think my first timeline assessment when I mentioned finding an article she noted her illness was in 2011 may be closer to correct and confirm that she hasn’t had Lyme Disease proper.
- Yolanda says 2011 she had rings under her eyes, tired, generic symptoms we commonly attribute to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibro, or possibly depression.
- Claims it started before her wedding (she couldn’t do sit ups and burpees) even though the first season of Beverly Hills she was on was in 2011/2012 and we saw her exercising because she had to stay fit for her husband.
- Claims she couldn’t get her wedding together.
Prior to RHOBH, Yolanda was on a Dutch version of the Real Housewives. I have friends from Holland, who speak Dutch and saw the show. They confirmed that was false. The entire show revolved around her before and during the wedding, there wasn’t mentions of disease or being unable to do anything.
It sounds like Yolanda has a history of claiming illness, which I am not surprised. Apparently, she has also been sick numerous times. Dr. Oz lists ages 12, 18, 30, 41 when she underwent hospitalizations. I looked at those numbers and thought: the ages when a lot of changes either biologically or in life happen. Now that she is in her 50s, it doesn’t surprise me another flare up of whatever the disease of the decade is begins to flare up.
Yolanda mentions she had Epstein-Barr Virus. Whoa, sounds pretty scary right? You’ve probably heard it by another name: mono or kissing disease. In fact, a bet a great deal of readers have it. Not everyone experiences the actual illness though, but many are carriers. Is mono pleasant to have? No, not at all. But is it life threatening? Not in a majority cases. She also had mono at a common age, when she was a teenager. Chicken pox are pretty awful (and YES you should get your children vaccinated against it) but would you be surprised if I told you I had chicken pox when I was 4 years old? Probably not because it is a disease we commonly see occur in young children.
Then we found out she was doing acupuncture in Tokyo and acquired Hepatitis B. You would think this experience of getting Hep B would be a warning signal about alternative medicines and treatments. Clearly, she did not learn from that experience. (That is another reason why I think it is so important to speak out about these alt med practices– you can face serious injury or illness from them!)
She also claims her mother had chronic illnesses too. She mentions her mother suffered from migraines. Migraines are indeed more common for women. Today, we have much better treatments for migraines, though it doesn’t eliminate them entirely. One of my closest friends growing up suffered from severe migraines and missed school. BUT that wasn’t 1) an invisible illness, we know exactly what it is and 2) was not excuse to be, as she put it, helpless. I have received dozens of emails and comments on this blog from those that suffer chronic illnesses and migraines and I hear the same thing over and over again: I don’t want it to be the cornerstone of my identity and I try to minimize it as much as possible.
Yolanda expresses disappointment at being told she has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. From an email I received:
Did anyone ever ask you if the reason why Yolanda felt sick and tired was because she was doing lemon cleanses and eating only a couple almonds??? I don’t eat anything for lunch and I am a bear at dinner time. I cannot imagine cleansing for two weeks- NO WONDER she has no brain function!!
I may have pointed it out before in my post on cleanses, but I think this reader makes a valid point. I most definitely feel delirious and can’t function properly when I eat poorly or skip a meal. If your whole diet is like that, I imagine that would make you feel very ill.
Next we find that she went to Belgium and after 6 weeks of testing was told she had Chronic Lyme then got a port placed with antibiotics. I think it is quite clear now that she never had Lyme Disease and we can say with confirmation that a quack doctor from Belgium “diagnosed” her with Chronic Lyme Disease.
This is also interesting: Dr. Oz asks her where she thinks she got it. She says she only remembers getting bit by a horsefly on her ranch (a multi-million dollar ranch, by the way.) She is pushing this narrative of horseflies causing Lyme Disease. HORSEFLIES DO NOT CAUSE LYME DISEASE. Dr. Oz doesn’t correct it, which is again, why he is so problematic. He should have stopped her and corrected that misinformation.
What else we learn:
- She went to 11 countries.
- She visited HUNDREDS of doctors.
- She has a posterboard of her symptoms in 2011 (why is that even a poster??)
- We get a closer look at the Lyme Disease and co-infections and Conventional/Alt Med boards we saw on the RHOBH. I need to devote a whole post to even possibly go over everything on those boards.
- She has a morning treatment every day.
- Her home has a treatment room (even says it is a “necessity more than a luxury” at this point.)
- Claims to get IV treatments multiple times with her children (no word on the actual treatments, they could be anything, including vitamin treatments which are quite common.)
- We meet Daisy, the health advocate. She is the binder maker.
- She also has an ionic foot bath to “remove toxins”.
- She sees a chiropractor who also works on the Clippers.
- She also has a handicap tag on her Lexus (or is it Daisy’s?)
- We meet a doctor from Koreantown who she sees once a week or every 10 days. Who is clearly not a real doctor, but an alternative medicine specialist.
- I doubt Yolanda can read Korean, but maybe Daisy can, among her many attributes including call girl and screenwriter. I advise anyone seeking medical treatment that you should be able to read everything posted on the walls, unless you are traveling in another country and if you are indeed sick, have an independent translator with you.
So now about the implants (I will spare you from the pictures of the bloody implantstagram.)
- She was in a water-skiing accident that flattened one of her implants 10 years ago.
- She tells us they claimed to have cleaned it out and gave her new implants.
- The leakage found wasn’t from her current implants, but rather leftover silicon from the previous implants.
- But then when they show the picture, it shows an implant and she points out the rupture.
- I am not 100% sure even she knows her own stories at the point.
Broken implants are quite terrible for you, as I’ve pointed out in previous posts. If you are sick and unwell, it is fairly commonplace to check implants for leaks, ruptures, or malfunctions (like pacemakers.) I still find it odd that someone who has had implants for quite some time, previously had incidents with them, AND also resides in Beverly Hills, notorious for its plastic surgery, would not have checked those in the first place. Perhaps she had a blind spot up? Maybe she didn’t listen to doctors? It is very clear from this interview with Oz that she was not satisfied listening to hundreds of doctors and instead, found someone in Belgium to reinforce her ideas.
Yolanda talks about her children have Chronic Lyme Disease. I’ve already touched upon this before in previous posts. She does say Bella’s isn’t as severe (convenient now that she is getting much more modeling work.) She also mentions how tough life already is for them, which I am sure instigates more than a few dozen eye rolls. Being the children of a multi-millionaires is just so very hard (M. Hadid is worth over $200 million, Yolanda estimated around $40 million.)
Yolanda talks a lot about being super mom, having pool parties, flipping hot dogs, being actively engaged in life. She talks like how I remember a lot of my friends’ mothers speaking when we were college and began to not rely on them anymore. There is a sense of giving everything and being the cornerstone of their children’s worlds and now that isn’t the case anymore.
Dr. Oz also brings up Munchhausen’s and we get to see the whole montage of that cringe inducing fight. Yolanda claims that fight was a “bright moment” Again, conveniently. Yolanda says that if she were truly better, she’d be in the front row of Chanel’s fashion show to see her daughter walk. As if participating in Chanel’s Paris fashion show is like a Little League game or school musical. Chanel is a top brand, Paris doesn’t even know who you are or care (Yolanda was never a supersupermodel) and it isn’t like model’s families get tickets to fashion shows, especially front rows, which are exclusively reserved for fashion insiders, magazines, and A-listers. It is so bizarre and recalls my previous paragraph’s point that maybe this is more of an emotional/mental struggle she is having with moving past her life and identity with children.
Yolanda also gets on this compassion train, accusing us of not being compassionate to her, while we are to cancer because as she puts it “people have learned to be compassionate”. Without skipping a beat, she brings up her second talking point with Munchhausen’s Disease: no one lies about having a disease.
Actually, a lot of people lie about having diseases, including cancer and terminal illnesses. These are from this year and 2015 alone in a very quick, not so intensive Google search (the same Google searches she claims to praise that have informed her about Chronic LD.)
- From Seattle, a woman faked her cancer claim.
- Another cancer faker arrested for stealing donations.
- Woman ran a fake cancer scheme, including using her children, in order to get donations.
- Another deliberate cancer liar, this time pretended to be terminal laying in a deathbed.
- In Connecticut, a man lying about brain cancer.
- A lady in Cali faking to be a blood cancer victim.
- A woman claimed to suffer from Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy.
- In Australia, it came out a famous blogger Belle Gibson (another “health and wellness expert” who shared their “journey”) also lied about having brain cancer.
And there are still many more examples. Faking diseases, particularly uncommon or misunderstood ones happens fairly frequently. Generally, we don’t hear about it unless it is a local occurrence. Even on Bravo, we saw Brooks fake documents and lie about cancer. I hope Andy brings it up that people DO lie about their illnesses. It is unfortunate, however, it is very easy to con people precisely BECAUSE we are generally compassionate human beings and don’t like when people suffer. If we question an illness, it is seen as rude and an unfeeling, exactly like Yolanda accuses her cast mates and bloggers like myself of being, thus making it even easier for people to commit medical cons and frauds.
On David Foster, Yolanda is still processing it and focused on her journey’s higher purpose. She doesn’t blame him for the breakup, citing she’s the one who has changed. Yolanda is right to point out that life changes for the caretakers and family members too.
The show ends with heart string pulling questions from the audience. These were clear softballs directed at Yolanda’s social media audience and supporters. I feel these were in preparation for Yolanda to take on a spokesperson type role in the future. Yolanda lays out her plan to write a book, as many of you mentioned she’s probably angling for.
Dr. Oz’s show has 1.5-2 million viewers an episode, probably more after you include on demand, DVR, and online watchers as well. It is a huge audience in addition to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for Yolanda to spread her misinformation on Chronic Lyme Disease and pseudoscience treatments. He concluded the show by offering Yolanda to come back on and keep sharing her journey. We are hardly finished hearing about this; indeed, this may just be another platform for her and her pseudoscience and anti-science supporters to jump off into the mainstream.