Being married and leveling up our relationship with our partners is a big leap as it also entails potentially being a mother or father to your children. We need to balance the love and work for our spouse, children, and possibly, also your spouse’s family, while staying healthy and beautiful! In this episode, host Erin Saxton dishes with BRAVO’s TV star (and recently engaged!) Dr. Tabasum Mir in NYC about relationships, which ones are worth it, and the pressures and “roles” that a wedding brings and family. Dr. Mir also touches on inner beauty and her work as a cosmetic dermatologist.
Listen to the podcast here:
Erin Dives In Deep With BRAVO’s TV Star Dr. Tabasum Mir Regarding Her Marriage And Family
I came through the tunnel into New York City and I’m sitting down with TV personality and celebrity physician, Dr. Tabasum Mir. Welcome.
Thanks for coming through the tunnel for me.
You’re welcome. We have a mutual friend and we’re going to talk about him. He originally said, “You need to meet Tabasum.” I’m like, “Tabasum? I only know one Tabasum.” I thought, “Tabasum from Bravo’s The Singles Project?” He’s like, “Yes. I’m friends with her.” Tell me about your name.
My family is Kashmiri. It’s tough to talk about it right now because the Indian government went in and there’s all of this crazy martial law going on with the government. I’m from the Indian side of Kashmir. My name is Tabasum, which is very common over there. It’s pronounced differently. It means smile. Sometimes people call me Tab for short.
Do you like your name?
I have to tell you that if I could’ve picked my own name when I was fifteen, I probably would’ve picked Pamela. I love my name because it suits me. It does.
Did you grow up here or there?
Not here in New York City but here in the United States.
Do you travel back to visit family?
I haven’t been back in a while. My sister was back. She had a wild ride because she was there when they basically shut down the government. The Indian government took away the autonomy of the Kashmiri government and put everybody under lockdown, curfew, shut off landlines, shut off cell phone service. My sister had to go to the airport and beg to be out to leave with her two daughters. It’s rough. I was supposed to go. I’m planning on going with Andy, my fiancé. We’ll see how it all goes with this political climate. It’s pretty crazy right now.
You mentioned Andy. I don’t know much about what’s going on there so I’m probably not going to ask any follow-up questions to that. That sounds awful and I hope everybody is safe.
Go to #StandWithKashmir and you’ll see everything you need to see and learn more about it.
I feel like there are some new stories that we all know about and then not enough that we don’t know anything about it.
It’s crazy because they change up what stories they have here versus Europe.
That’s a shame. As a TV producer, I understand why they do that, but there needs to be a little more well-roundedness. You mentioned Andy. I mentioned that you were from Bravo’s The Singles Project. How did you go from The Singles Project show on Bravo to Andy?
There is no direct line whatsoever. It was a jagged run through the forest. They asked me to do The Singles Project. I was sitting in my medical office one day and I get a phone call saying, “Is Dr. Mir single? Would she like to be in Bravo TV?” My office staff gives me the message. I’m like, “It’s another prank call, another weirdo trying to stalk me or something.” You never know. You get these strange calls. It was true and I ended up getting on it. I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t understand that I was doing a dating show for a very long time. I thought it was a show on single professionals and it would be slanted toward the professional side and how we navigate our personal lives, as well as dating.You can see the worse of humanity on social media. You can't take it seriously. Click To Tweet
By the time you’re casting it and it gets into the network hands, you know this better than anybody, the plot changes a little bit and then ended up being a full-on dating show. I did it. I had some great experiences with it. I had some not so great. I decided after I was done with that. I had PTSD from dating and I stopped. I was like, “I am not interested,” because all these people thought they could approach me now because they thought I wanted to find someone. They didn’t realize it was very much skewed for television and I needed a break.
Do you keep in touch with any of the people you met on that show?
I do. We’re all pretty friendly. There’s only one that I haven’t. As soon as the show was done, he went MIA. The rest of them I keep in touch with, at least through social media. Sometimes I’ll have dinner with a couple of them. We had a great experience together.
How long did you hibernate to get over your PTSD of dating before you met Andy?
I wasn’t hibernating from social life. I was out all the time. For a year, I didn’t want to date. I wanted to be left alone. I wanted to just live my life and have a wonderful time. People would ask me and I wasn’t into it. I’d say it was a good solid year of, “Don’t even think about asking me out.” It took six months for people to stop texting me saying, “I’ve got this great friend I want you to meet. Are you still doing the show?” I’m like, “No, I’m not, leave me alone.” It also opened people up to the internet world and the Twitterverse to thinking that it’s okay to try and approach me. I’ve got many proposals and many date requests.
I find that social media thins the veil between any gracious manners. The manners are gone now.
You see the worst of humanity on social media. You can’t take it seriously. You’ve got these keyboard warriors. I’ve interviewed a lot of celebrities in terms of reality and some of them take it way too personally. I’m like, “You can’t believe the good and you can’t believe the bad.”
If you believe the good, then you’re going to have to believe the bad. That’s what I think. I’m so sensitive, I try to avoid it all. The moment when I find I’m smiling with something good, now I’m going to have to frown with something bad just to balance it.
I got called fat. She’s like, “How much Botox do you put in your face?” I got called old and I was called a drag queen. There’s nothing wrong with any of those things. I could be a fat, old drag queen with Botox, who cares?
That’s true. You’re beautiful. You’re doing a podcast with Andy. Do you want to talk about it?
Can you believe it? Andy and I, if you think about when we were born and where we were born on this earth, we couldn’t have been in more two polar opposite places. I was born in Kashmir to a Muslim family in a small, tiny country and Andy was born in the United States of America, fully American. I joke that his ancestors were probably on the Mayflower. He’s so American. He’s raised a Christian, blonde hair, blue-eyed. His family is like little Gerber babies, like perfect little kids. My parents immigrated here with me. I was about five when I came here. All I know is the United States, but there are still these cultural differences between us, yet you still make it work. I thought, “Let’s do a podcast on relationships.” All of this stuff that took like dating in New York City, me being a different religion and me being a woman. I make the money. I’m a doctor. I’m not saying he doesn’t, but I’m not coming in dependent on anybody, so there are all these dynamics. We both like talking about current events and stuff like that. We’re trying this out and it’s been fun. It’s been interesting. It’s been very realistic.
What’s the name of the show?
We call it Mating Calls right now. Andy came up with it. He’s good with names.
Andy asked you to marry him.
Yes, he did.
Were you surprised? Did you know it was coming?
I was surprised. Andy’s been married before and he has two kids. I honestly never thought I was going to get married.
I come from a culture where women just get married. They get arranged. They have these things called Rishta where there are these families that come to meet you with the hopes of you guys getting married. That happened to me from the age of eighteen. I want nothing to do with it.
Did your family try to set you up in an arranged marriage?
My parents were cool. They were like, “If you don’t want this, we’re going to leave you alone.” I had a safe place with my family to be independent and be fully composed on it. It’s just about education and stuff. That didn’t stop other people from wanting to introduce. Sometimes out of politeness, my mom had to say, “Sure,” because she didn’t want to offend anybody, but I would freak out. I would be like, “What?” I remember once, some guy came and I heard he was 5’6”, so I wore my tallest heels. I was only 21. I didn’t want to get married. I come with that. I then became a doctor. I was focused on my career. Cher said it and I love this. I watched The Cher Show on Broadway. Cher’s mom said, “Cher, you need to hurry to marry a rich man.” Cher was like, “I am a rich man, mom.” I felt a little bit like that. I’m not saying that. I’m saying I have independence and I can take care of myself. If I bring somebody in, I want him to be able to be good to me. If I didn’t have that, it wasn’t worth it. That’s the bottom line.
Clearly, Andy’s great to you and he’s worth it.
He’s worth it. We never talked about getting married. People were like, “Did you guys talk about it?” I was like, “No,” because I wasn’t sure I wanted to get married. I wasn’t sure he wanted to and things are good. I have a small amount of fear about getting married too. I feel it changes everything. How many married couples have you talked to that are divorced?
I’m divorced so I’m a statistic for you. Hopefully, I’m not your future.
Andy is divorced too.
There is something to be said though. I’m in another relationship now and if I were to get married again, I am bringing a lot more to the new marriage. Maybe Andy will be bringing that as well, but you have never been married. I wonder what your expectations are of marriage. I’m thinking of myself, I was nervous the night before my wedding, not because I didn’t love my husband at the time, but because there was so much unknown that I didn’t know. Are you nervous like that because you don’t know or are you truly afraid that something will change?
I’m afraid that something will change. I’ve talked to Andy about this. The thing that I love about him is that we can talk and he gives me a safe place to be able to talk to him and vice versa. I said, “We always have to try even in our hardest moments to speak to each other with kindness and respect. Even if we’re angry, let’s take a breather and then come back.” I’m afraid things are going to change. Do you get married and then stop trying? He has two kids and they live in New Jersey. Is he all of a sudden going to say, “Guess what? I’m moving them in with you into your apartment.” These are the things that I fear. I talked to him about it and through continually talking to him about it, I realized he’s also on the same page of he’s worried that things will change. What if I stop caring? What if I stopped taking care of our relationships? I think it’s normal.
It is a normal type of thing because as long as you guys stay open and you communicate, I would think everything is doable. There’s also nothing to say that you have to get married. Maybe the engagement was the commitment. Do you really want to get married? Do you want the party? Some girls want the party.
I don’t. I want the marriage. I want that to be okay. Andy and I talk about that too, just staying engaged. Maybe we wait two years and get married. I find that as soon as I got engaged, the first question everybody said is, “When is the wedding?” I’m thinking, “I just got engaged two minutes ago.” I think that sometimes that pressure makes people get on this runaway train that they don’t think about it and all of a sudden, they’re $100,000 in debt to a wedding. That happened to my friend. She’s getting married in the Philippines. She’s like, “I thought it was going to be $20,000. I’m $100,000 in.”
That’s some wedding, in the Philippines no less.
She thought it would be cheaper. It was the VAT tax. They added 35% onto it.
How are the moms and the dads? Is Andy’s parents both with us?If you believe the good, then you're going to have to believe the bad. Click To Tweet
Yes. Mine aren’t. That’s sad. It sucks. It’s not fun. My family and the ones that are extended family are wonderfully happy. Not all of them have met him. His parents are great and his whole family is great. I had some resistance from my sibling, my sister. She was a little like, “He’s not Muslim.” I was all surprised about that but at the same time, she’s accepting and she’s coming around. She wasn’t in a bad way about it, but I can tell it wasn’t sitting easily with her. She did mention, “Is he going to convert?” I said that’s his business and my business.
It’s interesting because how did she find a relationship? Did she agree to be put in an arranged marriage?
No, not at all. She met her husband now through a medical conference. He’s Muslim. He’s a doctor and it was a Muslim medical conference and they happened to meet there and they dated.
They’re like team captains of Muslim. They’re the spokespeople of Muslims.
I know but they’re not conservative. It happens with cultures. People like to stay within their culture. It’s easier and more understanding. I had plenty of my family that are born and raised here who are ten years younger than me. They’re getting to that place where they want to start looking for somebody. They find it easier to stay within the culture.
I was raised Catholic and I have a lot of friends who are Jewish. When you have a woman who marries a Jewish man, it’s okay. It’s not because the religion goes with the woman. When you have a Catholic guy marry a Jewish woman, all heck breaks loose in all of our parents conversations. It’s not me but it’s like, “How are the children being raised? What are they doing?” It becomes a war of the mothers. I would think that it’s with your mom not being here. Is your sister an older sister?
She acts older. She’s psychologically older.
There’s somebody always into our lives that takes that role. I don’t know why. She’s taking that role and maybe she needs you to push back enough.
I thought about this too and I thought the same exact thing. It’s because my parents aren’t here that she’s taking on that role of, “I need to be my sister’s parent.”
She probably already knows how hard marriage is. She might not be saying that to you, but any relationship is hard work. I’m not saying difficult as in not worth it. I’m saying difficult and parenting is difficult. None of this is easy but it’s so rewarding. I highly recommend all of it. I personally don’t care if you stay within your religion or not. I do know why though for your sister and your brother-in-law would stay within their Muslim religion. I do know why all my Jewish friends would stay, but I see why people cross over all the time. Love is love and it does not know religion. Wars are built on all of this.
Religion sometimes breaks people apart. It causes people to be judgmental instead of unifying. It’s unfortunate. I also don’t think I would’ve wanted to be with a Muslim man. I like to live my life. I like to experience. I like to meet people and talk to people if you look and sound interesting. I don’t know that I can be with somebody who was conservative. It’s just choice. There’s nothing wrong with that. Some of my family are very conservative. I love and adore them and there’s so much kindness there. There’s a reason I chose Andy. There’s a love that I get from him that is not like anything I would have ever had with another Muslim man.
What about kids?
He has kids.
That’s what I’m saying. I have kids. Rudy and I aren’t going to have any babies. I’ve talked about this in the past episodes. I had miscarriages. My forte isn’t delivering babies. I have one. I’ve tried a lot. It’s not for everybody. Rudy and my son Eric are super close. Are you close with Andy’s kids?
Yes, I am. They’re wonderful kids. He has a daughter who’s thirteen and a son who’s eight. I relate more to the daughter because I don’t know what you do with boys. You just put them in a corner, they run around in circles and they throw things and they’re happy. I don’t even understand. I honestly don’t think I ever wanted to have kids. That’s hard for me to say because there’s almost no space for women who don’t want to have kids. People don’t believe me when I say that. I feel like if I wanted to have children, I probably would have dated differently. I would have dated somebody who I could have kids with. I never dated like that.
I dated attractive fun guys, and I’m being honest. If I tell people that I don’t think I want to have kids, they don’t believe me. Sometimes I think about it, “Am I making a mistake? Should I have kids so that there would be somebody taking care of me when I get older?” There’s no guarantee they’re going to do that. I don’t know that it’s something I’ll ever regret. I don’t regret it now. If I wanted, I would have went and done it. I’ve done a lot for myself throughout the years because I wanted to and having kids has never been part of that conversation.
You’re a major thinker. You may come across shiny, glitzy, pretty and whatever, but this girl’s got soul. You think and I don’t see you rushing through anything and flippantly going, “Maybe we’ll get a dog,” which dog is great, by the way.
I’m such a thinker. I remember being in med school and taking birth control every single morning. I’m like, “I need to have an iron uterus. I’m at med school. I am going to be a doctor. There’s no baby screwing this up.” Medical school in itself is birth control. The answer to your question is it’s never been a desire of mine. If I look at that and think about that, that’s your answer. If I wanted it, I would have done it.
I have a few friends that are like, “No, I’m good.”
I went to this medium once and she told me something. I don’t know how much I believe this, but it makes sense. She told me that in a past life I had too many kids, like thirteen kids, and I wanted to come back in a life without having the responsibility of children.
That makes sense. I love all that stuff and totally believe it. You’re learning a new lesson because you learned a lot the last lifetime.
She told me that in my last life, I sacrificed everything, all of my dreams, all of my desires for these kids and I wanted to come back as somebody that could live a life for myself.
That sounds like a lot of moms I know. We don’t put ourselves first. It’s almost negative if you do.
I’m talking here like I don’t want kids. I have a lot of empathy for mothers and I have a lot of respect. I had a wonderful mother. My sister is a wonderful mother. There’s a sacrifice that you give. Sometimes I want to tell them, “It’s okay to take a moment for yourself. It doesn’t make you a bad mother. It makes you a better, happier person.”
The guilt though of doing that is crazy.
Guilt is so wasted.
I waste my time on many things, why not guilt? I’m so good at wasting time, so it’s okay. Even me doing this show, I didn’t pick my son up from school. Somebody else did. Meanwhile, he’s in high school. We have a routine.
Can he drive?
He can’t drive yet. He’s only a freshman. He’s fourteen. They drive at 17, 18 or something. That’s going to come like that. For me, him being my only, I’m trying to hang on to routines. The joke is on me.
At this point, I could be wrong. Doesn’t it feel like at this point, it’s a lot about your feeling good with that? He sounds like he’s well-rounded. Not picking him up isn’t going to send him down the drug train.
To think this is totally geeky that I’m even bringing this up. For me, I’m being a better parent by doing things for myself at this age. He now has permission to go do whatever he wants to do. I don’t know if we were raised that way society-wise. Did we get to see our parents doing things or are they still coddling kids and not showing them what’s possible? I don’t know. There’s no right answer. For me, even though I’m struggling with certain guilt because I’m on the road sometimes. When he was younger, I bring him with me. Now, he’s not going to leave with me. Even in the summer, he wants to be with his friends. He wants to hang out. By me breaking away and doing that stuff and then him tuning in and being like, “I’ve got friends subscribed to your YouTube channel.” There’s a pride there for him. Even his friends are like, “Eric’s mom is doing this. We can do this.”
To your point, I think that they get proud when they see you doing things at this stage in their life. Andy has two kids. His daughter is thirteen. I don’t want to be a stepmom, but I can be loving. I can be supportive. I could be their best friend. I can be a role model. I don’t like the word stepmom. That’s so gross. I hate that word. It makes me sick. I know that I have my limitations in how much I can give them. I’m not going to be able to sacrifice the same way Andy does for them. I talked to Andy about this.It's okay to take a moment for yourself. It doesn't make you a bad mother. It makes you a better, happier person. Click To Tweet
I said, “I’m never going to be their mother and I’m not going to be able to give up the things that I am used to for your kids. I’m going to do my best to make sure they feel loved and that I’m involved and I can do activities with them, but I’m not going to be going to New Jersey to watch them play ball.” What I’m trying to say is there’s no rule book for me. There’s this guilt that I have like, “Am I supposed to be doing more? When I do immerse myself in it, I started to feel resentful. I’m doing what I want to do with my time in my life and with my relationship with them. I don’t want Andy to ever forget he still has to date me.
You know what would be interesting and I’m going to check in with you on this as you get to know these kids. You’ll find and you’ll hear some things that you’ll know are important to them like a play or whatever. It might not be every single weekend, but there might be a big playoff game and suddenly, you’re going to realize you’re driving in New Jersey, but not because you feel like you have to. You’re going to be there because you want to see the smile on their face because you care about them. That will come, but it doesn’t have to be every weekend.
It’s funny because he introduced me to his kids pretty quickly and his therapist told him not to. His therapist was like, “Just wait a little bit.” He’s like, “I’m not going to wait.” I met them very quickly. I feel like that time of just him and I was not a very long time. That’s why I still need that. His daughter is involved in a lot of tennis. His son is involved in baseball and tennis. I remember the weekends, we’d go and I was like, “Do parents do this?” It’s like you carpools, that’s all you are. You drive your kids to different events. I was sitting in the car with him driving to all these different sporting events, thinking to myself, “This is not fun. This is work.” I told him like, “I want to be able to spend quality time with your kids, not watching them from a bleacher.”
That’s fair and insightful because that’s what will help get you closer, all of you. How long did you date Andy before he proposed to you?
Two years. It’s not very long but not short. If it was just him and I, two years is great, but him and me and then his kids, there are still a lot of things that I was figuring out and learning. We were doing that by communicating all the time. It’s not easy but it’s worth it.
Let’s talk a little bit about your medical practice. Let’s talk pretty stuff. You’re big on helping people be beautiful on the outside so they feel better and more beautiful on the inside.
Beauty is power. If you feel it, it doesn’t matter if it’s a swipe of ChapStick or full hair and makeup. If you feel good, you will perform better. Whether that’s losing a couple of pounds, buying shirts that fit well, it’s a fact. Psychologically, if we feel good about ourselves, we perform better. You don’t go out in your pajamas to give a speech. It’s about empowerment. It’s about not making you feel bad for wanting to feel better.
What do you think that trend is going towards like beauty, media and injectables? I’m a big fan of all of it, but are we going towards a more glam look or are we going more towards that natural grounded look? As a society, where are we headed with technology and beauty?
There’s a big difference between ages. Instagram and social media has amped up glam and amped up procedures. I think that the West Coast is more so. To answer your question, there was a spike of very glamorous and overdone procedures. Look at Kylie Jenner. She became a billionaire on her lips. She got lip fillers. Everybody was obsessed. Now she’s got this billion-dollar empire based on that. I think that the pendulum will turn a little bit and people will start going back to more realistic natural looks. For plastic surgery and dermatology, injectables are number one like Botox and filler. For plastic surgery procedures, butt implants and butt injections have outdone breast implants. It’s the number one.
I heard about it for a while when I was pregnant with Eric. I wanted to C-tuck but I couldn’t find any. My doctor was like, “What? No, I’m giving you a C-section.” I wanted a tummy tuck all at the same time. That’s the challenge of being in my industry, living in suburbia. I’m like, “No, I need the C-tuck.” They’re like, “How about we just safely deliver your baby?” Do people still do that?
There are a lot of weird things people do. If you have the money and you have a willing surgeon, you can get that done. Some people, and I do not recommend this, I’ve not actually known anybody, but if your due date is on a certain date, they’ll deliver the baby earlier. It’s because it says that the last month where you start to balloon up. I’ve heard that. I don’t know anyone personally. The C-tuck, isn’t there a lot of swelling?
Yes. I’m glad my doctor didn’t do it, but I want the tuck now.
It’s fine. Mommy make-overs are amazing. During the actual date of delivering birth, you’re swollen. Think of all the IVs that they pump into you while you’re in labor. I don’t think that’s the best time, plus your uterus is swollen. That’s not the best time for that thing because you have nothing to gauge. You’re just a lot bigger that you normally would be.
You probably could get more tucked if you waited to get the swelling down.
You can’t do a lot when you have a swollen uterus and a swollen belly. Wait a couple of years and then when you know you’re done having kids, that’s a good time to go in for it.
What’s next for you?
I’m doing this podcast with Andy called Mating Calls. I’m writing a book. It’s about all of these insanely wealthy privileged patients I’ve had throughout the years and the funny, crazy, comical, scary, jarring stories I’ve had to deal with them. All names will be changed, but it’s more about the circumstances. I have a practice in Manhattan and I’m still going strong with that. Bravo has been knocking on the door back for another possible show. We’ll see what happens with that. We have to talk again if you want to.
We won’t name names because we’re not sure. Knowing you, it’s probably a close to done thing. Where can people learn more of your information and get in touch, but not to date you?
I’m most active on Instagram and it’s just my name, @Tabasum.
Thank you for being here.
Thank you for analyzing me. I love it. Thanks for the therapy.
Tell your sister I love her. Thanks again.
About Dr. Tabasum Mir
OWNER of MirSkin Cosmetic Dermatology and MirSkin skin care line New York City – Los Angeles
STAR of the EMMY AWARD WINNING Bravo TV show THE SINGLES PROJECT
HOST CBS PODCAST GlamMir- Beauty health from SOUL to SKIN! with celebrity interviews and experts and brands in all beauty from soul to the skin.
VERIFIED YouTube Channel –, and Part of YouTube Space NY Creator community- Youtube channel with celebrity interviews, and beauty from the makeup aisle to the operating table. Skin care expert advice, beauty videos and product reviews
VERIFIED Social media- Verified on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube
PERISCOPE- Pioneer in live streaming and SPEAKER at the Periscope Summit 2015