Starring on a reality television show invites the public into every aspect of your life - and this takes a toll. When you’re showing the world everything that happens behind closed doors - the good and the bad - it’s important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself and staying content with who you truly are when the cameras are turned off.
Bianca Banks - who starred on the Bravo show “Invite Only Cabo” - knows this all too well. Having worked through the stressors that come with the territory of reality TV, Bianca understood the grave importance of mental health and wellness. This inspired her to launch her own platform to provide a space for other women to share their stories, connect with their community, and destigmatize issues that we’ve been told aren’t the norm to talk about.
Launching “The MND Show” with her daughter Jasmine empowered Bianca to empower other women of colour to have open and honest conversations about health, wellness, careers, and more in order to build a strong community of women committed to uplifting one another and helping each other thrive.
Bianca spoke exclusively to GLAMOUR SA about “The MND Show,” her experience on reality TV, and why she feels it’s her highest calling to build a legacy of strong women.
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness is not only a physical space, but a mental one as well. No one is perfect, but I have made it a mission in my life to do well by others, treat others as you would want to be treated, etc. Promoting the best you mentally will also lead to a physical transformation. I believe when the two are married, you are the BEST you!
How do you practice wellness in your daily life?
Diet and exercise are paramount and a major part of my life. Intermittent fasting and ketosis are a part of my daily regimen and life as well exercising as much as possible.
Having been on reality TV, how important is mental health to you?
Great question!!! Because you have to possess an incredible amount of mental strength to be in this situation. Reality TV pressure can be very destructive and dangerous, as we’ve seen time and time again. I would say to always be firm in who you are and never second guess yourself.
Was it ever hard to deal with criticism? If so, how do you tune that out?
Criticism and an intensive environment was incredibly difficult and trying, as it would be for anyone, during the show and after. On top of that, I am a very sensitive and empathetic person, so it is hard to stay grounded. However, no one knows you like you, and it was helpful to just stay in place of emotional familiarity. Focusing on truth, peace, happiness, my children ..that kept me sane!
How have you been staying healthy during COVID?
Of course it is important to implement the basics during this time, by practicing the simple preventative measures (frequent hand washing, sanitize hands, cover your face, maintain distance, etc.) I am also caring for my elderly mother, so it is important that we keep her safe.
What is your fitness regimen, and what healthy habits do you swear by?
Prior to the pandemic I was boxing on a daily basis. Now that I can’t, I am swimming daily or hiking. Walking to the store or wherever I can also helps.
What are your goals for your podcast - what do you hope to accomplish with the platform you have?
Our podcast platform is based from a voice of women of colour, building successful lives and legacies, and sharing those experiences. More importantly, being a mother and daughter team, we hope to bring perspectives to the generational gap between my daughter and I (encompassing current events, trending issues and personal stories).
It was just Women's Month in South Africa. How do you work hard every day to uplift the women around you, and what woman inspires you the most in your life?
Of course now is an incredibly monumental time for women of color in the world. Here in the U.S., we have just elected the first woman of colour and first Asian woman on a major party ticket. I think women have always been the rock of all beginnings and futures and I’m excited to see how the importance of a woman is now becoming highlighted in so many different arenas.
I think it is so important for women to encourage other women and for us to celebrate and uplift one another. Acknowledging that this does not happen as often as it should.
What tips would you give someone to live a more mindful life?
Something that has worked for me is starting my day with a prayer before any social media/electronics etc. It was challenging at first, but it gives me alignment for the day. Even if it's just meditation, it’s been healthy for me to have a moment first off in the morning of thankfulness and meaning which provides me a purpose for the day.
What are your best beauty tips?
Honestly, I’m actually a huge fan of less is more when it comes to make-up. One thing I’ve learned mostly, is to protect your face! I use lots of sunscreen on my face, this hopes to preserve elasticity and lessens wrinkles over time.
What is something most people may not know about you?
I played classical piano for 8 years, I am also a health care provider.