Dima Ali, MD is fun and it’s not just her infectious laugh that sets her apart. She truly enjoys life, is passionate about her career, and crazily in love with her children. She is also a woman on a mission.
A mission to empower women of all ages to look and feel the best they can. This from a woman whose philosophy is: Don’t just believe in miracles … expect them!
There is also the serious side. The one that makes her eyes fill with tears. Like when she remembers being at the bedside of a dying child while a resident at the Oncology Department of DC’s Children’s Hospital. That defining moment changed her from pursuing a career in Pediatrics to the one that has brought her much success in women’s preventative health care and dermatology.
Or the time when looking for ways to treat her own facial scar, she put together some skin care and camouflage that within a short time healed her face. “I wondered how much of the accelerated healing of my scar was due to my ability to effectively cover it up which in turn made me feel much better and less self-conscious.” “Either way”, she says, “when you have beautiful skin, you look and feel better about yourself. That life defining moment launched her Cosminology facial care and cosmetics line.
You can call it a defining moment or a miracle, but how do you explain a call from Hollywood asking her if her fledgling cosmetics line would be interested in being the exclusive cosmetics sponsor for the Golden Globes? They were so small at the time they had to say no because they didn’t have enough in production. But she followed it up with a question: “May we do the Oscars instead?” The rest, as they say, is history. The WellMedica team went on to Hollywood and got to make up some very famous faces (not to mention the huge amount of publicity they received).
But this is not a woman with stars in her eyes. Dr. Dima is very much earth bound. A single mom to her 12 and 10-year-old boys, going to their soccer games, proud of their swimming abilities, raving about the great time they all had at the Great Wolf’s Lodge in Williamsburg. She is also an artist and sculptor and someone who secretly can’t wait for her children to bring home a school project that she can help them with.
Despite her profession, you won’t find this cosmetic surgeon buying Vogue; instead find her in the decorating magazine aisle. She is a self proclaimed HGTV junkie. “I am obsessed with the before and after decorating shows,” she says. She proudly takes you through her medispa, all of which she had painted and decorated. In a quiet moment, she admits she does have one unfulfilled dream. She wants her home featured in a magazine.
Somehow, I think this is a definite maybe.op struggling and let life just BE. It just may surprise you.
How do you define modern motherhood? Today’s modern mom (with the help of a Blackberry and the internet) has an amazing capacity to run a household, be incredibly creative, faithful, supportive, loving and financially savvy all while looking good!
How do you differ from your own mother? I can’t cook.
What traits do you admire in other moms? The ability to multi-task and do it with grace.
What do you detest? This is a difficult question for me to answer. Detest is a strongly negative word. I mean I really “detest” cockroaches and mosquitoes even though I realize they are an integral part of our ecosystem. On a more universal level, I’ll answer by saying that I “steer clear” from any fundamentalist types or groups consisting of self-righteous individuals that deem any opposing views as a threat to their very being.
Biggest challenge Staying mentally, spiritually and physically centered on a daily basis. Basically remembering to breath because with each breath comes clarity and peace.
Biggest reward Receiving unsolicited yet incredibly insightful and intuitive advice from my 10 and 12 year old boys when I seem to need it most. They are my greatest teachers.
What do you find to be a passé (old-fashioned) definition of motherhood? That we have yet to use the term “Daddyhood” as a synonym of motherhood! There are some outstanding Mr. Moms out there!
How do you make time for yourself? I sneak it in when no one’s looking!
Greatest accomplishment Having 2 children during medical school and residency.
A few of her favorite things:
P.F. Changs and Outback Steakhouse. For special occasions or family/friends get-togethers,
I like 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church or Zaytinya in D.C.
Right now, Cobb Salad and BBQ Chicken Pizza.
What are you reading now?
Creative Visualization: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzberg.
Candice Olson from the HGTV show Divine Design. I really admire her creative energy/design
sense and her ability to balance hosting a TV show and having a family!
Favorite beauty item
An anti-aging face cream that I concocted in my kitchen about 8 years ago. It’s called Big Bang Those Light Years Away by Cosminology.
Best place to visit
My favorite place in the galaxy…Disney World! The planet Jupiter comes in a close second.
Advice for other moms.
Take better care of yourself…consciously spend more time each day on things that bring a smile to your face and make your heart sing. Stop struggling and let life just BE. It just may surprise you.
Story and photographs by Val Cavalheri