The York University Magazine

Fall 2015

The alumni magazine of York University

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island of Cyprus with her family when she was 11. At 17, she returned to Toronto to pursue an undergraduate degree at York. "I wanted to become a journalist," she says. Her general first-year arts program included a psychology class taught by an "infectious and compassionate" professor. "He had no idea there was a 17-year-old completely besotted with him," she laughs. Papadopoulos chose to major in psy- chology, later studying with Professor Suzanne MacDonald, whom she describes as "a complete role model." After graduating in 1993, Papadopoulos was preparing to relocate south of the border to continue her studies at the University of California when her boyfriend invited her to move with him to London, England. "I went and it rained non-stop for two weeks." Still, she stayed, completing her PhD dissertation on the mind and the immune system five years later at City University London – and eventually mar- rying the boyfriend, Teddy Pitsillides, an investment banker with whom she now has a 12-year-old daughter. Papadopoulos is now touring and promoting her latest book, Whose Life Is It Anyway? Living through your 20s on your own terms, about our "appearance-oriented culture" and its impact on the expectations young women have about themselves and their lives. She admits to having drawn "a bit" on her own 20-something years, which began during her undergraduate studies at York. "The idea of establishing an identity and finding yourself hasn't changed. In other ways, though, today's 20s experi- ence is very different. The whole ubiquity of success – if you want it bad enough, you can have it – didn't exist when I was young." Papadopoulos remembers her own transition into young adulthood at York as some of the "best years ever." "It was such a seminal time in my life." l D EPENDING WHOM YOU ASK, psychologist Linda Papadopoulos (BA '93) is either a respected research scientist and practising psychologist or a high-profile media per- sonality with ties to the popular British TV series "My Naked Secret" and luxury fashion house Dior. Which is the "real" Linda? Well, both. The York psychology graduate has carved out a successful career in both worlds. "As an academic, I've always been one to feel strongly that the ivory tower stuff is important, but it's equally important to disseminate what we know in ways that are more accessi- ble," she explains. "My media and corporate work are part of that." In the 18 years since earning her PhD, Papadopoulos has built a successful clinical practice; published widely in the fields of psychodermatology (think healthy mind, healthy skin), body image, counselling and medical psychology; founded the counselling psychology program at London Metropolitan University; and led a 2010 U.K. commission on the effects of sexualization on young people, which has informed government policy. She's also one of the most recognized faces on British tele- vision. Her expert opinions have been featured on a number of prominent news programs, on Discovery Channel and in the pages of Cosmopolitan magazine's U.K edition. She also regularly consults with Dior, Speedo and Renault about consumer behaviour. "My psychodermatology research is published and that's great, but working with Dior on how stress impacts acne or how women feel about aging, to inform a TV program or an ad campaign, that's important too and we shouldn't shy away from it." It's an ambitious blending of two worlds for someone who never even intended to study psychology or to live abroad. Born in Canada, Papadopoulos moved to the Mediterranean London Bridges A Double Life Will the real Linda please stand up? Fall 2015 The York University Magazine 41

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