Professional skier and three-time Olympic medalist Julia Mancuso is one of many of the amazing athletes who inspire us to be better—and work out harder to reach our true potential. (Seriously, don’t you think all of us have a little Olympian on the inside just busting to be seen, even if we’re not “good” enough to compete on the global scale?) So when we had the opportunity to interview Mancuso as part of the American Academy of Dermatology’s SPOT Skin Cancer campaign, we were psyched. In addition to loving to watch Julia ski the slopes, we obviously also love preventing things like skin cancer. Read on for our Q&A with this inspiring and brave (dude, slalom is no joke—nor is posing in your undies) lady—along with her top tips for preventing skin cancer and getting fit!
Interview With Julia Mancuso
- FBG: You’re a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology’s SPOT Skin Cancer initiative. Why is this cause near and dear to your heart?
- JM: I grew up in a family with a ton of discipline wearing sunscreen and protecting my skin because my grandfather and my aunt are both dermatologists. I am proud to continue that tradition and also hope to instill good habits in my peers.
- FBG: What do you personally do to reduce your risk of skin cancer?
- JM: I always wear a daily moisturizer with SPF in it, that way I start my day with a good base protection. Then I always apply sunscreen and reapply often.
- FBG: Does your skincare routine differ in the winter and summer?
- JM: Not really if I am spending a lot of time outdoors—the sun in the winter can be just as damaging as in the summer, so it’s really important to always protect my face.
- FBG: How did you get your nickname Super Jules?
- JM: It was really just a funny name that I got from a pair of Paul Frank underoos with the monkey Julius on it. I changed it to Super Jules!
- FBG: In addition to being an amazing athlete, you’re also an underwear model. Many women find the thought of doing that pretty darn scary. How do you keep your confidence high and maintain a healthy body image?
- JM: I think the athletic female body is beautiful. I am confident in showing my flaws to others because it’s normal. I work hard and eat well, and I am not a size-four model, and it’s important for girls and women to be happy with themselves. Good habits like eating well and exercising every day will make anyone feel like a superstar.
- FBG: What are a few moves women can do at home to get ready for the slopes?
- JM: The best are just free squats. When you are standing in front of the TV, keep your eyes up and bend your knees to 90 degrees. Try to keep the weight on your heels to get your glutes to fire up and protect your knees.
- FBG: What’s the best fitness advice you’ve ever been given?
- JM: To have fun! I love to ski, but believe me I also have a hard time getting motivated in the gym. The best way for me to get a great workout done is to work out with a trainer or a partner, and have a plan written down before I go to the gym. I am great with planning. If I write it down, I will do it!
- FBG: Any other thoughts?
- JM: My new favorite thing to protect my face from the sun are these amazing locally made Big Truck brand hats. I won’t leave home without it!
And can we just add that the topic of skin cancer is serious bizness? Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. On average, one person dies from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, every hour, yet melanoma, when caught early, is highly curable. So take Julia’s recommendations to heart! Or skin.
Tell us, how do you prevent skin cancer? And any skiers out there? Julia fans? Let’s hear it! And a big thanks to Julia for doing this interview! —Jenn