Josie Bissett: The Girlfriend Everyone wants to have
Written By: Michelle Emmick
I prepared my camera to come face-to-face with the woman whom I singularly tried to emulate in terms of beauty and style for most of the nineties. Whether it was wearing a babydoll dress, motorcycle jacket, or the signature short blonde pixie cut, Josie Bissett, who played the popular Jane Mancini on Fox-TV’s Melrose Place, was the epitome of cool, and I was all about it. Back in the day I copied her image to a tee, and here I am 30 years later virtually meeting my TV style icon in-person.
For any readers who weren’t part of this phenomenon and may not know life before media in the palm of your hand and streaming platforms like Netflix, let me set the stage:
Monday nights primetime reserved a seat on the couch in front of a big square box with an antenna, preferably with girlfriends, or on a landline or gigantic cordless phone spending hours gossiping about the outrageously fun storylines of a beautiful group of people living in an apartment complex in Los Angeles. For anyone like me who lived in Smalltown, USA, it was an exhilarating world we could only fantasize about.
My feelings of nostalgia started to take over when the beautiful blonde popped up on my screen and immediately greeted me with her megawatt smile to say hello. Josie’s down-to-earth, could-be-your-bestie personality showed up from her first words, and for the next hour-and-a-half I had the chance to get to know more about her. I’m happy to share that she is as beautiful inside as she is out.
To get to know Josie more is to share her story. Josie was 12 years old when she started her career in front of the camera. As a teenager, while most kids are still walking the halls of their high school, at just 16, Josie left home and moved to Japan to further her work. Her courage, independence, and tremendous talent, brought her only a short year later onto the Hollywood scene. Josie landed her first big role in the TV series The Hogan Family. She spent two seasons on the show before being catapulted to stardom in her internationally recognized role and cult favorite hit Melrose Place.
Josie shared with me that during those years on Melrose she was in her early twenties and having recently connected with a few of her co-stars for a new project, reminisced on how young she was and how different times were then. “I was so focused on my work; I don’t remember a lot of it,” Josie confided.
When the series ended, Josie went on to star in other hit shows like the ABC hit The Secret Life of The American Teenager, which ran for five seasons, Lifetime movies and the wildly successful Hallmark series of original The Wedding March, franchise movies. Josie has also hosted numerous shows and made innumerable guest-starring appearances.
In a profession that can easily place fame ahead of all else, Josie has managed to crack the code to career longevity and success. I think what makes her most relatable is the fact that, like many women, she has worked to balance career and family, making the appropriate adjustments to put family first.
In addition to playing so many beloved characters, Josie has graced over 50 magazine covers to date.
Her radiant skin has landed her national commercial campaigns for brands like Neutrogena and Murad Skin Care. She keeps her skin looking great by wearing sunscreen.
“I wear it rain or shine,” she told us. “In addition to applying sunscreen, I always wear a hat and cover my chest if I am out in the sun. If I had to pick one product that has kept my skin looking its best it would be a Tretinoin cream.”
Josie shared that when she has months of time off, she visits her dermatologist and asks for the latest laser treatment. “I love to have PRP “vampire” facials at least once a year,” Josie shared.
During our conversation on beauty, Josie and I talked about our shared love of Botox. Josie told me “I started using Botox for migraines when it first appeared on the market. I have been doing it for many years. It has been a savior for my migraines but also wrinkles!”
Josie said she feels most beautiful when she’s taking care of herself physically, mentally, and spiritually, sharing, “I eat a plant-based diet and do not consume dairy. However, if I am really craving meat or dairy, I will have it. I am thankful that I absolutely love water. I can’t remember the last time I drank a soda or bought any type of juice. I do, however, love a glass of wine or Prosecco!”
Josie shared the importance of getting rest, doing her best to get between six and eight hours of sleep. “I am constantly working on creating a balanced life,” she said, “When I feel balanced, I feel calm and happy and therefore less stressed, and stress looks awful on our skin.”
Besides being an actress, model, and beauty spokesperson, Josie has found incredible success and fulfillment outside of Hollywood with her career as a book author. With several books penned, it’s clear that children and family are part of her deep core values. “I have been working many years on children’s books and cartoon series. I absolutely love creating content for children. It’s so much fun,” Josie enthusiastically told us.
Josie’s first book, Little Bits of Wisdom, is a heart-warming collection of parenting wisdom inspired by the birth of her first child. Her follow up, Making Memories, features ways for parents to create rich family memories with their children that last a lifetime.
Josie’s first children’s book, Tickle Monster, became a national sensation, based on a treasured family tradition. Fuzzy ‘Tickle Monster’ mitts, an interactive companion piece to the book, are packaged in an adorable gift set. Parents can wear the gloves to tickle their children while reading along to the story. Josie then followed up with her second children’s book, Boogie Monster, a lovable character from Planet Boogie whose only mission is to inspire kids to dance. Boogie Monster teaches kids that there’s no right or wrong way to dance and helps kids build confidence while having fun exercising.
The Boogie Monster Dance Kit was the recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award, and won the Moonbeam Gold Medal at the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards.
To help you get a full picture on just how down-to-earth Josie is, during our conversations both of our daughters came into the room where we were chatting. She introduced me to her beautiful teenage daughter. As my nine-year-old entered the room, as she often does wanting to say hi to my virtual friend on the other side of the camera, Josie immediately made her feel special and started chatting with heart and sincerity. Having overheard our conversation on books, my daughter was excited to show off her own children’s book she authored. Being the person she is, Josie contacted me the next day, going online to buy a copy of my daughter’s book. That speaks volumes to the realness of who Josie is.
Being a mom, I asked Josie what beauty advice she has passed down to her daughter. She said,
“I have a few: wear sunscreen, make water your main beverage of choice and drink a lot of it, create healthy sleep patterns and eat mainly plant-based, but listen to your body. Manage stress by paying attention to what makes you happy and do more of that. The importance of caring for her teeth and living a balanced life.”
Since I felt such a great connection throughout our conversation, I had to share with Josie that I, too, rocked her style and wore the same haircut as she did in the nineties. It was such a drastic hairstyle back then, and even now most girls wear their hair long. I asked her what inspired the style. She replied, “It was an accident! I love to change my hair and try different looks. I also love to cut my own hair and one time I really had a good hack at it! It wasn’t my best work, so I went to the salon and had it all cut off.”
Well, the style clearly worked, for both of us of course, and later that night I texted her a picture of me from back in the day so she could get a good laugh.
Josie’s next projects are Sealed with a Kiss: Wedding March 6, premiering August 14, 2021, on the Hallmark channel, and she has a guest-starring role on the new FOX TV series Fantasy Island, which will air in September.
You can find Josie Bissett at:
- Instagram: @josiebissett
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