Dana International Opens Up (And Calls Out Caitlyn Jenner)

Dana International (Photo by Eitan Tal)

I always like to hear Dana International speaks. Not only because she gives funny and interesting interviews- but also because I find her genuine, intelligent, and most of all-honest. A quality that is truly missed in the entertainment industry.

So, without nothing to promote and after a relatively quiet time in her career, Dana arrived in the studios of popular Israeli website Walla! News, to answer some fans’ questions. “I don’t have a lot to say these days,” Dana explained on why she’s hasn’t been giving interviews to the media lately, “and what I do have to say I’d rather keep to myself, so I won’t get in trouble.”

During the interview Dana was asked if in real life she’s a happy person, just as her public persona is. “To tell you I’m naturally a happy person – I’m really not,” she admitted. “I usually look at the empty half of the glass, and this is something I’ve been dealing with about myself, but it doesn’t bother me because I learn to appreciate and respect the happy minutes and the happy days. They become more precious. It’s not usual for me to wake up happy in the morning.”

Dana also reflected on her long-time career, saying that if she could go back, there are some things she would have changed. “If I had the mind I have today, if I could be taken as I am today, with my personality, with my soul, I would have had a much easier time managing abroad,” she says. “To take a Yemenite girl from Tel Aviv at the beginning of her career and throw her into Europe with no language, no friends and family, no affection of any sort – all the things that I really love, it was really hard for me to survive and to understand that this was really what I wanted and that this hard way is more or less what I dreamed of.”

“But I was really lazy,” she continues. “I think I could have had a much bigger success, and maybe I still can, only God knows, but I’m at peace with my decisions and I feel that I’ve been enriched, not in money but in knowledge and experience and in seeing the world.”

“I don’t like all of those presumptuous people who say they wouldn’t change a thing in their lives. I would have changed many things. First and foremost I have regretted things I said that I know hurt other people without intention. Today I’m much wiser. I used to always look at who did bad things to me and who hurt me. I would’ve tried to be a much better person, and I think I would have had it much better if I was a better person.”

Though she said there are some things she regrets, Dana is still not afraid to speak her mind and calls out Caitlyn Jenner in the interview. “I read in a magazine that she’s now saying that there are transgender women who don’t look enough like women, and she goes out against it and says that society rejects this, etc. It made me really angry because I thought that when you come from there, from the great America, from the American Dream and with so much money, and you’ve seen the world and you were a sportsman, and you want attention and whatnot — suddenly to go out and reject so many people from the family. It doesn’t matter how people look . Some of them look more feminine, others look less. It doesn’t matter how they look on the outside, for everything begins and ends in the brain of that person who wants this change. So to hear stuff like this from Caitlyn Jenner, stuff that to me is so dumb, especially when the woman who says these things looks like a man, walks like a man and talks like a man. I think that money and fame can go to people’s heads and they really start to say silly things. If Caitlyn Jenner looks at herself in the mirror and thinks that people look at her when she walks at the airport and don’t say to themselves ‘this is a man in a dress,’ then she has a problem, and if she speaks out against it, she speaks out against herself and it’s a shame.”

The interview didn’t end without Dana being asked if she’ll ever have kids. “It’s not for me,” she answered. “I still feel like a teenager, I’m at peace with that. I love other people’s kids and it’s not even a decision, it’s just that I know myself so well. I’m not ready for it, I don’t want-God forbid- to cause damage to somebody. I think that parenthood is a wonderful thing, it’s really one of the most wonderful things God can give. But you have to be ready for it. I look left and right, there are so many families who have more and more kids, without really being ready to raise them, without educating them, without loving, without wrapping them with love and getting them ready for life. A child is an amazing thing. I don’t think I have the mental qualifications to raise him like I would have wanted. So I take the decision and the responsibility for it.”

About the Author
Yanir Dekel has a decade of experience in entertainment, journalism, and digital media in Israel and the U.S. He headed PR for Helicon Records - one of the top two Record Labels in Israel - for several years before moving to LA in April of 2009. Yanir now works as an "Online Outreach" and content administration freelancer, managing content and social media, as well as providing graphics for online and print.