When do you feel the most like yourself?
I feel most like myself when I’m with the people I love; my close friends and family. When I’m with them I know that I’m OK to be me. I’m OK to dance to whatever song comes on in the most ridiculous manner, just as much as I’m also OK to sit down and say what’s bothering or stopping me from being happy. These people give me unconditional support. My family and friends are basically the most important things in my life besides myself, so whenever I’m with them I feel like me, and I can feel myself becoming who I want to be.
What does self-love mean to you?
It means supporting myself through growing up and allowing myself to form strong opinions. Self-love means knowing that I am more than enough, that I am beautiful and strong by my own standards. That I am proud of me every day. It means not listening to what limits and labels have been forced upon me. It means defining myself and being happy with the outcome, whatever it may be.
What is a piece of advice about self-love you’d give to your younger self?
I would tell myself not to worry about the small things. I’d say that things are not always going to be easy, school is going to hurt. Some people will make you feel unwanted but it will all turn around, so be kind to yourself. I’d also say that it’s important to focus on you. Sometimes it’s good to be selfish - use this time to reflect upon yourself and love yourself. Indulge in you. Find your self-worth, it will make you stand up for important matters and that is invaluable. Know that you are your own best friend and that you will become someone you are proud to be - so don’t give up on what makes you happy. Don’t give up on your beliefs and take time to make sure you’re OK both mentally and physically. You’re in no rush.
How do you deal with the haters?
I (as far as I know) don’t have any really vocal haters. What I’ve learnt in the media and the schools I went to is that it’s best not to be petty. I don’t like to sink to their level because it can very often look bad for both sides. In my experiences with negativity I find it best to think ‘water off a ducks back’ unless it personally attacks me or a really important subject to me. By doing this, only the hater looks silly. If I stay calm and articulate my response with the appropriate facts and required lingo I can often silence them. My rule is: If it doesn’t completely require a response, it’s not worth my time.