Laura Harrier: ‘sometimes self-care is watching sh-tty reality TV’

When I wrote about Laura Harrier yesterday, it was only about her engagement news, so this full interview with Cosmo filled in a lot of the blanks about her and some about her fiancé (he’s French and they met in 2019) as well. In addition to being beautiful (the photos are great, I can see why she modeled), Laura seems smart and thoughtful and passionate about her beliefs. She and the interviewer talk about home decor, her engagement, acting, mental health, and politics. The interview is worth a read in its entirety, but some highlights that stuck out to me below:

On being aware, but disconnecting when necessary: It’s so important to know what’s happening in the world and to be active and to use your voice for the greater good and for causes that you believe in. But sometimes doing that can really take a toll. Sometimes I have to not read the news, not check my New York Times app, turn off Instagram because these are really tough times that we’re living in. And it’s easy to get so caught up in the collective anxiety of the world that you can forget that you also need to protect yourself and protect your own wellness. I don’t think that you can make a change and help other people if you’re not taking care of yourself.

On “self-care” strategies: I can’t say that I’m the best with my track record of doing it every day, but I try to at least do some deep breathing. I noticed I literally forget to breathe, which sounds wild, but sometimes I’m like, “Wait, I haven’t taken a real breath all day,” and just taking 30 seconds to sit and do deep belly breathing is a game changer. Also, I think it’s so common to talk only about self-care as meditation, yoga, and working out, which are all important, but sometimes self-care is having a glass of wine with your best friend and laughing and watching shitty reality TV. Watching The Bachelor and drinking wine with my girls is awesome. Sometimes that’s the self-care that you need.

On colorism and being confused with Zendaya: Some of the most successful actresses of color tend to be on the lighter side and that’s definitely not okay. There are so many facets to the Black experience. There are so many ways that Black people look, and only having one narrow view is something that I think is ultimately putting everybody at a disadvantage—we’re only shortchanging ourselves when we don’t show a diverse range of stories and a diverse range of people onscreen. I do think it’s something that’s slowly starting to change, but even when we were doing Spider-Man, I would get called “Zendaya” all the time. People wouldn’t even take the time to differentiate us.

[From Cosmopolitan]

What Laura said about sometimes disconnecting from the news and social media to take care of yourself really resonated with me. It’s been said before, but the way she phrased it made me feel less guilty about changing my engagement with the news these past two years. Like, I turned off news alerts during covid and don’t follow certain things as minutely as I once did because it was draining. But then I felt guilty about still being aware, but less engaged, and what she says makes me feel better about that. I also whole-heartedly agree with what she says about “self-care” strategies (though I inexplicably hate the term “self-care” and “it’s giving,” which was was also in this interview) except for the “sh-itty” qualifier in front of reality TV. I am a reality TV defender! Sometimes having wine and consuming distracting, light-hearted entertainment can make a world of difference when things are tough in your own life/the world. And I included the part about colorism because I think it’s important that Laura acknowledged it, being that she likely benefited from it. The narrow view does put everyone at a disadvantage and representation matters. And it’s not surprising that she’s been confused with Zendaya — that’s happened to all of us. It kind of sounds like it happened on set or in a professional capacity too, which makes it even worse (but again, that’s happened to all of us).

photos credit: Cover Images, Backgrid and via Instagram/Cosmopolitan

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14 Responses to “Laura Harrier: ‘sometimes self-care is watching sh-tty reality TV’”

  1. K says:

    And on the 8th day God created Hallmark.

  2. Emmi says:

    That all sounds very reasonable. I have a big problem with self-care being something expensive. It doesn’t have to be. Self-care can just be saying no to something. Or deciding that yeah, maybe you should clean your apartment but the world won’t end if you don’t and have some tea/wine with your favorite show instead. To me it’s doing exactly what I want when I want (within reason). I’m an adult and only responsible for myself so I can pretty much do what I dreamt of as a child. Have chocolate for dinner. LOL My life isn’t Instagram ready, that is self-care as well.

  3. Kasia says:

    I agree completely, I suffer from Seasonal Affective Syndrome (self-diagnosed) and Pump rules pulled me through last winter. I’m planning to watch it all over again this winter!

  4. Dandun says:

    my job can be very stressful and when you throw in the kids on top sometimes all my poor brain wants is reality stuff that i dont have to think about! i call it candy floss for the brain time

  5. Snappyfish says:

    @Kasia I suffer the opposite. (Which according to my doctor is a real thing) but I use the same device. Bad TV to pull me out of the summer doldrums. Now that today is the equinox, I’m excited that crisp weather is coming & daylight standard time is closer!!

  6. MeganC says:

    She and Zendaya look nothing alike. It says a lot about people who weren’t able to differentiate them.

    • Denise says:

      Absolutely. That part just stunned me that it’s still happening. I had a teacher do this to me and another student all during freshman year in high school and it became very annoying.

  7. Yup, Me says:

    I do not allow my devices to bleep and bloop at me and I’m teaching my children to meditate and to dedicate time for bio care (take a breath, eat something, drink water, enjoy quiet time, get some rest, move your body (and your bowels), laugh, connect with friends, plug into the Sacred). They are Black boys and I keep telling my husband that being gentle with ourselves and our kids (and others) is the most revolutionary thing we could ever do in this toxic and traumatic society and time.

    • AMA1977 says:

      @Yup, Me, I love this and I think it’s awesome that you are consciously providing your family a tranquil, gentle home life. That makes me smile.

  8. girl_ninja says:

    Laura is a stunner and quite talented ta boot. I feel as though she doesn’t get enough shout outs and stanning. She and Zendaya are two of the young Black women who are out there hustling and Z gets ALL the love…we should spread it around a bit more.

  9. dlc says:

    She is absolutely stunning. So is Zendaya, but other than being stunning young Black women they do not look alike at all. People are idiots.

  10. AMA1977 says:

    I agree with you Peridot! I’ve given myself the gift of not having to be SO vigilant of news updates since 2020. It’s a work in progress, but I will actually listen to music in the car or at work (as opposed to the previous 4 years solid of nothing but NPR.) I need to set up my news alerts not to send me banner notifications. And I have ALWAYS kept my phone on silent unless one of my kids is out of the house, because I hate the audible notifications.

    I have read much more “junk” than I usually would since the pandemic started, and my TV/movie habits remain firmly in “cooking show/sitcom” territory almost exclusively. I worked hard this year to make healthier choices and lost almost 30 pounds as a result and I’m proud of that and keep up those choices because I feel good. Trying to get through my 40’s by showing myself a little bit of the kindness I extend to others.

    • Dlc says:

      Love this Ama! I turned off most of my notifications, and my leisure activities are reading material that goes down smooth and dumb sitcoms. I am a very good friend, I’m starting to be as supportive of others as I am to myself.

    • Peridot says:

      Glad you’re being kind to yourself and feeling good! And “junk” isn’t junk if it makes you happy!

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