13 Reasons Why Star Tommy Dorfman Believes Self-Love Is a Form of Activism

Photography via instagram.com/thebodyshop

“It is radical to choose a life devoted to practicing more self-love, acceptance and growth. Just existing in that space is activism on a small scale and on a large scale.”

Practicing self-love in a world that actively fights against it is not easy. In fact, according to The Self Love Index — a global report launched by The Body Shop — 34 percent of LGBTQ2+ people in Canada rank in the lowest quartile of self-love. In light of this, The Body Shop is fighting against the discrimination and prejudices the LGBTQ2+ community faces in an effort to spread more self-love. This Pride Month, The Body Shop Canada has partnered with the All Blood is Equal Coalition to stand against discriminatory blood donation bans, calling for gender-neutral screening policies. Visitors can sign the petition in-store at The Body Shop or via the brand’s online Pride Hub. For each signature, the brand will donate $1 to the All Blood is Equal Coalition, up to a maximum donation of $10,000. To support this initiative, actor, writer and activist Tommy Dorfman, most well-known for their role in 13 Reasons Why, has teamed up with The Body Shop to encourage LGBTQ2+ community members to practice self-love in all its forms.

“I view my amplification work as an act of service,” Dorfman says. “Everything you do has an effect on you. Advocacy work, donating time, resources and energy towards people, it in turn builds self-love. It all cycles back.” Ahead, we caught up with Tommy Dorfman to chat all things self-love.

On partnering with The Body Shop

“I think inherently we’re aligned with our vision for a better world, in using our platforms to inspire others and foster growth and provide educational resources. I’m really inspired by the work that they do within marginalized communities and trying to practice sustainable beauty standards — being qualified as a B Corp is not an easy task.”

On understanding self-love

“As a kid, I think a lot of us practice self-exploration and self-love, if we’re fortunate enough to be in environments that allow it. And then puberty hits, we get self-conscious, and we start comparing ourselves to other people. The majority of my life I had a lot of self-hatred, so I’ve devoted most of my 20s to finding new ways to practice self-love and what that means for me. What am I consuming every day? What am I bringing into my life? Who am I spending time with?”

On when they began their self-love journey

“I feel like around 21, a combination of things hit all at once. It became really clear to me that in order for me to survive on this planet, I needed to make some radical changes. Self-love became not only an intentional practice, but part of many other practices. Spiritual things and very simple things like making my bed, cooking for people, being of service, donating my time and energy to other folks, all that stuff. The phrasing around self-love is a new way to look at things that I’ve been practicing for many years. But I’m grateful for it because it simplifies a lot for me.”

On daily rituals

“Skincare is a big part of my ritual, I find it quite meditative and soothing. It keeps me from immediately being on my phone in the morning or before bed. I pray, I meditate. I pull tarot cards — I’m addicted to tarot. As much as possible, I try to not rush out the door. I give myself at least an hour in the morning to get ready slowly and meditate. I try to listen to what my body needs that day.”

On asking for help

“A big thing that I love doing is asking other people for help and asking for advice, seeking counsel in different ways, and not thinking that I’m an expert on every situation. Simple tools like that bring a little bit of humility into my life, because I exist in a world and an industry that can be the opposite of that. I try to find ways to incorporate that into my work, my life and everything else that I do.”

On self-love as a form of activism

“We live in a world where self-hatred and belittling one another is so accepted and so common, that it is radical to choose a life devoted to practicing more self-love, acceptance and growth. Just existing in that space is activism on a small scale and on a large scale. Call it what you will, but it is an active practice.”

On navigating social media

“I try to be as authentic and truthful as possible. Also I remind myself, it’s not real. It’s very real, and also, it’s not real at all. If I find myself feeling burnt out, anxious or depressed about something that’s going on in the world, I just shut it off. People existed for centuries and centuries and centuries without it.”

On words of advice to their younger self

“Everything is temporary. Every feeling is temporary. Though I think part of the beauty of being young is feeling things so intensely. I wouldn’t really want to change that. It would just be a little nudge, a little reminder.”

To learn more about Tommy Dorfman’s partnership with The Body Shop and the brand’s initiatives, head to the brand’s Pride Hub.

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