WHAT'S REAL WITH PARVANE BARRET
What’s your favourite color?
My favourite colour is pink & black.
What’s your favourite ‘go-to’ recipe?
My go-to recipe has to be this little Mexican style dish that consists of lime-cilantro rice, grilled chicken marinated in garlic and all types of different spices (Cayenne pepper, Paprika etc), a bean relish, guacamole and sour cream.
What self-care habits do you intertwine into your daily routine?
I try to take deep breaths whenever I can, while I’m working especially. I tend to get pretty stressed out when overloaded so I try my best to calm down that way.
What's your favourite book and what book had the largest impact on you?
To be entirely honest with you, I really don’t read books lol. I should get to it.
Who can you talk to when you need to get something off your chest?
To my friends, my boyfriend, my family. I really cherish these conversations, keeping things within is something I physically can’t do; I have to talk about it, maybe cry a little bit. I find it super efficient to do so, as I instantly feel better about anything. I do understand that for some it is harder to share what they are going through, yet for me it's like my body is programmed to do this, a mechanism that’s inside of me to make me feel better.
Where’s your safe place?
My room, or a friends house. Where we can talk about anything, share anything, eat, laugh or cry.
Have you ever dealt with anxiety? If so, what triggers it and how do you calm your mind?
Yes, of course. I think I developed having anxiety and a stronger level of stress around 18 years of age. For awhile, I couldn’t really get over it, it was very hard for me to remain calm, and to understand what was happening. My mind kept telling me things. I was scared to feel/experience it in public and I’d feel so sick about it. I was always sick by how overwhelmed I was, I’d vomit most of the time. It was a time that I am glad I overcame, and I feel quite proud of myself for that. What triggers my anxiety is reliving these times in my head and the reason why that all happened. What I learnt is to actually let myself feel whatever I’m feeling, because fighting it isn’t going to lead me anywhere. Although it can be hard at times, that is what I try to do. I do get anxiety while working, if it's too much like tight deadlines etc. Again, I try to look at the situation and analyze what is exactly making me anxious. I try to single out everything, like laying every single details on the table and trying to figure out a solution or a way to calm down for each thing.
Have you or someone you love ever been in a dark place? If so, what were the steps taken to get out?
Yes. Honestly, communication and letting each other know how you feel is the most important thing. Not speaking about how you are feeling to one another is possibly the most terrible thing you can do and can lead to many dead ends. It’s also important to be there for each other and even if you might not understand what one is feeling, it’s always the right thing to let each other know that you are here and ready to talk or do anything that might make the situation better to cope with.
Do you think social media affects your mental health or has any other negative impacts on you? If so, how do you best deal with it?
For sure. There was time not too long ago, I believe around 2 years ago where there was a huge change in the algorithm and my posts weren’t really getting the visibility or the engagement. It really put me down, and my followers were decreasing as well. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough, but at the same time I felt like I was doing too much. I became so involved in the numbers and just giving so much attention to something that is actually so small compared to whatever else I was going through then. I really became so obsessed with the ideology of followers and social media growth. Everything I was doing, posting, creating, was purely for the numbers and not at all as a platform to showcase my creativity and what I could do with it. I eventually realized that what I was feeling was felt by many other people in the industry and there was just nothing else we could do about it. It made me upset that I got so consumed in it. I had always told myself to never do so, and I found it rather ridiculous that one could be that upset with losing followers and not getting a certain amount of likes on a photo. I decided to ignore it, and to understand that there is something a lot bigger that a follower count: to embrace social media as a space for creatives to come together and show what they can do. I wanted to post & create whatever I wanted to for me only, not for others and to forget about likes. Because none of that really matters.
What’s the biggest change you can identify within yourself in the past year?
I’ve gotten a lot better at standing up for myself and showing people that I can’t really be played with. When I was younger, I would usually let people step all over me a little bit, without really understanding what was happening. There’s some people that can see you have ‘weaker’ personality, so you are instantly an easier target to them. I was really prone to these people in the past, yet there was a sudden change where I don’t really let it slide anymore.
What changes do you want to see within yourself in the coming year?
I definitely want to be a lot less indecisive and just do whatever my gut tells me to do. It could be from a big work decision to picking an outfit or a meal. I always change my mind haha. Also, I would love to be more on top of things, and work on things earlier than deadlines rather than rushing it at the last minute. The result is still great yet I do feel bad about it.
What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
I wish I could tell her to stop giving so much attention about how bad her skin looked, and to understand that it's ok to have imperfections!
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt?
I’ve learnt to always keep my circle small and understanding that you don’t need to have that many friends to have fun.
If you could change one thing within society, what would that be?
Classism. As cheesy as it may sound, I just wish we could come together and understand each other’s struggles, together. No classes, no rich or poor. Racial discrimination. Just a better place to live in.