Tommy Dorfman Is a "Leading Light" in The Body Shop's Self-Love Campaign
The Body Shop has enlisted actor, writer and advocate Tommy Dorfman as a beacon of self-love for the brand's Pride 2021 campaign.
by : Nancy Pierri- Jun 15th, 2021
In a new global initiative, The Body Shop aims to create positive change in the world by encouraging the LGBTQIA2S+ community to focus on self-love.
In spreading one million acts of self-love, the beauty brand will rely on advocate, writer and actor Tommy Dorfman –Dorfman starred as Ryan Shaver in the hit Netflix series 13 Reasons Why– to be a “Leading Light”of this year-long campaign, overseeing initiatives on a local level. Together, they are speaking up, sharing ways to become a better ally and amplifying voices in the LGBTQIA2S+ community.
We caught up with Dorfman to discuss all things self-love, what Pride means to her, and her advice for anyone struggling on their own journey to self-acceptance and love.
Can you tell us about yourself and your involvement with The Body Shop for Pride 2021?
“I’m an actor, a writer, a photographer and a storyteller, but most importantly, I’m an advocate for the LGBTQIA2S+ community. I started working with The Body Shop at the beginning of this year and partnered with the brand for a 12-month campaign focused on shedding a light on positivity and self-love. It’s obviously important to focus on Pride throughout June, but it’s great to be working with The Body Shop year-round as we’re now given the opportunity to bring LGBTQIA2S+ experiences to light past this month.”
The Body Shop has been a longtime supporter of the LGBTQIA2S+ community. Which of the brand’s values resonate with you most?
“When working with a brand, it’s important to me that they focus on integrity in all facets of what they do. Whether this means practising sustainability as much as possible, not testing on animals, having inclusive product lines, or moving towards all vegan products. These are all key pillars of any type of brand I would want to work with, including The Body Shop.”
What does self-love mean to you? How do you express it every day?
“Honestly, it varies day-to-day. Right now, I’m allowing myself a couple of days to relax and do nothing. Part of my self-love journey is learning to release control, not overbook myself, and sometimes saying ‘no’ when I need some me time. But then there are other days where part of my self-love journey is working really hard, or making sure I accomplish as much as possible in order to fulfill my spiritual and professional growth. This year, I’ve focused on being in a more zen and meditative state of self-love which has been great as my norm is usually crazy busy.”
Throughout your journey to self-love, are there times where you experience doubt? If so, how do you work past them?
“For me, self-love is a daily reprieve. I’m not going to wake up one day feeling an eternal amount of self-love–there’s no magical cure. I’m my own worst critic and my own worst enemy in so many ways and a lot of the work I do every day to practice self-love is combat those natural instincts of self-confusion and self-hatred. I cannot even begin to count the number of experiences I’ve had throughout my childhood or even my teen years that were filled with fear, doubt and frustration. That’s why I chose to dedicate my twenties to my wellness, my health and ultimately, self-love. I’m taking the softness that I found throughout those years and letting it guide me every day on this journey.”
What’s your ultimate feel-good advice for someone who is struggling with self-love and self- acceptance? What would be a good place to start?
“Asking for help is probably the most important thing anyone can do. You can also ask people about their own experiences, read articles that inspire you to read other articles, go to the library, reach out to family and friends, find people on the internet that you admire, or people who are practising their own version of self-love. It’s all about reaching out and learning from other people’s experiences. It took a long time for me to be comfortable asking for help, it felt like a weak thing to do when in fact, it’s probably the strongest thing you can do.”
What are some of your self-love habits you think everyone should adopt?
“Make your bed every morning! I love showing up for myself so early in the day and it may seem silly, yet it’s so meaningful. I think it’s important to find some sort of ritual that works for you and works with your everyday schedule. I like to read a section of a book, pull some tarot cards and pray. I was also going on a lot of walks during the first six months of the pandemic. I would go at the same time every day while, following the same route—it became therapeutic.”
You’ve been vocal about the lack of LGBTQIA2S+ representation in the media. What efforts need to be made to change this?
“I’m definitely seeing much more representation now than there was a few years ago, and it’s amazing to see that growth. Now’s the time to diversify the stories being told about the LGBTQIA2S+ community. A lot of people think it’s enough to check the box and move on, but what does it mean to tell stories outside of the coming out story, or outside of an identity story? Those are the things I think we can work on to expand the forms of representation we see.”
What does Pride mean to you and how does it honour and recognize your involvement within the LGBTQIA2S+ community?
“It’s obviously amazing to have global support during Pride Month, but as a queer person, you are constantly challenging the world you live in and the spaces you take up. Pride is a year-long effort that simply kicks off in June. We need to stay authentic, truthful, and radically honest. While we can celebrate the progress of our community, we must also recognize that there are still a lot of very serious attacks against transgender and queer people around the world. Pride Month is a reminder to continue fighting, be an advocate and challenge the current state of affairs. We must take this time to find ways in which allies or members of the community can show up every single day and fight for safety and equality.”
How does self-love allow one to better cultivate relationships with others?
“I like to think of it as if you were on an airplane. You have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before you can help anyone. If you’re not feeling well, how are you supposed to be of service to someone else? Oftentimes I need to check in to make sure I’m okay before I go out into the world and try to provide support to other people.”
Finally, what are three of your Body Shop staples?
“I swear by their Brow and Lash Gel, it’s perfect for those natural, no-makeup days. I also love their Shea Body Butter for those days when I need an extra boost of hydration. And my favourite product is the Tea Tree Targeted Gel– you must try it. Those three are definitely my everyday Body Shop faves.”
In Canada, The Body Shop supports the All Blood is Equal Coalition to end the discriminatory blood donation ban that some from the LGBTQ2+ community face. In Canada, each year thousands of willing blood donors are turned away because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Prospective donors who are gay, bisexual, two-spirit, queer men and trans women face an arbitrary, discriminatory 3-month period of abstinence before they can donate blood. As of June 3rd, The Body Shop Canada is encouraging consumers to visit its Pride Hub online and sign the All Blood is Equal Coalition petition, or visit its stores across Canada to do the same. The Body Shop is matching each signature by donating $1 to the All Blood is Equal Coalition, up to $10,000.
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