As confident and comfortable in her own skin as the actress is now, the journey hasn’t always been easy for Mavournee Hazel. Badly bullied in high school, it took some time to find her crew. “All the things that I felt I had to police and censor myself on when I was younger, I am now celebrated for in my friendship group,” she says.
Mavournee wants you to know that while life at the top may look ‘perfect’, she still faces the same issues and struggles as any other girl – and she’s using her fame as a platform to speak out and break the cycle of bullying. “It’s such a cliche but looking back, the girls that were mean to me, they were victims themselves,” she explains.
Her advice to anyone else who might be experiencing bullying? “Your life is going to change for the better. These people you think are your world when you’re in high school, you’re going to get out of there and be introduced to so many people who are like-minded, who get you, and you’re going to have relationships with friends who are supportive, encouraging, and make you flourish and grow!”
QUESTIONS WITH MAV
What issues do you think are affecting young women?
I feel like it’s been an issue for a while, but I would say social media. I know that it’s not real, but I still get caught up in it. I look at photos and think, “oh she looks amazing”, but I know it probably took 1000 shots to get that shot. Lots of people condemn social media, but there are really amazing, strong women and men out there who have amazing values and messages to spread. If they don’t make you happy, unfollow them – create your own reality and your own experience on these apps.
Worst date you have ever been on?
I am not a dater; my definition of love is very different to what I grew up with and what everyone around me is still doing. I used to think there was something wrong with me or that I was broken because I wasn’t into the dating game, but as I got older I realised there is a whole spectrum. Dating isn’t a massive priority and it never has been. As I am getting older and learning more about love and life, I am still finding my feet. I really don’t know if I have been in love…I don’t know!
I went to an all-girls school; everyone was obsessed with boys and dating. I felt like a part of my brain was missing and it still feels like that. I identify as demisexual, which means you don’t see people in a sexual way and it’s close to being asexual. The one time I think I was in love it was after two years because I knew the person so well, like my best friend. My definition of love is very different of other people’s.
What does self-love mean to you?
Listening to your body, listening to your gut and doing what is best for you and your soul unapologetically. You don’t have to justify or explain your boundaries to anyone or how you decide to treat yourself to anyone. It is you and your body, your soul, spirit and mind. Treat yourself like your own friend, don’t treat yourself how you wouldn’t treat someone else.