Fresh from creating a zine together, all about redefining how we see ourselves, Georgina Johnson, founder of emerging womenswear label, Laundry Service, and New York based photographer, Tyler Mitchell, present you with this guide to self-acceptance...
A lot of how we see ourselves is wrapped up in experience. We can base a lot of our character, or what we feel defines us on what we've seen, dealt with, overcome, and been said to us. It's easy to get stuck thinking about how you're seen in the world, particularly in our generation. We're either fighting to be considered different or we're running away from the things that make us different, often we forget to just pause and just be. So how often do you really see yourself? And what would your life look like if you decided not to struggle under the weight of past experiences and simply challenge yourself daily. I think in order to grow you need to see your vulnerabilities. It's about learning how to be you on your own with the foundation of your personal experience. Exploring this idea further, here's our guide to self acceptance.
1. Identify what it is about yourself that you want to refine and grow…
Georgina Johnson: This will be your story. You're never going to be one set person your whole life. Be accountable, have people around you that can tell you about yourself so you can fix up. Growth isn't always exciting. Growing pains!
Tyler Mitchell: I've noticed how scared everybody is right now. We're in a time of political fear and of personal fear. So I think alone time is really crucial to looking at yourself and being real about what you want to see change and happen in your life.
2. Learn to accept that you are enough…
Georgina: Though you need to grow, never question your worth. Don't let people allow you to question your worth either.
Tyler: You just simply have to love yourself to get anything done.
3. Don't settle for less….
Georgina: Just don't.
Tyler: I honestly think that when I started saying crazier and more ambitious stuff I embodied it too. Rather than questioning, I saw what I wanted and said I'd like to go get that. It takes a lot to muster up this courage but once you have it you stop settling for less.
4. Work with and be around people that you can empower, and that empower you…
Georgina: In my eyes art and life should be about community. It's important to leave your mark of course, but it's equally, if not more, important to ensure others are equipped to do so too.
Tyler: If you don't have honest friends who will push you forward and support you, then you're done for. That's when you stop being yourself because nobody is there to give you feedback. Go find some friends that care.
5. Don't confuse who you are with what you're doing right now or have done…
Georgina: Don't limit yourself. When your current situation doesn't embody what you envisioned just you say to yourself, "I was in that place, I did or am having that experience or yeah that hurt me" but forgive yourself, be more forgiving of yourself. You're the only person holding you back.
Tyler: The word potential is key. Everyone has it.
6. Look at where you're seeking validation and ask yourself why this is…
Georgina: When expectations are high, it's hard. I try and remember that none of this defines me and that I'm doing this because I want to. Try to lift the anxiety off your work or your life. You'll enjoy it more.
Tyler: Why are you caring about what others think at all? It's important to know the things that make you feel good about yourself but it's not alright to depend on them to keep you going.
7. Take a risk. Call that place that has a job you want. Create the job you want. Be bold...
Georgina: I literally live by "you don't ask, you don't get". It's so important to step out of your comfort zone. You'll never know who you could be if you don't. It's also really important to create the spaces you want to see in the world. Simply so you can endorse the folks you want, make the work you want, and be your authentic self in a space your comfortable in.
Tyler: The more you can do this; the more you can actually see new sides of yourself. If you stay stuck in the same routine of doing similar things for too long, your view of yourself will close inwards.
8. Don't think about problems too much. Think about solutions…
Georgina: This can be easier said than done. So I think in order to do this effectively, write down the problem and go from there. Writing gives you a clear headspace. This can be for any situation. Problems easily cause anxiety, so take care of your mental health by giving your mind the room to access and physically see what's rummaging around your head.
Tyler: I'm an over thinker so maybe this is just secret advice to myself. But I really think the moment you stop getting so hung up thinking about the problems that are stopping you from achieving something, or loving someone, or loving yourself, everything gets better.
9. Your body is a vessel. Take care of it!
Georgina: This is like 10 fold. There's so many ways to take care of yourself. You'll know, when you spend time with yourself, what balances you.
Tyler: We're all colours, sizes and shapes, but we're only going to lose a ton of energy hating whatever form we're existing in. It's much more exciting to view the body as a vessel for all the positivity and things you want to contribute to the world.
10. Don't be so strategic and calculated. Enjoy spontaneity…
Georgina: It's so important to be spontaneous. Spontaneous people adapt, they are risk takers, they are quick on their feet, they are problem solvers, they change things because they don't settle for how things are. It's important to be balanced but have a massive dose of spontaneity in your life. It comes in so many forms for different people. Go on try some scotch bonnet, call that girl, work with that photographer, take that trip. You'll find yourself; you'll change your world.
Tyler: I think if you don't enjoy spontaneous and new things, then there's a lot you don't enjoy about yourself. This project with Laundry Service was entirely spontaneous in the way that we found each other online and made a collaborative project thousands of miles away from Georgina's home.
The limited edition, Laundry Service x Tyler Mitchell Zine is currently available to order here. Get yours.
Text Tyler Mitchell and Georgina Johnson
Photography Tyler Mitchell