- Model and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has stressed the importance of being present in the moment — and putting your phone down.
- She said it’s important to avoid slipping down the Instagram “wormhole” and feel empowered by social media.
- Huntington-Whiteley was speaking at the Bazaar At Work Summit at Sotheby’s in London on Thursday.
Model and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has revealed the advice she’d give to her younger self — and what she had to say was relevant to anyone living in the constantly-connected world of 2017.
The 30-year-old was speaking at the Bazaar At Work Summit at Sotheby’s in London on Thursday, a day of inspirational talks from influential women across business, art, fashion, food, health, and wellbeing.
Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Justine Picardie asked Huntington-Whiteley: “What’s the one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?”
This was her response:
“The biggest lesson that I’ve learned over my life really, is the importance of being present, and being in the moment, and not getting hung up on what happened yesterday, or last week, or last year, and not worrying too much and too far into the future and being anxious about it.
“All you can do is control the moment that we’re in, and I think that applies to everything across the board in life, and I think you can get really caught up worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow, and you can punish yourself for what happened yesterday, and you’re missing the moment.”
She added: “I think any time that you’re going through a challenging time or there’s a struggle, for me the number one thing to remember is to take that time to centre myself and be present in the moment.”
This ethos involves paying attention to how you use your phone and social media, according to Huntington-Whiteley, who stressed the importance of “being able to put it down and engage in actual conversation.”
“Everyone’s quick to take their phone out to get a picture on Instagram, it’s like if it’s not on Instagram it hasn’t happened,” she said. “At a concert you see people watching the concert through their phones and it’s like, ‘Put it down, it’s right there!'”
The event coincided with the launch of the magazine’s Bazaar 150 Visionary Women Power List, which — as a part of the celebrations around Harper’s Bazaar’s 150th birthday — recognises 150 of the most influential female leaders in the UK.
It featured the likes of Huntington-Whiteley, Emma Watson, Victoria Beckham, Amal Clooney, Annie Lennox, Malala Yousafzai, J.K. Rowling, Nicola Sturgeon, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Jessica Ennis-Hill.
Huntington-Whiteley was recognised not only for being a supermodel and actress, but for her lingerie line — and new cosmetics line — with Marks & Spencer, and for her work collaborating on a special-edition design of Caudalie’s iconic Beauty Elixir.
Avoiding the Instagram “wormhole”
She’s active on Instagram herself, and shares behind-the-scenes shots from photoshoots as well as images and videos of new products regularly.
However, she said that she’s very aware of the negative impact social media can have, particuarly with young women following her on the platform.
“If you can see it for what it really is and take it for what it is then it can be a positive thing,” she said.
“I’m a young woman and I obviously spend time on social media, and I can find myself in a wormhole,” she said, adding that sometimes she puts her phone away when she realises: “‘I don’t feel good,’ ‘I don’t feel empowered from spending that half an hour on Instagram.'”
“I hope that [through] social media I can share my life and my work and engage my audience and let them know what I’m up to… I hope it’s inspiring in a way. If it’s a shot of my outfit or talking about a beauty product or sharing a recent cover, it’s letting people know what’s going on.
“But I am aware of the feeling you get on social media — it doesn’t always feel great, and I do think it’s important for young people to take it with a pinch of salt.”
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