Laura Harrier has to be one of the baddest in Hollywood right now!
The newly engaged actress is on the cover of Cosmopolitan’s Mental Health issue (Issue 6). In the cover story, Laura opens up about mental health, her rage about Roe and racism and colorism in Hollywood.
The issue hits newsstands nationwide on October 4. Here’s some of our favorite quotes from the Cosmo story:
The actress also spoke openly about colorism in Hollywood, saying, “Some of the most successful actresses of color tend to be on the lighter side and that’s definitely not okay. There are so many facets to the Black experience. There are so many ways that Black people look, and only having one narrow view is something that I think is ultimately putting everybody at a disadvantage—we’re only shortchanging ourselves when we don’t show a diverse range of stories and a diverse range of people onscreen.”
“I do think it’s something that’s slowly starting to change, but even when we were doing Spider-Man, I would get called ‘Zendaya’ all the time,” Harrier recalled. “People wouldn’t even take the time to differentiate us…. It got to the point where we would joke about it a lot. What else are you going to do but laugh because it’s so completely ridiculous.”
Beyond ridiculous. And disrespectful!
When asked what people would be surprised to learn about Zendaya, Harrier offered up a load of compliments:
“Just how she is a fun, down-to-earth person, despite being stunningly gorgeous and good at everything and stupidly talented and one of those people that you almost want to hate but you can’t because they’re just cool and nice,” Harrier said. “She’s a special person for sure.”
Harrier currently stuns in numerous luxury campaigns, but she told Cosmo that her teenage catalog model days were “not glamorous” at all.
“I was not like the Bellas and Kendalls of the world,” Harrier said, referencing famous faces Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner.
We were also pleased to learn that Harrier isn’t completely consumed with Hollywood, and works hard to create a balance between staying informed and knowing when to turn it all off and mentally escape.
“It’s so important to know what’s happening in the world and to be active and to use your voice for the greater good and for causes that you believe in,” Harrier told Cosmo. “But sometimes doing that can really take a toll. Sometimes I have to not read the news, not check my New York Times app, turn off Instagram because these are really tough times that we’re living in. And it’s easy to get so caught up in the collective anxiety of the world that you can forget that you also need to protect yourself and protect your own wellness. I don’t think that you can make a change and help other people if you’re not taking care of yourself.”
“I’ve learned tools through therapy,” Harrier added, speaking to strategies she turns to for taking care of herself. “I really am a big advocate for therapy and for mental health care, especially in the Black community. That’s something that’s really improved my life and really helped me in significant ways, especially with dealing with my anxiety and panic attacks.”
Harrier also spoke to the noteworthy shift in the Black community toward prioritizing mental health.
“I definitely believe that mental health care should be prioritized just as much as physical health. There’s been such a long history of ignoring mental health problems, of saying, ‘Oh, just suck it up” or “I’m a strong Black woman. That doesn’t happen to me.’ All of these tropes that we’ve been taught over generations, when actually, I think given generational trauma, of course there are a lot of mental health issues within the Black community.”
Harrier added that she doesn’t just save her tears for screentime, but actually values moments of emotional release, like having a big, deep, ugly cry.
“Holding emotion in is not only not good mentally but not good physically. Physical manifestations of stress are very real. I’ve had weird little skin things or backaches and it’s like, Okay, what is the actual root cause of this? Maybe it’s because I’m super stressed or upset and I’m not dealing with it?”
Cosmo dove in deep with the actress and asked about the last time she felt angry.
“I feel very angry about our current political system, about these abortion bans, about this war on women’s bodies. That’s what’s making me really angry. I feel enraged and really scared about the future and other rights that can be rolled back.”
Harrier also addressed why she isn’t concerned about backlash for speaking candidly about hot-button issues saying:
“I would say that I’m not coming at these topics as an actress. I’m coming at these topics as Laura, as a woman of reproductive age who’s affected by Roe v. Wade. I’m affected by Black Lives Matter issues because I’m a Black person in America, because that’s my family, because that’s my little brother walking down the street that I worry about. It’s not because of my job that I care about these issues. It’s because of my humanity that I do. To people who would say that, I would encourage them to look at their own humanity and ask themselves, ‘Why do I not care more?’ I don’t really worry about backlash because if I don’t get a job because I believe that women should have access to abortion, then that’s not a job that I want.”
Yes girl! We love so much about this. You can read the full Laura Harrier Cosmo cover story HERE and issues arrive on newstands October 4th!