Model, actress, musician and certified life coach Nazanin Mandi is all about promoting the message of “loving the skin you’re in.” As an outspoken proponent of talking all things mental-wellness, she openly discusses her story of overcoming body dysmorphia and an eating disorder any chance she gets. Most recently, Nazanin can be seen as the leading role in The Last Conception, in addition to starring in the Lena Waithe series, Twenties, on BET. We recently caught up with the 34-year-old via phone from her home in Los Angeles, where she shared some “staying centered” insight, beauty secrets and a little behind-the-scenes intel from the much-buzzed-about Savage x Fenty show.
What is wellness to you?
To me, personally, wellness is mind, body, and soul. It is not only about the products you use and what you put on your face, but it’s also about the things that you feed your mind, and what you feed your body. For me, it’s just an all-around entity.
Have you changed what you’re doing wellness-wise during COVID?
Yes, absolutely. My lifestyle before COVID was nonstop. It was go-go-go and rest when you can. Quarantine and COVID has forced all of us to slow down and be even more introspective. When I’m feeling stressed, I remember, “This is not the end of the world, there are bigger things happening. Slow down and take everything one step at a time.”
You’ve been entrenched in the world of modeling since you were 10; any favorite beauty products you’ve used forever?
I’ve always been into really classic products as far as skin care goes. I’m Mexican and Persian, and growing up, my mother always applied Vaseline to my eyelashes to help them stay strong and grow—it works and I still do it to this day. I think it might be a cultural thing; I know other Mexicans growing up used to do the same thing. It’s just one of those little family secrets that we do.
And, you recently walked in the Savage x Fenty show; care to share some behind-the-set secrets?
In prepping for it, I was working out more and just being a little stricter with my diet. In general, I eat pretty healthy, but, at least two weeks before the show, I was really, really strict with what I ate. Then, on-set, they did little tricks that most of us know—but I was in full latex! When you wear latex, you have to add baby powder to even get it on. So, there was a lot of baby powder going on. They also made some really cool petal lashes for me, which were so unique and so fun.
In terms of social media, you’ve been pretty active and you get a lot of comments when you post photos of yourself; anything you love or hate about it?
I really enjoy social media for the most part. There’s always going to be trolls, there’s always going to be haters—it’s stuff that comes with the territory. It is what it is. I enjoy sharing parts of my life and I enjoy being very honest with my struggle. It all comes down to how you use social media and how you carry yourself.
You have also been outspoken with your own experiences with body dysmorphia. Do you think that conversation is improving?
I feel like the more that we talk about it, the more it will slowly become easier. On social media, more and more people are becoming more open with their struggles, which is great. A downfall of social media is that everything looks roses and perfect, and it’s not. The more we normalize these conversations, the more and more people will jump in. I’m seeing that more often now.
You just had your first leading role in a film. What’s next for you as the year comes to a close?
Yes, thank you. That was an amazing experience for me, and I just booked a new show that will get going in 2021. I can’t say what it is yet because it hasn’t been announced, but it’s a really fun role and I’m super excited about it. Currently, I’m taking acting classes and I’m auditioning a lot. Before it was really dark because of COVID, but now we’re picking up. I have a feeling something else will come to fruition, so I’m concentrating on staying focused and working hard right now.
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