• Friday, Jul 10, 2020
  • Last Update : 04:49 pm

‘I think the issue with mental health in this subcontinent is largely neglected and not taken seriously enough -- and this should change’

  • Published at 06:47 pm June 30th, 2020

In a very light-hearted interview with social media personality and online content creator, Kaarina Kaisar, about her experience as a Dove ambassador, she revealed that the self-esteem campaign has helped her reach out and teach many people about the importance of mental health and body positivity.

This time, in a candid conversation with the Dhaka tribune, she has given an insight into how she is spending her time during the quarantine and making sure she stays productive.  

How are you dealing with the quarantine? How is life different for you now?

When the quarantine first started, it was a huge difference in lifestyle for me, as my line of work requires different things and scenarios every day. From being used to such a routine, and all of a sudden being stuck at home came as a shock. I have the need to be around people all the time. In the beginning, we assumed it would be a one-week paid leave, but little did we know the situation would end up being like this. I have been on my bed for way too long these few months. Now, my team and I are just dying to go back to work and have our regular lives back. So, dealing with that was hard at first but in my line of work, I did have to step out of my house and shoot videos from time to time, and I did take precautionary measures before heading out.

Did Covid-19 have an impact on your work?

Well, yes it actually did have a big impact on my work. Ever since the quarantine began, we have all been trying to create more video content -- so I’d say quantity-wise, we have done better, but I feel the quality has deteriorated a bit, as we were making videos with our smartphones and I don’t think it has the same impact on the video as a proper professional camera would have. I also had the time to brush up my editing skills. That’s when I fell in love with the app TikTok and its editing features. Was never a fan of that app before, and now I know why people have become so crazy about it.

How do you commit yourself to create more positive content, especially when there are so many impactful things currently on the internet?

At first, I’d like to address the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement and I think it’s a great thing that it’s taking place. But we have to focus on other issues as well that’s taking place right here in Bangladesh, and bring those social issues upfront as well. I feel social media influencers have a role to play here. In my case, I think my contents are based on positivity and we try to make these videos as light and fun as possible and also, I got to be a part of that Dove self-esteem campaign which promotes body positivity and maintaining proper mental health at home -- which I hope, will bring at least some positivity in peoples’ lives.

We all know you are close to your family; do you think the lockdown situation helps create a stronger bond in general?

Imagine you really love chocolates and having it every single day, it won’t be long before you get tired of it! I am lucky to have parents who we are totally in-sync with me and with whom I can really enjoy my time. But I wouldn’t call it a fairy tale scenario, we had our fair share of getting on each other’s nerves! In all seriousness, I really do appreciate the time I am getting to spend with them.

There are many parents who believe in what we call ‘fake news’ circulating all over social media regarding the virus. How do you think we can educate our older audience to follow authentic news sources?

It’s simple, people over 40 should be banned from using WhatsApp! I had my mother forwarding me some of the most absurd things she found on the internet lately. Well, if I am being serious what I do is, I gather authentic news from very credible sources and then share those with my parents. Even then sometimes I find it difficult to convince them something. My father usually discusses things with me which I feel is a healthy way to learn new things for both parties. 

What does it mean for you to be a Dove ambassador?

It was a dream come true for me when Dove approached me -- I was very honoured and overwhelmed as Dove is a brand I was very familiar with from a young age. This campaign wasn’t about anything superficial at all, it was a very well thought-out campaign where we were all trained and educated about the contents and the issues we were focusing on in this campaign. None of us is immune to body shaming or bullying-- even Aishwarya Rai isn’t spared! This is something I proudly overcame. This campaign’s topic was very personal for me, and in turn educating people on this topic was an honour. We even attended an online class with Dr Phillipa, where we learned about how having a low self-esteem can have a number of adverse effects on someone, mentally. I think the issue with mental health in this subcontinent is largely neglected and not taken seriously enough -- and this should change.

What is that one thing that you miss the most from a regular life?

I miss the fuchka from next to the Banani 11 bridge, I used to go there regularly with friends. I’m a foodie and I am proud of it! There was this one time I went to all the branches of a fast-food chain to find this specific burger that was nowhere to be found at that time -- with seven people crammed in my car -- it was a fun incident. So many of my memories revolve around food and I miss that the most.

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