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Wellness

Kat Graham’s Fight to Empower Women to Take Control of Their Health

HC had the pleasure of hosting a Q&A session with American actress, artist, dancer, producer and LOLO partner, Kat Graham, to talk about her birth control and self-love journey, and how to empower women all over the world to take control of their health.

Kat recently partnered with Lo Lestrin Fe (LOLO), a birth control brand that offers the lowest dose of estrogen (10 mcg) on the market. She began her journey with LOLO because she wanted to partner with a company interested in empowering women and helping them get the birth control information that they need. She wanted to work with a company that shared her mentality that knowledge is power and who would help empower women to take control of their health, whilst overcoming the stigma that is associated with birth control.

When Kat was growing up, she didn’t really have anybody to talk to about birth control and menstruation. She expressed that all women’s bodies are different and require different things to function, but how nobody would dare participate in these conversations or share their experiences. It is her dream to empower women to get to know their bodies and theirselves, so that we never feel as isolated and alone as she did when she began her journey. There is no reason for women to quietly whisper about their periods or to be afraid to ask a stranger for a tampon when menstruation is one of the most natural and beautiful things that a female’s body can do. It’s about time that we kick the period and birth control stigma to the curb. She wants to share her story to build an army of advocates to erase the stigma that prevents us from talking about our bodies, periods, and birth control. She said, “When did all of this become taboo? We are goddesses!” and that it was about time that we took ownership over our bodies and our health. “This is my body. This is what it is going through, this is what I am going through… It’s so normal!”

We then had a chance to ask Kat some more specific questions about her journey with birth control, self-care, life advice for young women entering the busy working world (Note – While Kat’s messages are being carried across, these are not necessarily her exact words).

What advice do you have for someone who is nervous about starting birth control for the first time?

K – First of all, you are not alone. What you need to figure out is what exactly is making you feel nervous. Are you worried about what other people will think? Well, they don’t matter. It’s time to move forward and put you and your health first. You’ll never get where you want to if you’re only doing what makes you feel comfortable. If you want to get to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, then you’re going to have to ride the rainbow all the way through the uncomfortable moments. Speak with your gynecologist about what birth control options are available to you and find something that works for YOU! I’m not a doctor and you definitely need to talk with your gynecologist about the possible side effects of the different types of birth control. Don’t just jump on LOLO because Kat said so! Speak to your doctor before starting any birth control to see if it is right for you.

What would you tell your 20 year old self?

K – STAY OFF WEBMD! But in all seriousness, just keep going. You’ll get there!

What is the best piece of advice that you’ve been given from an inspirational woman in your life?

K – I feel like I’m always talking about her, but I’d have to chose something from my acting coach. I’ve worked with her for years, and she was with me through all of my years on the Vampire Diaries. She once told me to use the difficult moments in your life as fuel.

How do you keep yourself on schedule to take your birth control as a busy actress?

K – I have an alarm set for 8:58 every morning. I stop whatever I am doing and take a beat and put my body first. It serves as a great reminder to take 30 seconds out of my day and set intentions for my body and for my life. Don’t get me wrong, I use to find it to be such an annoyance! But now, I see it as me giving myself permission to just stop and take a moment to prioritize myself. Now it is a part of my morning routine. I think it’s especially important for you students to find something that works for you. Take a minute from your crazy schedules and from studying to breathe and check in with yourselves. Find something that works for you. This is just what I like to do, but obviously, if you have something else, go for it!

How do you manage to balance self-care with your busy lifestyle as an actor?

K – I’ve learned how to listen. I’ve stopped rushing myself. Things are going to happen the way that they are going to happen. I try to stay present and grateful in everything that I do, even the bad stuff. I started giving myself permission to take a beat, put the phone away and go enjoy nature. I started checking in with myself and asking “how am I doing?” I think it was through me starting to listen to myself and others that I was able to start making soulful connections. You guys need to learn how to show up for yourself, always, always, always! There is so much pressure to be a certain way, especially with social media, and so much out there trying to make you question yourself. Once you start accepting yourself for who you are, and find reverence in it, you will feel so much more happy and at peace.

While it was an honour to meet a celebrity that I have looked up to for years, this opportunity to discuss such important topics proved to mean so much more to me. It was incredibly inspirational to hear how this successful woman took control over her life and how she has taken action to help other younger woman regain their own control. Yes, this conversation started off as a discussion about birth control and LOLO, but it evolved to include the importance of putting your body and your health first. Whether that involves trying LOLO or simply talking to your doctor about other birth control options, Kat helped shed light on the importance of finding what works for YOU! It’s about time that we fight against the stigma that surrounds women’s health, bodies, and menstrual cycles. Our bodies are amazing things that need to be cared for! This opportunity has encouraged me to put myself first and start these conversations with my own friends so that we can all move forward to love and care for our bodies, and I hope that you can do the same!

Fourth year Nursing student at uOttawa, who spends way too much time at Starbucks and finding excuses to go for walks.
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