“An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times” —wise words once said by the legendary performer/activist, Nina Simone—and that statement couldn’t ring anymore true today. Actress Alisha Boe, is carrying that same torch, by committing her platform to combating cyberbullying and creating digital safe spaces. Cyberbullying is a pressing issue that some 62% of Gen Z (numbers conducted by Persky, courtesy of CO. by Colgate) have experienced it first hand. Boe, the breakout star of the dark teen drama, 13 Reasons Why, has partnered with CO. by Colgate to raise awareness about the effects of cyberbullying as it relates to Gen Z, a topic near and dear to her heart. Along with Boe, CO. By Colgate, the oral beauty brand that believes in a future that is inclusive for everyone, has teamed up with the Cybersmile Foundation—a nonprofit committed to tackling all forms of abuse and bullying in the digital space.
We caught up with the activist-actress, and discussed the state of cyber-bullying as it relates to Gen Z, her best self-care tips (like baking espresso chocolate chip cookies—we need the recipe), her partnership with Co. by Colgate and Cybersmile, and the mantra she says to herself every morning. Keep reading on below:
What is being a part of this amazing initiative, partnered with Colgate and Cybersmile mean to you?
Well, in honor of national bullying month, combating bullying in the online space is something that I’m super passionate about. From simply raising awareness, to creating more of an uplifting experience—it’s a space that means a lot to me. I really love what Co. by Colgate and the Cybersmile Foundation are doing with this and aligning myself with their mission just resonates with me. I want to use my platform as a positive space to raise awareness on how we can all be better online and treat each other with kindness.
How do you center yourself and practice self-care—to cancel out all the constant noise on social media?
I think the first thing that I do when I feel overwhelmed by all the noise—which is very easy nowadays since we are all walking around the world with a computer in our pocket, so globally connected with everything that’s happening—is, just go offline and connect with nature. I love going on mindful walks, playing with my cats at home, reading a good novel, and doing meditation through movements, such as yoga or stretching or any type of exercise. Oh, and sleeping! I love sleeping honestly. Oh, and baking has been like a really fun new pastime as well.
Really? What are you baking?
I just made the best espresso chocolate chip cookies last week, and just started handing them out to everybody. I recently got an espresso machine, and was like, “What can I do with this?” and I just felt really fancy. So, that was my latest creation.
What advice do you have for younger people growing up in the throws of social media, to combat cyberbullying?
My advice would be to remember and just take a step back. Remember that your uniqueness is what makes you beautiful, and to not base your identity on what others may think of you. Having a strong sense of self will really, really push you forward and remind you that all that outside noise does not define who you are! I would also say, to always reach out to your support system and remind yourself that you’re not a burden for talking about your feelings with your loved ones. It can be very alienating when you are a victim of cyber bullying, so as a first step, I always always would practice reaching out to someone that I love immediately and just venting. You are not a burden for sharing your feelings!
Do you have any personal mantras that you us to pull yourself through dark times and throughout the day in general?
I do! It’s more of a recent practice, but I find it absolutely game-changing. It’s very helpful and changes my day, honestly. This kind of changes on how I feel each day, but I’ll say “I surrender myself to myself”. I also say “I am love, I am loved, and I am loved in every sense of the word” and always “I forgive myself”. all of these are kind of what I’ve been using these last couple of months.
“I want to use my platform as a positive space to raise awareness on how we can all be better online and treat each other with kindness”
13 Reasons Why, was such an important and integral show for it’s visibility of teenage mental health and cyberbullying—but I imagine it was a little traumatic for you. How did you mentally de-plug from set?
How I was mentally unplugged from the show is really by just connecting with my cast—I mean, we really took care of each other in between scenes. We were all up in the Bay area together and we would always, you know, have dinners together after work and hang out on like little Napa outings on the weekends etc. But especially on set, we really, we found levity in between really dark scenes, which was really, really helpful. And then of course, I am an avid journaler [laughs]—is that a word? I hope! Anyways, I would avidly write in my journal every morning and every night, just to kind of get all of my thoughts out on the page, and so I can move through my day with a clear mind.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I really hope that my legacy is that, I lead my life with kindness.
CO. by Colgate will donate $1 for every product purchased in 2021 to the Cybersmile Foundation, committing a minimum donation of $200,000.
Alisha will be hosting the CO. Spaces roundtable via IG live on Co. by Colgate, tonight October 28th, 2021 at 6pm. The event will focus on the prevalence and emotional impact cyberbullying has on Gen Z, as well as best practices for addressing cyberbullying and contributing to a more positive experience online.