Munroe Bergdorf is a force to be reckoned with. The 33-year-old, who has been campaigning for marginalised voices for years is one of the UK’s most progressive activists, which is exactly why we recently nominated her one of GLAMOUR’s Women of the Year for her incredible efforts.
She is also a UN Women UK Changemaker and sits on the Diversity and Inclusion Board of L’Oréal Paris, working to ensure that Black, trans and queer voices are represented.
Through her activism, Munroe has become one of the most powerful voices, continuously standing up for diversity, feminism, the queer community and transgender visibility, which is why we’re seriously here for her latest interview on Josh Smith’s Make It Reign podcast.
The activist speaks candidly about her relationship with social media, Khloe Kardashian’s retouching controversy and her hopes for a stint on Strictly Come Dancing.
Munroe on re-negotiating her relationship with social media and quitting Twitter
“I wasn’t setting boundaries for myself and I was doing things that I felt I had to do, like have a Twitter account. I had a lot of people on my Twitter account, but it’s not a reason to have a platform that’s causing you harm and I just didn’t feel like there was the safeguarding on Twitter for me to expose myself to unrelenting harm… You can’t just allow everybody access to you and think that you’re gonna be fine, especially when I’m in a position where it’s quite easy to cause me harm. If you wanted to send me a message that would harm me, then it would get to me.”
Munroe on Khloe Kardashian retouching controversy
“People need to renegotiate how they speak about other people. I think that we’ve gotten so numb and un-empathetic on social media and I’ve been seeing a lot about, Khloe Kardashian and that unfiltered picture of her body being posted and everyone going for her. If you want to go for the concept of filters, then go for the companies that create the filters, go for the concept of the filter. Don’t go for the person that’s obviously experienced trauma to the point where they feel they need to do that. Don’t just bully that person. We’ve gone to the point where we’re not thinking about the source, we’re thinking about the symptom and then we’re blaming the symptom, but we’re not going for the source.
“It’s dehumanising, it’s anti-feminist, it’s anti-human to degrade someone to the point where they feel that the only way that they can exist is if they put a perfect version of themselves forward and I’m not going to start chastising somebody because they feel that they need to use a filter or they feel that they need to recharge.
“Everybody is insecure. We’ve just started to live in a world where we’re having these conversations. But if you’re, 30 years old and you’ve been navigating the media for the past 10 years, you know how Britney Spears was treated, how Paris Hilton was treated, how Lindsey Lohan was treated, like misogyny on heat and now we’re criticising people for their trauma, because they feel they need to put on a filter, like calm down… We think that we’re liberating women by chastising a woman’s choice to present her body in whatever way we want, but that’s not liberation because we’re stopping that woman from doing whatever she wants to her body.
“I really feel like if people went after governments, corrupt businesses, corporations and systems like they do the Kardashians or the person of the week to destroy, then we’d be getting a lot further down the line towards equality.”
Munroe on her ‘five year’ plan to appear on Strictly Come Dancing
“Strictly is really the only one, I’ve got a desire to do it but down the line a good few years. I want to get everything done I want to achieve first, and then I can start doing the game shows. I’m a Virgo so I have a five year plan. (Representation) is really important but I kind of feel like once you’re part of a game show or reality TV show, the general public starts shaping your narrative in a way that is much more difficult for you to shape. I don’t necessarily want to become public property in that way just yet. I’d much rather focus on carving out my career on my terms and putting out what I want to put out rather than being part of a game show where people literally vote for me to stay.”
Munroe on sexuality and labels
“I used to think that I had to really define my sexuality as pansexual or bisexual or gay and it just feels really restrictive for me. Ultimately is actually no one else’s business. I like who I like and I find all kinds of people attractive. If I’m sleeping with you then, you know, but otherwise it’s got nothing to do with you really!”