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These Girls Interview: Bernak Kharabi About Growth

The wonderful These Girls talked with The Devi founder and F-TALK host Bernak Kharabi about growth. Read here the full interview:

WHY BERNAK IS OUR GIRL? Gosh, we love the internet. It’s so easy to befriend amazing humans around the world without being in the same city or getting introduced by someone. It’s all up to you to make beautiful connections. You just DM someone you feel connected to or someone who is fighting for the same purpose. Both were the case when it comes to beautiful Bernak. We instantly felt that this girl is someone special. By now we have met her in real life and were blessed to have her at our first Femme Fatale Event as an inspirational speaker. The best thing about her? She is honest to the bone, funny and has a huge heart. Here she speaks about her passion projects and personal journey.

1. Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Bernak, and I'm living and working in Berlin. Last year I launched the media site "The Devi", which is publishing educating and entertaining content targeted predominantly towards young women. We also host events here in Berlin, and in October I started a podcast called "F-TALK". Next to my own babies, I also recently started to work at the business side of VICE Media Group.

2. How did you come up with your idea of founding The Devi?

Until autumn 2018 I was working at a place that wasn't really the best for my mental well-being. The workload wasn't even the issue, it was moreover a rather toxic work environment. So, I decided to quit. During that time, I realized that sexism, mental health and career are still huge issues for women, and I felt this inner urge to empower others along with myself. And then, I came up with The Devi. Most people around me were very supportive because they saw how I was growing and in which way The Devi was something that was not only good for me, but also for others.  

3. With your blog as well as your podcast you feature amazing topics that speak to women. What is your vision for The Devi and F-TALK?

It's so easy to talk about self-love, about personal growth or professional growth, but to truly include these topics in your life is damn hard. I'm constantly trying to learn, and grow (but believe me, I also got those "fuck it" days, I'm human in the end). I use self-help books, podcasts, my therapy or get inspired through the people in my life. The Devi and F-TALK should be tools for women like me to become better versions of themselves in an authentic and modern way.  

4. In your opinion what does true and real empowerment look like?

"Live and let live" has a lot to do with it. Empowerment means giving power to others, but it's firstly important not to force your opinion on others and accept other choices and secondly not to forget to empower yourself along the way. Self-love should be your first love.

5. Growth and evolvement are almost always connect to change. How do you react if negative or toxic voices rise up because of someones own personal development?

What's fascinating when you start to grow as a person, you will quite quickly see who is on the same path in life and empowers you, and then you will see who is far away from that and feels threatened. trying to bring you down through negativity. Change isn't always the best for everyone. It can even be quite hard for oneself, but in the long run, it's definitely the best way to go in life.  

6. Growth and evolvement also almost come together with making a decision. What would your advice be for all who 1. have a hard time with making decisions, and 2. how to make the right decision?

We all seek validation from the outside. And I don't mean only through our looks, I mean getting any sort of approval of others. Friends, family, co-workers. But whatever you decide to do in your life, you have to be happy with it. I struggle with this up until today. It's daily work to realize that if I like what I do and I'm confident with this decision, then it's the right one. There will always be people who love how you decide, and there will always be people who don't. It's important to visualize every decision and try to think about the feeling you would have with that certain decision. If it feels right, then go for it.  

7. Personal Growth is becoming more and more important. What do you think about it?

Personal growth is very important, BUT it's also ok to just chill. We cannot all be always super woke and on top of everything. We make mistakes, we're sometimes lazy, and all of it is also okay. In order to become a happier and healthier person, it's though essential to learn and grow. And this includes all fields of life. Mentally, emotionally and professionally. Personal growth has a lot to do with independence. And that's definitely something more women should seek (if they want to).  

8. You were born in Iran and grew up in Germany. Looking back at your personal development: how would you describe it?

When I was 4-5 months old, my parents had to leave Iran and so I grew up in Western Germany. Looking back I didn't really understand certain things. Self-love for example. That was something which wasn't taking a big part in my life. Not only while dealing with all sorts of struggles around me, but also in terms of being the only Middle Eastern girl in my elementary school. Seeing how everyone wanted to play with Barbie (including me), and how being skinny, tall, blonde and white was glorified and taken as the standard of beauty, affected my self-esteem. It's pretty hard for children to grow up and not to see any role model they can look up to (especially in the media). All of this changed when I moved to London and Berlin, and also got out of my teenager's insecurities, but up until this day, it's still something that needs to change around the world. Because representation matters and diversity & inclusion are more than important.

9. Keyword toxic people: We read a lot about how we should just let go of toxic people in our lives. In real life, it sometimes looks and feels