Scarlett Curtis talks anxiety, chronic pain and her greatest love

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Five Minute Philosopher is a weekly series in which Stylist gets profound with people we love. What will writer and activist Scarlett Curtis make of our existential questions?

What is the meaning of life?

Having the freedom to live the life you choose.

What is the difference between right and wrong?

When you’re right you generally don’t have to shout about it as much as you do when you’re wrong.

Where is your happy place?

Anywhere where I’m feeling mentally OK! I could be in LITERAL paradise but if I was feeling anxious or depressed it would no longer be a happy place.

Nature or nurture?

Nurture; from our families, from our friends, from the way the world around us treats us.

Is it more important to be liked or respected?

I’m trying to be less interested in either. Being liked and respected mean nothing until you like and respect yourself. I spent a lot of my life wanting everyone to like me and think I was nice. When I realised I’m not actually that nice, I started to like myself a lot more!

If you could be remembered for one thing what would it be?

Being a good friend and fighting for the rights of women, both in my own life and across the world.

Who or what is your greatest love?

My mother. She always will be. She and my dad never got married so the other day she promised that if I get to 50 and I’m not married yet, we can marry each other.

When did you last lie?

I apologised for replying to an email late. This was a lie. I hate replying to emails.

Does the supernatural exist?

I’m not sure, but my life is a whole lot funner believing that it does. I grew up without a religion and recently decided to embrace spirituality, astrology and a witchy lifestyle. I don’t know if I believe in any of it but new moon ceremonies, horoscope memes and crystals make me very happy. And I think that might be all that any of this is about.

Are you fatalistic?

I’m far too optimistic but it’s something I would never change. I truly believe everything is probably going to work out in the end.

What is your greatest fear?

The patriarchy.

Animals or babies?

Animals and grown-up babies (aka adults who are good at conversation).

What talent do you yearn for?

The confidence of my father.

Do you like to be complimented?

Not at all. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I like compliments about my hair, that’s about it.

Do you have a high pain threshold?

I lived in pain for five years, so unfortunately yes. Incredibly high. It’s a fun party trick but also means I accept a lot of pain without realising how much I’m hurting.

What book do you recommend most to others?

Three Guineas by Virginia Woolf, or Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince.

Cover of Three Guineas by Virginia Wolf
Scarlett Loves Virginia Woolf's Three Guineas and lives a 'witchy lifestyle'

Which lesson has been the hardest to learn?

I don’t have the time to do everything I want to do in a day. That I can’t work as much as I want to.

What food sums up happiness?

Marmite in any form.

What have you never understood?

The patriarchy.

What is the one thing you want to know before you die?

That women are equal now.

Are you scared of dying or what happens when you die?

Not at all. Due to various mental and physical illness I thought I would be dead by 18, so all of this extra life is pretty exciting.

Quinoa or Quavers?

Everyone can pronounce Quavers and no one can pronounce quinoa and there’s a reason for that. Quavers.

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CLAUDIA SAYS: Scarlett is smart, funny, open, brilliant. I love her.

Images: Getty

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