Presenter Clara Amfo has spoken about feeling “moments of absolute, utter disdain and hate” for herself as a young woman.
The 36-year-old was recently announced as the new host of BBC Radio 1’s Future Sounds, taking over from Annie Mac, who is leaving the station after 17 years.
Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Amfo told the Make It Reign podcast, hosted by Josh Smith, she now looked back and was “horrified” by how she perceived herself.
Speaking about how her relationship with herself had improved since she turned 30, she said: “It’s definitely gotten better over the years because I definitely had some moments of absolute, utter disdain and hate for myself, especially in my late teens to early twenties I felt really ‘ugh’ and I used to say really mean things to myself.
“Now I look back and I’m horrified, it’s really scary actually how much shit you can chat to yourself and just accept it and be like, ‘Oh yeah, I guess I’m not that great. I’m not that intelligent or whatever’.
“Now, oh my God I feel for me, particularly between the ages of 19 to 23, and now I’m just like, ‘No Clara, you’re alright, you’re a good friend, you’re a kind person, you’re an honest person, you’re not perfect’.
“I give myself space to know you’re going to f*** it up and it’s okay”.
Amfo, from Kingston upon Thames in London, said she was in no rush to have children.
“I would have a family with the right person, but I can honestly say I’m not desperate to have children,” she said.
“I would have children with the right person, but I’m not desperate to have a kid, like real talk – I live a delightfully selfish life, I do what I want.
“I’ve got nobody depending on me, I work on my schedule and I don’t have to run around after little people. That’s the life I’ve chosen for myself and that’s okay.
“I can honestly say I’m in such a great place. Yes, it would be lovely to be in love and to have a partner.
“But then at the same time, when I think about some of the guys that I used to entertain.
“If they had gone the way I had wanted it to go, I’d be absolutely miserable.
“I’d be reducing myself to appease some dude’s ego and I can’t do that, I refuse to do it. Being in this space now, I can see I wasn’t aware of my power and my magic.”
Amfo, who has presented The Live Lounge since 2015, said she was “genuinely so happy” being by herself.
She appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2020 and was eliminated in week six.
She also appeared on the cover of the September issue of British Vogue last year as one of 40 activists described as “The Faces of Hope”.
Listeners can subscribe to the Make It Reign podcast on all streaming platforms.