“It’s not about loving you with everything, it’s about loving yourself despite everything”: this is the claim launched by Maialen Gurbindo, known by the stage name Chica Suralto, in her new book The art of being mediocre (Vergara) in which It encourages learning to enjoy mediocrity, which means learning to relax and allow ourselves to do things we like even if we are bad at them, without the need to be productive.

The 30-year-old singer, who participated in an edition of Operación Triunfo, talks to Vivo about her ‘alter ego’, from the ‘Chica Sursalto’, who suddenly appeared one day to allow her to give her all on stage, to ‘the little one ‘, ‘the mother’ or ‘the self-destructive one’, different versions of herself that appear from time to time for different situations.

In the book you turn yourself into shame and say things that are not easy to accept that you do. Why do you open yourself this way?

These are thoughts that are difficult for me to accept internally, but I’m not in a hurry to tell them. When I realize that I’m being toxic, I have a terrible time, because I know it’s not right. However, telling it doesn’t matter to me; I guess it’s good for me to air it out. I think it’s necessary to tell shit, because it’s very nice to say that I’m super empathetic, vegan and nice, but sometimes I’m also very toxic and a terror. I’m terrible at times and wonderful at others, like everyone else.

What does mediocrity mean to you?

It is the right to be able to do things even if you are not very good at them and enjoy them anyway. For example, I love painting with watercolor, although I am terrible at it. On the other hand, claim the fact that you allow yourself to be a shitty person sometimes: lie, eat badly… Or, for example, we know that ghosting is very wrong, but maybe sometimes you need to disappear without giving any explanation. We can and should be mediocre and ‘screw up’ sometimes, because you can’t live doing everything well all the time.

You say that mediocrity has been the only weapon you have been able to use until now. How have you used it?

Well, making songs without knowing how to make songs. Because I have created songs without understanding harmony, I have done concerts without knowing how to do them, I have written a book without being a writer… And I have come to ‘capitalize’ on it. And although sometimes I feel embarrassed, I think that, if I say it, there is no problem, because I am not deceiving anyone.

Do you think there is a part of imposter syndrome?

I think I’m really an imposter and nothing’s wrong. That I make songs accidentally and people enjoy them, and that’s it. That doesn’t mean it’s bad. I’m lucky to be able to do it, plus I’ve worked a lot on it. Being an impostor becomes dangerous in specific areas, because, for example, there are people who are not psychologists writing self-help books.

Have you ever been afraid of being mediocre?

Yes, yes and yes. All life and all the time. Many times I have thought: “Please don’t let them notice that I don’t understand this or that.” I have been very afraid of being mediocre, especially with people; fear of disappointing. Is very tired. I have always gone through life trying to look good to everyone and it is horrible, because in the end you look terrible with yourself. You can not live like this. The day my psychologist told me that she had to assume that she was going to disappoint people, I thought: “Wow, how can I assume that people might dislike me?”

In ‘The art of being mediocre’ you do an exhaustive review of all your ‘personalities’ and the reasons why they have been created. Do you think it can encourage readers to do the same?

I had not thought about this until Ana Medina, my friend and press manager, told me. She told me, “It’s amazing, because anyone can do the same exercise as you.” I would find it beautiful, because it would help each person to do a little self-knowledge and to think about how many personalities there are inside them and when each one comes out and why.”

Do you come to hate many ‘Maialen’ that live within you?

I hate many of them. But my psychologist told me that I shouldn’t, because they were created out of a need at a certain time in my life. If you are a person with an incredible armor, for example, there is a reason why you had to generate it, usually for survival. It may be easier to analyze your different ‘personalities’ if you try to see them in the third person. It helps me detect why they are there. I think it’s a very nice exercise in self-compassion.

You define yourself “as a junkie for the approval of others.”

I never know what is right and what is wrong. For whatever reason, as a child I have learned that my criteria are not valid, so I ask questions all the time. And I end up becoming a person who is constantly asking you: “Do you love me? But are you sure you love me? Do you really think what I have done is right? List from one to ten the grade you gave me. “you would put.” It seems exaggerated, but it really is like that all the time. You put yourself under constant scrutiny and ask others to rate you, literally, from one to ten.

In the chapter ‘the mother’ you say that girls are educated to be mothers, also with our partners.

We are made for each other: girls are educated to be mothers and men are educated to be eternal sons. And, in the end, we end up playing mothers to them. They put a fake baby on me since I was a baby, it’s perfect! The trap is wonderfully thought out, because we fit together like a puzzle. When I grow up, I will want to take care of you and please you. I’m not going to know how to let go of responsibilities and you’re going to let go, because for you it’s normal. An exercise must be carried out between the two parties to put things in their place and try to make it equitable.

Bad sexual experiences also play an important role in mental health.

As a teenager I felt that I had to choose between being ‘the nun’ or ‘the whore’. And I didn’t want to be either of them. They called me ‘nun’ more than ‘whore’, and I wasn’t cool at all anymore. But when you start to enjoy your sexuality minimally, suddenly, you start being called a ‘whore’. So, I say: “Fuck, what do I do?” Well, I block this part of my life and I don’t want to know anything about it, because it only brings me problems. It is very dangerous, because I think I did not develop my sexuality well. It was not in a healthy, natural or good way, but based on what others thought or said, especially men. It is something that, as an adult, I have had to work on.

You also complain about the role of women in music

Clear! It’s very good to talk about women in music, but I need a male headliner – because they are always men – to say: “I’m not going to play at this festival until I have a partner here just as big as me.” . Because I can’t do more from my invisibility, plus there comes a point where we are worn out and we don’t know what else to do. Furthermore, we have to do three times as well to get to the same place as them. You just need to see Duki and Aitana at the same festival: Duki, putting on a tracksuit and going out on stage is fine. Aitana, on the other hand, goes with her vocal coach, dancers, different costumes…

You criticize certain mental health discourses by some influencers. Which is it?

To give a clear example, during the Idol awards [which rewards content creators], people who were on the red carpet were asked what they thought was the biggest mental health problem. The responses of some influencers were “envy” or “social networks.” But tell a person who cannot pay the rent or someone who has had to come from another country in conflict that the biggest mental health problem is envy and social networks… In addition, the ‘romanticization’ that is done, for example, depression or anxiety. That you tell me that from a depression you have created an artistic movement and a brutal catharsis bothers me, because I am on my couch and I can’t get up.

What conclusion have you reached by writing the book?

Because I’m not going to be liked in life and I’m going to have to try to live with myself. That I’m not so interested in knowing what I am like; I’m more interested in knowing what I feel like today. And that I’m not inconsistent for having very different roles with my friends than with my family or with someone I just met. I have learned that I would love to one day be ‘Maialen’, just like that, and not have to use ‘Shocked Girl’ or ‘the girl’ to make people sad. My goal is to not have to wear masks.