Take It From Sally Kohn: Don't be such a jerk

PHOTO: GMA Sally KohnPlayGMA Photo Illustration, Getty
WATCH Take if from Sally Kohn: 'Don't be a jerk'

Take It From Me is a recurring feature on "GMA" where we ask celebrities to give advice to their younger selves.

Before political commentator Sally Kohn was named one of the leading progressive voices in America, she recalls falling victim to a bad haircut at the age of 12.

PHOTO: Sally is pictured at age 12 in this undated family photo. Courtesy Sally Kohn
Sally is pictured at age 12 in this undated family photo.

“I mean is that a side mullet? What is that? It's just I think it's some sort of windswept hair but it looks like a side mullet,” Kohn told “GMA” while looking at a photo of her younger self.

“There's a cry for help.”

Kohn has come a long way since then. She's a renowned LGBTQ activist, political commentator on Fox and CNN and now a first-time author.

"When you really stop and think about it ... our world has changed [so much] in such a relatively short time that I can be openly gay, be on TV, be writing, have a career and have a partner and a kid and travel the world and be out and comfortable," she said.

Kohn makes her authorial debut with "The Opposite of Hate," a book that's all about practicing "emotional correctness," which pushes past political correctness to try to find real connection with those from those across the political spectrum with opposing viewpoints.

“We talk about people as either all good or all bad," she said. "You can hate things people say but we don't hate people. All people have the capacity to do good things and do bad things and it's the choice we make.”

Kohn looked back at some key moments of her life -- from first apartments and bad perms to law school and family trips -- with "GMA" and shared advice to her younger self. This is what she had to say about these moments from her past.

1. Make your parents take more pictures of you.

“Boy do I look gay,” laughs Kohn. “That is one lesbian right there at age two and a half. So take it from me, you know early.”

Parents should take more pictures of you as a kid because "that's probably your peak of visually adorableness,” Kohn told "GMA."

Get attention through affection not through aggression

2. Don't be such a jerk.

PHOTO: Sally Kohn is pictured at age 6 in this undated family photo. Courtesy Sally Kohn
Sally Kohn is pictured at age 6 in this undated family photo.

“Don't judge a book by its cover because that was around the age that I started being a real bully and tormenting the other kids in the neighborhood,” Kohn said of her 6-year-old self.

“My advice to my younger self would be don't be such a jerk. Man I wish I could go back and tell that kid to find ways to be kind and to you know get attention through affection not through aggression.”

3. Do not get a perm.

PHOTO: Sally Kohn (right) and her mother (left) are pictured in this undated photo. Courtesy Sally Kohn
Sally Kohn (right) and her mother (left) are pictured in this undated photo.

“I am in fact wearing a Bullwinkle T-shirt,” laughs Kohn. “Now I don't think a perm is ever a good idea. But if you're, like, a 6’1 Jewish girl with already thick curly hair, I think a perm is some form of, I don't know, self-loathing.”

Kohn notes that her mom, featured on the left, looks great.

4. Enjoy being yourself.

PHOTO: Sally Kohn is pictured in this undated photo from her early 20s with her high school sweetheart. Courtesy Sally Kohn
Sally Kohn is pictured in this undated photo from her early 20s with her high school sweetheart.

“Look, she's finally gay, folks! And look how happy she is,” Kohn says of a photo of herself and high school sweetheart.

“We stayed together for nine years and this is while I was in law school.”

The picture features Kohn and her ex painting their first apartment together.

“That's what everyone should get to feel in life, to feel fully in themselves and content and pleased.”

5. Make good choices moment to moment.

PHOTO: Sally Kohn with her partner Sarah and daughter Willa while vacationing in Europe. Sally Kohn
Sally Kohn with her partner Sarah and daughter Willa while vacationing in Europe.

“Okay, so next up we have the Von Trapp Family Singers,” says Kohn, looking at a family photo of herself, her partner Sarah and her 9-year-old daughter, Willa. “We bought some lederhosen with some friends and family and we wore them just to make them laugh and think made ourselves laugh. I love my family.”

When it comes to parenting, Kohn doesn’t want her daughter to make some of the same mistakes she did as a child.

“We say in our family, we don't hate people, you can hate things that people do. You can hate things people say but we don't hate people. All people have the capacity to do good things and do bad things and it's the choice we make. Moment to moment.”

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