September 04, 2020
Get to know Jay and Caroline: students, designers, Youtube-content creators, and possibly the cutest couple ever? Read about how they care for themselves and each other, their thoughts on representation and inclusivity, and how they navigate heteronormative spaces as a couple.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do!
Jaylin: Hi, my name is Jaylin--I’m a content creator, hopefully soon clothing designer, and also an entrepreneur. Also a student, and I’m learning and growing and evolving right now, so, that’s who I am.
Caroline: Hi, I’m Caroline! I’m also a content creator, a shoe designer, customizer, and a full-time student. And a Youtuber!
What does self-care mean to you both? Why do you think it’s important?
Jaylin: Self-care to me means, like, taking the time just to cleanse, refresh, do whatever you need to do in order to keep yourself happy, healthy, and all of those things. I think it’s important because you should have time for you--you are definitely a priority, and, y’know, that should be your time taken for yourself.
Caroline: Yeah, I would say self-care for me is, like Jay said, like y’know, kinda pampering yourself, doing a face mask, chilling. I think mostly just time to relax and focus on yourself, like, have some self-compassion. I think it’s important so that you can--you’re able to do all the things you wanna do, you’re able to succeed in everything you wanna succeed in. I think without self-care, it’s a little hard to do--it’s impossible.
What’s been keeping you sane during quarantine?
C: Probably... Jay has been keeping me sane during quarantine. We’ve also been, like, moving around a lot. Finally moved into our apartment! So, that in-between period, I was definitely going crazy, but I would say Jay kept me sane. As well as just, still grinding, and I mean, we’ve still been grinding during quarantine, trying to figure everything out.
J: Keeping me sane definitely has been Caroline because she’s my person, she’s who I’m with, like, everyday, all day. And, y’know, she definitely helped during the whole process, because I can’t imagine just going through that trauma alone. But also, another thing that’s been keeping me sane during quarantine is just the stability of knowing that we have a support group--a nice base of fans and family and our friends and the strength of everyone right now.
What are some everyday habits you implement to make sure you’re caring for yourselves?
J: I might answer this for both of us, but we take daily vitamins. We usually try to work out a little bit, but we’ve been moving, so we haven’t done that. And we also attempt to, like, have some type of “meditation time”--whether that’s just being self-aware, actually performing mediation, reading, y’know, relaxing, laying down, something of that sort.
C: Also, I just wanna add--we do have also a really nice skincare routine. And I feel like I’ve never, like, cared as much about that. I obviously wash my face, do my thing. But, I feel like having that routine is kind of therapeutic, and kind of going through that, like, in the morning, right before bed; like, that’s just calming.
How do you check in on each other?
J: We communicate very well, but sometimes…
C: We’re human.
J: Yeah, we’re human--like, it doesn’t always go smoothly. But, we just talk about everything. When there are issues, we address them then versus later, ‘cause we don’t like dragging things along.
C: Just communicate, yeah, really just checking in, like, “How are you?”
C: “What’s up?
J: ”How do you feel?”
C: “How are you feeling today? How was today for you?”
Do you think having time to implement self-care is a privilege?
J: Definitely, because some people don’t have the resources to do so, and some people don’t have the time to do so. Because of jobs, or family, y’know--like, so many things, that they don’t have time to take care of themselves. But right now, we do, and so we’re trying to embrace that.
C: For sure.
J: You agree?
C: Yeah, I agree a hundred percent. We were living in a time where, like, we had trouble doing that--we were working a lot, and full-time students, and all the other projects, y’know, we always have stuff going on.
What does inclusivity mean to you both? Why do you think it’s important?
J: Inclusivity means to me just being able to accept and embrace others. Not excluding people, just allowing them to be themselves.
C: I would agree a hundred percent. It’s like… Having a space where everyone feels comfortable. Because obviously everyone is existing in the same space, in a sense, but like, creating that comfortableness and that, yeah, safe space. I think inclusiveness is awesome, and having a safe space…
J: Crucial. I agree.
What does a more inclusive future look like to you? How do you think we can all collectively work towards that?
J: A more inclusive future to me would be people being able to be whoever they are, whoever they want to be, however they feel, whatever they want to do. Obviously, like, there are exceptions to that, but overall, right now, everyone just wants to be accepted for who they are. And, whether that be their sexual orientation, their race, their social status--like, y’know, financial status, everything. They just wanna be accepted. And I feel like we need to learn how to remember that everyone is human and that at the end of the day, for the most part, we have the same body parts--we have the same, y’know, system going on. So, we should be more compassionate towards others and just try to accept people for who they are. Because if it doesn’t affect you directly, then why does it bother you? They’re just doing what they want to do, it shouldn’t be a burden to you.
C: I agree compassion is probably, like, the biggest thing overall. But yeah, an inclusive future I think too is a place where you don’t have to, like, prove yourself. But I think right now it’s a lot of like, kind of having to prove yourself in a sense if you are different, if you’re in a category that’s not y’know… I don’t know, maybe being judged more. So, I think having to prove yourself, and I think an inclusive future for me is getting to a place where everything’s just normal; y’know, you don’t have to prove anything, you don’t have to identify with a certain group, you don’t have to...whatever. You’re just human, and you’re living amongst other humans that are different from you. And so I think having compassion and just remembering that we’re all human.
Why do you think representation in the media (especially in the beauty and wellness industries) is important for underrepresented communities?
C: I think it’s extremely important. I know, like, maybe growing up in a place where you don’t feel a hundred percent comfortable having people or individuals in the media that you can somehow look up to you and they’ve shown you that they’re living their dream, they’re kind of like you. Whether it’s a body type thing, anything. Just having someone to look up to, ‘cause I know that was real important to me growing up. To have people in the media, ‘cause there’s all these beauty standards, but there’s no formula for beautiful, like, it comes in so many shapes, so many forms, and I think that’s beautiful. That’s what beauty really is.
J: I don’t think that there should be one type of person that people scout to represent their brands. Like, it shouldn’t be all one race or one gender. I think that if you really want your brand to be inclusive and widespread, it should be diverse. A diverse group of people. So that everyone can feel welcome to that brand, because then they see--oh, a black girl is being represented by this beauty brand, I would love to purchase those products. I think it’s just preparing for the future, because that’s how it will be in the future. And brands that do exclude certain types of people will be boycotted, in my opinion.
Do you remember the first time you felt represented by the media (TV show/movie/etc.)?
C: I would personally say Youtube. I wouldn't say growing up I had a big, like, gay figure to look up to. Obviously there were gay females on TV, but nobody that really, like, stood out to me; no one that I really felt, like, that connected to. It was always portrayed in a certain type of way, I think, when we were growing up, even though it was, like, changing so much, and that’s amazing.
J: I probably would also say Youtube. But, at my school, in my community, it wasn’t a bad thing to be gay. Like, no one judged you for it. So, I never felt misplaced, like, because of that. And my school was very diverse, so I never felt misplaced because of my color. So, I would also say Youtube, but in a way that doesn’t apply to me.
What inspired you two to start making Youtube videos together?
J: So… We watched this Youtube couple, Karin and Skyler, and they’re just the cutest couple ever.
C: We watched them before we were dating.
J: And we loved them, we were like, “Oh my gosh! If we ever had a significant other, we would love to make a Youtube with them,” and then I made a channel during Christmas, and we started dating February 2nd. So, after that, it was just like, “Okay, like, you wanna do this?” She was down, and I was like, ‘This is a great idea,’ and so, y’know, we made it happen. And we’re so grateful for the following and the amount of subscribers that we have generated, but we’re so excited for the future.
C: Being more consistent.
Do you get any negative feedback? How do you deal with that?
C: Of course, we always get negative feedback. I think just knowing your worth, knowing what you’re doing and who you, in a way, want your audience to be. Obviously, we’re so thankful for everyone, but there’s gonna be people on there that are on there just to, like, mess with us, just to make us have a bad day, and that’s just not gonna happen. So, I think, knowing who our true support is.
J: Sometimes we get hate in-person, just because the fact that we are two females in a relationship makes people uncomfortable. But like, I feel like both of us just take it as they’re just not comfortable with themselves, y’know, and that’s okay--I mean, it’s not okay, but, like, it’s not going to affect us.
C: Yeah, it’s a fear. Homophobia is a fear.
J: We’re happy in our relationship, we’re stable, so we know that we’re good regardless. So, we pretty much delete hate comments, and...
C: Laugh about it, and then just kind of move on. Like, it doesn’t really affect us; I’ve never like, gotten upset over a hate comment. It’s just, like, it’s funny to me how people think they can, I don’t know, kind of mess with your life. But it’s like, you can try--go crazy!
September 11, 2020
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August 29, 2020
Chinelo talks creating space for herself, staying sane during quarantine, and navigating the Western beauty and wellness industries as a Nigerian woman.