As a writer, I both love and fear words. I can’t count the number of messages I have had from people telling me that my words have made their day; I also can’t count how many times my words and their intention have been misinterpreted.
Kayleigh is someone who knows the power of words and utilises them to their full potential in the best possible way.
At just 25, London College of Fashion graduate Kayleigh has founded Obscene Self Love, an incredibly uplifting, inspiring empowerment platform that sells products emblazoned with ‘Unapologetic I Am’s’. Using her beliefs in the law of attraction, manifestation and spiritual power as influences, Kayleigh’s products feature bold, strong words that have the ability to make even the most meek, uncertain person feel like they can take on the world.
A movie club patriot, keen baker and believer in the idea that butter makes everything better, Kayleigh is someone I would LOVE to chat with, which is why I couldn’t wait to interview her and learn more about one of the most fiercely fabulous advocates for self love that I follow.
Where did the idea for Obscene Self Love come from?
I’ve literally spent years toying around with different ideas, industries, products, themes that I could create around and put my stamp on the world. From ‘terminally single’ t-shirts to a lingerie line, everything has always been centred to my lifestyle and ALWAYS female led. Having since gained experience in the gifting and commercial sector, I came to Obscene Self Love.
The mission and vision for Obscene Self Love to be unapologetic affirmations, bold statements of power for women and inherently female minded came from a growing self development journey. I have personally been interacting with products around the self development and self love sphere for a while now, but have found that they are always quite soft, gentle and I guess whimsical… But that isn’t my personality. I found myself changing affirmations and building my own using the type of language that expressed my passion and excitement for life! I felt like if I needed to twist and build on the more traditional “I Am’s”/Affirmations, then there were plenty of other women who did too and would want to see it reflected in the products that we can purchase and wear with pride!
How do you create the slogans and designs for your products and why do you think women need to hear these strong words?
The slogans that I use for my products and across my social media have been written in my journal time and time again. They are things I need to hear myself, or are things I have told friends to feel stronger.
They are strong words, but sometimes you need strong words to feel strong. Sometimes the “You Go Girl’s” just don’t cut it – we need someone to reach out, shake us up and remind us how fucking worthy we are.
The words on your products are definitely strong – I love them! What difference do you think wearing something with a bold quote makes to a person’s confidence?
We’ve all heard of power dressing, or dressing for the job you want, not the job you have. Sometimes, it’s about faking it until you make it, making a statement on something you might not whole heartedly believe deep down, but you put that Mother Fucking Goddess tote bag on and you embody the feeling of being her that little bit more. Pair that with your most powerful lipstick, favourite pair of shoes or a “fuck it” attitude for the day, and you’re on to a winner!
I imagine that when you first started your business, you needed a few strong, ‘go for it’ affirmations yourself to overcome the fear of the unknown. How did you give yourself the boost to create Obscene Self Love?
I have always wanted to start my own business. I was working in a co-working space for start-up’s and scale ups and I think it was just divine timing of hitting a peak of self confidence, support and inspiration that pushed me to go for it. I am quite an “all in” personality, there’s no half measures, so I figured that you get what you make room for in life. To really give this a good chance of being successful and serve women to the best of my ability, I needed to quit a job that was making me feel small in my abilities and just TRY. The worst that can happen is I have to get another job in a few months time…but hopefully not!
A lot of your products focus on self love and self appreciation. What has your personal self love journey been like?
My self love journey has been turbulent to say the least, and it is not over by any stretch of the imagination!
I spent the majority of my life having a down right abusive mindset and self talk towards my body, what it looked like, what it didn’t look like, how and why it should be different. I then spent years thinking that I had changed this by starting to go to the gym, running a half marathon, achieving things that I would have never thought possible – but deep down I was doing all of these things to change something or reach a version of reality that is filtered.
This year, I realised that I have always been obsessed with changing or improving my physical appearance, at the expense of things like enjoying time with friends and my self worth. I started working with an empowerment coach and challenging my negative thought patterns with the help of things such as affirmations and learning to hear my body’s needs and living intuitively. Generally now, I feel like a guilt free Mother Fucking Goddess!
For me, Self Love has been about rejection as much as acceptance. I am learning how to reject thoughts, opinions and habits that don’t align with becoming a badass aligned and self accepting woman.
I have been moving past appreciating my physical appearance and attaching my value, worth and power to everything other than that and thinking about what my mind and soul are capable of achieving. My body is wonderful – it’s a vessel for greatness and it’s resilient!
When we talk about self love, we often use the word ‘empowerment’. What does ‘empowerment’ mean to you?
To me, empowerment lies in the power. It’s strength, courage and the feeling of a roaring fire from your core outwards. Sometimes we don’t feel that ourselves, but it’s so powerful that it can be shared with others. We can plant the embers of self belief in others and nurture them until they are roaring themselves! That’s how I picture women empowering women… flickering embers, slowly nurtured with breathes of life and encouragement until they become a wild fire of their own.
Some people can be fearful of talking kindly about themselves for fear that people will think they are ‘arrogant’. What would you say to someone who feels shy about talking about them self in a positive way through fear of what others think?
I have been one of those people! Fear can be so limiting. I would say, feel the fear and do it anyway babe! When you are speaking about yourself from a heart centred space, it will never be perceived as arrogant. I haven’t faced a single criticism like this because that isn’t the energy that is being carried with the words. The energy is just love and acceptance – people see that, feel that and gravitate towards it!
Self love can sometimes be misinterpreted and portrayed as selfish. How do you feel about this?
Self Love is the complete opposite of selfish! When we learn to love ourselves, we then know how to love and serve others. How do you show up for other people if you don’t know how to show up for yourself. As Mama Ru says – “If You Can’t Love Yourself, How In The Hell You Gonna Love Somebody Else!?”
I couldn’t agree with you more. To help people feel more accepting of them self, what one thing would you change about the world if you could?
Even though I sometimes use a filter for some aesthetic upgrades – I would ban photo editing. It’s nice to see a more realistic representation of women across campaigns and social media, but there is such a long way to go. It is so damaging for girls and women of all ages to be exposed to altered reality, subconsciously consuming ideals that can be so warping and damaging to how we as women perceive our worth. That needs to stop.
If you could sum up your outlook on life in one statement, what would it be?
“Nothing changes if nothing changes” – as much as I believe that the universe has our back, we can’t just sit alone in a room and will all of our wildest dreams to come true. We have to take action to become the woman that we want to be or to see the change in the world or our consciousness that we want to see.
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