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Self Care & Body Empowerment

Q&A with Toni Olaoye

Mediaplanet sat down with Youtuber Toni Olaoye, a fashion and lifestyle influencer, to chat about self-love and self-care, how to resist societal beauty standards and pressures.

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As a women’s empowerment advocate, what inspired you to become involved in promoting self-care and empowerment for women?

My inspiration to become involved in promoting self-care and empowerment for women stems from a deeply personal journey. Growing up, I witnessed the incredible strength of the women in my family and community, despite facing systemic barriers and gender biases. My experiences as a new business owner and content creator have reinforced the importance of self-care. I believe that by empowering women to prioritize their well-being, we can break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create a more inclusive and equitable world for all women to succeed, regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances.

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Self-care can mean different things to different people. How do you personally define self-care, and what are some of your favorite self-care practices?

Self-care to me, is the intentional practice of nurturing one’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It involves taking deliberate steps to recharge, reduce stress, and maintain a sense of balance in a busy and often demanding life. Some of my favorite self-care practices include setting boundaries to protect my time and energy, and engaging in physical activities like nature walks to stay active and connected to the world around me. I also find solace in painting, which allows me to escape into different worlds and gain new perspectives. Additionally, spending quality time with loved ones and engaging in meaningful conversations is a form of self-care that nourishes my emotional well-being. 

Overall, self-care is a dynamic and personalized journey, and these practices help me maintain a sense of balance and empowerment in my life.

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Women often juggle various roles and responsibilities. How can self-care play a crucial role in a woman’s overall well-being and empowerment?

Self-care is like the anchor in a storm for women juggling countless roles and responsibilities. Amid life’s chaos, it’s about giving yourself permission to step back and take care of your own needs without feeling guilty. When we prioritize self-care, we’re better equipped to handle the demands of being caregivers, professionals, partners, and active members of our communities. It’s a way to build resilience, maintain balance, and boost our confidence, which ultimately empowers us to chase our dreams and set healthy boundaries. By valuing self-care, we not only enhance our well-being but also become role models for others, especially younger generations, showing them the importance of self-empowerment and self-worth. Ultimately, it’s not just about taking care of ourselves. It’s a powerful tool for making a positive impact in our communities and beyond.

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What advice would you give to women who struggle to prioritize self-care amidst their busy lives and obligations?

Remember that self-care is like giving yourself a lifeline in the daily whirlwind. It’s not selfish. It’s a way to refuel and be the best version of yourself for others. Start small, setting aside just a few moments each day for self-care rituals, whether it’s savoring a warm cup of tea, taking a short walk, or diving into a good book.

Don’t forget to schedule self-care into your calendar as a non-negotiable commitment and be ready to say “no” when necessary to protect your time and well-being. Explore different self-care activities to find what resonates with you and remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Lastly, lean on your support network, whether it’s family, friends, or fellow women who understand your journey. Self-care is a journey, not a destination, and by prioritizing it, you’re not just taking care of yourself but also setting a powerful example for those around you.

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Empowerment is a central theme in your work. How do you believe self-care contributes to women’s empowerment, both individually and collectively?

When I create content and grow my business, I prioritize themes and messages that encourage women to prioritize their well-being and self-empowerment.

Individually, self-care practices like setting boundaries, managing stress, and building confidence are crucial for women entrepreneurs and creators. These practices enable us to navigate the challenges of business and content creation with resilience, determination, and grace.

Collectively, by advocating for self-care and empowerment through my work, I aim to inspire and uplift other women in similar roles. I want to create a supportive community that encourages women to embrace their worth and strive for success on their terms. In doing so, I hope to contribute to a broader movement that fosters gender equality and empowerment in the entrepreneurial and creative spaces.

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In a world where women often face societal expectations and gender biases, what steps can women take to embrace their strengths and assert their power?

In a world where women often grapple with societal expectations and gender biases, it’s essential to start with self-discovery. Take time to understand your unique strengths, values, and dreams. Education and skill development are your allies; they boost your confidence and open doors. Seek mentors and build a supportive network; their guidance can be invaluable. Setting clear goals keeps you motivated. Don’t hesitate to speak out against bias or discrimination when you encounter it.

Setting boundaries and practicing self-care are acts of self-respect. When you’re balanced and healthy, asserting your power becomes natural. Remember to support other women in their journeys, as collective empowerment is a driving force for change. Ultimately, leading by example, both personally and professionally, and advocating for gender equality, can help you and women everywhere challenge expectations and biases, paving the way for a more inclusive world where every woman’s strength is recognized and valued.

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Can you share a personal story or experience where self-care played a pivotal role in your journey of empowerment or personal growth?

A few months ago, I was extremely focused on personal goals, leaving little time for myself, and loved ones. I felt overwhelmed and drained. Realizing I needed a change, I started dedicating just a few minutes each day to self-care, whether it was reading a book, practicing mindfulness, or taking a short walk. Those moments of self-nurturing allowed me to recharge, regain clarity, and build the resilience needed to take on life’s challenges. Over time, this commitment to self-care not only transformed my well-being but also fueled my confidence to pursue my passions and advocate for my own needs, marking a pivotal turning point in my journey of empowerment.

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