For the past two years Breeny Lee has transcended the role of beauty influencer and asserted herself as a well-respected love/ life coach. Her YouTube videos feel real and relatable, such as How To Value Yourself Pepp Talk, which is nearing two million views, alongside intimate chats filmed in the passenger seat of her car. “People are getting bored of influencers doing the same thing,” says the 29 year-old. “Taking vacant shots of hair, fashion and food gets boring after a while. My intention is to bring more reality to social media because influencers are not objects – we actually have brains and ideas.”
Part of being woke is taking accountability for your actions.
So, with this in mind (and in homage to Valentine’s Day), we thought we’d pick Breeny’s brain to find out about her path to real self-love and how we can all become more a bit more ‘woke’...
What prompted your transition to becoming a life coach?
I remember feeling like I needed to add more value to my content when I got to 40k subscribers on YouTube. My sister encouraged me to do videos where I spoke straight to the camera. I didn’t think it would work at first, but after I posted the first one it got really positive feedback. The funny thing is that when I’m at home I say the bare minimum - I’m much more of an observer than a talker.
Does much of your advice come from personal experience?
It’s a combination of personal experience, observations and wisdom. I consider myself to be quite emotionally intelligent and inquisitive. For example, when it comes to relationships, I’m always asking ‘why?’ in an attempt to figure out why I’ve behaved or reacted a certain way. This is how I gain my own perspective. In my opinion, part of being woke is taking accountability for your actions and being able to look introspectively. It’s easy to point the finger and blame someone else and negate the part you played in creating the situation.
What's the best relationship advice you've ever been given?
I actually can’t think of anything, which is probably the reason I started my YouTube channel. When I was younger, I didn’t have a role model to look up to or identify with and I felt really alone. I had to figure a lot out by myself, so I can’t really pinpoint one person. But I continue to read a lot of books, use Google and watch videos.
Do you think social media has improved people's chances of finding love?
There’s definitely a plus side where people have connected online and found love. Let’s face it, with so many people using Instagram and Twitter, they’ve sort of become dating apps to sift through and find people. Whereas dating has always been a numbers game, social media gives too many options. There’s a lot of voyeurism involved, and men and women are both guilty of fantasising about what they want and think they can have. It’s unfortunate that people look online for their aspiration and inspiration. It takes a lot of wisdom to decipher what is really true and real.
Self-care and self-love have become modern-day buzz words. How do you really embark on a journey to self-love?
I would say start with self-awareness. Self-love is often confused with putting cucumbers on your eyes every Sunday or having a massage. These are all external and you need to start from within. Self-love is what you think, feel and believe, hence the awareness. You need to be in-tune with your inner voice and you can achieve this by asking yourself honest questions and exploring the answers. So, for example, if you’ve experienced a break-up, ask questions before entering another relationship, like: ‘Why did I get with that person? How do I feel now? What do I need going forward?’.
What have you come to love most about yourself?
My ability to grow and not be rigid. I’m by no means perfect or think I’ve arrived at that perfect destination; there’s always more to understand and that is what leads to growth.
Follow @breenylee on Instagram.