With a YouTube channel that boasts millions of views from her hair and skincare tutorials, beauty influencer Candice Jones knows what it takes to look great on the outside. But when it came to her mental wellbeing, Jones started feeling a disconnect. “Because a lot of the things that I was seeing on social media like: take a bath, pour you some wine,” Jones tells xoNecole about her initial attempts at self-care. “I was doing all of those aesthetic things, but it wasn't making me feel better.”
Jones’ turn to wellness came during a time in her life when she was dealing with a series of compounding anxieties. “What I considered the lowest point in my life,” Jones says, “where I graduated, I was working in a job that I didn't feel passionate about and I had my parents kind of like pushing me in a certain direction.” She continues: “And I felt very guilty for not performing the best when I was in school and then not pursuing my doctor career that they really wanted me.”
Unable to afford traditional therapy, Jones turned to the internet to begin her self-love journey. But she would quickly run into another unexpected roadblock. Jones found that a lot of the websites and online guides she turned to didn’t resonate with her as a Black woman. “The information was not coming from people that looked like me and people that I felt like other people would trust with their journey,” she says.
This led to Jones creating her wellness website Everything She Is. She describes the site as being “a platform for self-love, self-development for young girls and young women, self-empowerment, all of those kinds of things,” Jones says. “And we create tools and resources to help women along their self-love journeys as they come into womanhood.”
When creating the website, she says the first thing she wanted to address was self-acceptance. “That was something I grappled heavily with: finding myself,” Jones says. “Once I kind of uncovered a lot of the stuff that was there, a lot of things that I didn’t feel proud about, how to move forward and how to heal through self-acceptance I feel like a lot of people go through that when they’re transitioning - especially through womanhood.”
Jones sells guided self-love journals on the site that have helped in her process. “I was my first customer,” Jones says, “and it is something that really helped me kind of get to the bottom of what was really weighing me down.”
Jones says that her readers have also shared how much these journals have helped them too.
“It helps them dig deeper, ask questions that they would have otherwise not asked,” Jones says. “[Customers say] that the work has been difficult, but rewarding that a weight has been lifted, that they feel much freer and it's really just a story of, releasing. And sometimes that's what people need. Sometimes people just are carrying so much.”
Jones says that she also hopes that her website can be a guide for Black women on how to set their boundaries. “A lot of people around me are very self-sacrificing,” she says. “That strong Black woman trope that a lot of people are touching on now and resisting against with the soft-life movement is what I saw and what I wanted to breakdown the idea of kind of having to put yourself to the side in order for other people you’re around to advance.”
She is mindful about saying that her website is not an alternative to therapy for people who are able to access that and more so a companion to it. “Therapy is very, very, very important and something that we encourage,” Jones says. As she considers adding a formal education to her informal wellness training, she says that creating the website has been a way for her to help people in the meantime, “Just from a human aspect," she says. "Not from a scientific aspect or accolade or certification, but just being a human being and seeing women and myself struggle and wanting to be there and offer some help.”
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