OlanikeeOsi Is The Bold, Fearless & Totally Unapologetic CEO Of The SelfishBabe App
2020 marks the 20th anniversary of when I said, "Screw doing a regular 9-to-5. I'm gonna be a professional writer!" And although I've interviewed dozens times dozens of people at this point, almost each individual has said something that caught me totally off guard. OlanikeeOsi—yep, that's meant to be all one word—is, by no means, an exception.
As soon as she answered the phone, I could tell that she this 27-year-old was well-spoken, very comfortable in her skin and totally unapologetic about her life—and lifestyle. Yeah, this was going to be interesting. Then add tax. Then add inflation onto that.
What Exactly Was Her SelfishBabe “Trigger”?
I figured that the best way to get the conversation going was to pick her brain about how the name of her "creative baby" was first conceived. She paused for clarity's sake and then said, without missing a beat, "I think a lot of it had to do with getting married at 19 and divorced at 24." Wait, come again? I heard her right. "It wasn't that my marriage was exactly bad," she expounded. "But I remember sitting on the floor one day and filling out some test papers. My husband felt like I was sitting on 'his side' of the couch and things just escalated from there. I put a hole through the bathroom door and, at one point, he had my hands around my neck," she paused to give a deeper explanation. "It wasn't exactly that he was trying to choke me, but…things just got totally out of control. But I went to school and came back home, totally unafraid of him. But I did ask myself, 'If I had a daughter, would I want her to be in a relationship like mine?' Then I realized that I needed to ask a more important question than that—'Why does it need to be my daughter? Do I want to be in this kind of relationship?"
The answer was "no" and while OlanikeeOsi does make a point to say that her divorce was amicable, she no longer speaks to him. "I'm not angry, bitter or anything like that," she says. "I wish him well and I enjoyed our experience. I just think that was a season and chapter of my life that served its purpose, but he's not a friend. It was simply time for other things." Other things…like…what? We'll get a little more into that in a sec.
The Evolution of the SelfishBabe Revolution
As many of us do when a love relationship ends, OlanikeeOsi began a path of self-love that was rich, rewarding and, for her, truly life-altering in a myriad of ways. While she comes from both a Caribbean and Christian home—a home that is both close and functional, for the most part— OlanikeeOsi is open about choosing a path that her mom (her dad passed away when she was young) has had to do some adjusting to. She gets spiritual readings. She consults the spirits of the ancestors for guidance. A book that she attributes to her growth is Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit by Queen Afua. She speaks of being profoundly spiritual, just in a way that is different from her upbringing.
And something that her own spiritual path has taught her is the importance of being selfish. No, not practicing self-care. Being completely, totally and intentionally selfish.
"You know what I've come to realize?" OlanikeeOsi asks, then answers in the same breath, "Self-love is very selfish. To me, it's more important to do what you need in order to fill up your cup instead of neglecting your needs and trying to fill the empty ass cups of others."
And so, after a few months of getting comfortable with being selfish, the platform, app and podcast (not all at once, but they do all exist now) of SelfishBabe was born. "At first, I was offering products called Goddess Detox," explains OlanikeeOsi. "But then it hit me that just because you use products that may have a self-love theme to it, that still doesn't mean that you love yourself. I needed to do more."
From there came posts called Goddess Habits, but it wasn't long before OlanikeeOsi changed that over to SelfishBabe. "I just thought it was important to get away from the bad connotation that doing what it takes to make you better and happy, even if others have a problem with it…that may be selfish, but it's OK to be selfish in that kind of way. I have absolutely no problem with it. No one should."
Now, with her mission clear, OlanikeeOsi started posting Selfish Truths on IG. She also began selling T-shirts with different "selfish" messages on them. The more OlanikeeOsi did, the more her platform found its voice. Then, one day, the ancestors told her that it was time for an app.
"One day, I was on the toilet and it came to me," OlanikeeOsi nonchalantly explains. "We have phones, we're going to always be using our phones, so why not bypass all of the passwords and logins and provide a way for women to easily access tools for how to love themselves with an app?"
That's exactly what she did. It would appear that between her drive, her ancestors and that quality time in the John, OlanikeeOsi was truly on to something because SelfishBabe—an app that is free, by the way—currently has 150,000 subscribers and counting.
What Can You Expect from the SelfishBabe App?
And just what kind of messages can you expect, whether it's from the app or on her SelfishBabe IG page? OlanikeeOsi calls her messages "fun, jazzy and cool", sprinkled with "colorful language". "There are a lot of platforms that promote self-love, but I had a hard time finding ones that were totally relatable to millennials," OlanikeeOsi explains. "In order for women, especially younger women, to selfishly and authentically love themselves, relatability is important. I talk on my app like I would talk to my homegirls." Is there something I should be reading in between the lines, here? "Not really. But I have had people write and ask me why I cuss…you know, stuff like that. I do it because it's how I speak. I think the realness is what resonates."
OlanikeeOsi says that while the app is for everyone (she does love that it connects so well with Black women, but it's for any woman who can connect with her passion, platform and delivery), she is absolutely not going to shift her approach to cater to others' perspective of how SelfishBabe should be. "We need to really deal with our shit. Again, authenticity is important." Noted. And agreed.
The Evolution of OlanikeeOsi
Photo by Kaye McCoy
I must admit that as a marriage life coach, I was curious about where things were currently on OlanikeeOsi's personal front. You know, if all of the "selfishness" was truly paying off in matters of the heart. It was here were OlanikeeOsi taught me my something new for the day.
"I had a boyfriend who is now my friend and a business partner. Now I have a girlfriend." When I asked her how everything was going in comparison to her marriage, she said, "Great. I think practicing ethical non-monogamy is a great fit for me." That was my second "come again?" in the interview. "It's about not conforming to traditional monogamy, but instead, being open to different people and experiences for different seasons of your life," OlanikeeOsi explains. "It's about choosing not to bind yourself to a false promise that you may not be able to keep and being free to enter and exit relationships as you need." OlanikeeOsi then adds, "Besides. I don't think I'm meant to have sex with just one person, not necessarily even in a relationship. So, when it's time for me to move on or my girl to move on, we will. With love, just doing what is best for us."
Isn't that a little...selfish? I didn't ask that in my head either. OlanikeeOsi lightly laughs and says, "Yep. Exactly. Now you get it. My girlfriend and I are on the same page. We love one another, but not at the expense of doing what's best for our own selves. Yes, that is selfish and that's the entire point." (By the way, I asked her if she thought her divorce played a role in her approach to relationships. She peacefully and emphatically said, "Absolutely not. If anything, my marriage was trying to get me to conform to something, someone, that I'm not.")
I told OlanikeeOsi that although our worldviews couldn't be more different in a lot of ways, I did dig that her sense of self came off as very authentic; for me, that was super refreshing. After chatting with her for about an hour, I don't believe that OlanikeeOsi is offering to others what she's not wholeheartedly believing in for herself. To me, that's dope.
And just where does OlanikeeOsi want all of this selfishness to eventually take her? By this time next year, she'd like to have a million subscribers and for SelfishBabe to be a literal one-stop shop for all things self-love from messages to online courses to…just about anything you can imagine.
And what about the women who may be on the fence about joining up? Well, OlanikeeOsi helped us out by sharing some signs that a membership on SelfishBabe is exactly what someone needs. "If you are trying to fit into other people's boxes; if in your inner circle, you're considered to be 'the weird friend'; if you're super unconfident and always comparing yourself to others; if you're currently unhappy with your life, or if you're tired of always putting other people ahead of you and your needs, you need to become a SelfishBabe. You need to become equipped to live your life for you and do some of the things that either your ancestors weren't allowed to do or gave themselves permission to do. I do it every single day of my life—and I have absolutely no regrets."
Featured image by Megan Monique @TheMeganMonique
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The Fall Equinox begins on September 23, 2023, and it’s time to embrace abundance, gain clarity, and know that you are worthy of your desires. The Fall Equinox marks the beginning of fall and the end of summer and is a turning point of the year, where things settle in and come to fruition. The energy that fall brings is one of harvest, but it is also one of release, letting go, and finding your ground. Coming from a summer of intensity, drama in love, and overall moving through a space of deep spiritual growth- now that fall is here, we are ready to decompress, dream, and enjoy that which we have created for ourselves.
What Is the Energy of the Fall Equinox 2023?
The energy this fall is opening up new doors of abundance and is a time of reaping your rewards in life. Fall begins at the same time as Libra Season, and a lot of these blessings have to do with love and the relationship developments that will be taking place over the next few months. With a New Moon Solar Eclipse in Libra occurring a few weeks after fall begins on October 14th, something enchanting is happening in romance right now. The scales are coming into balance, new beginnings are occurring, and clarity prevails.
Relationships over the next few months are about focusing on the gifts and gratitude you find in them and accepting where things need to change as well.
By the time winter begins, most of the planets that are currently in retrograde will be direct, and this signifies the change of pace that fall is bringing. This fall highlights Eclipse Season overall, and the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on October 28th will be a time of creating boundaries, honoring your values and energy, and closing a chapter in your life that doesn’t align. Financial worlds are growing and finding new ground, but with Jupiter still in retrograde in Taurus until December 30th, patience is needed here.
Over the next few months, give yourself the space to gain some new perspectives, make room for love, and grow in abundance.
Your guidance this fall is to take those first steps toward the goals you have been pondering over this year. There is a Full Moon in your sign a week after fall begins, and you get the opportunity to enter this season with less baggage and more closure. You will possibly be starting a new position or working in a new field, and you need all the good energy to back you right now. Know that you can count on your skills and talents to move you further in life and that help will be there when you least expect it. This is a fall of abundance for you, Aries, claim it.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 29, Oct. 13, Nov. 13, Nov. 21
Patience, patience, patience, Taurus. You are creating something beautiful in the world right now, and the time it’s taken to get you here will all be worthwhile. Your guidance this fall is to nurture your world and your dreams and to bring more love and compassion to your life. You are preparing for a new reality but need some more time to dream it up and define that which you want for yourself and your future. The Full Lunar Eclipse happening this fall is occurring in your sign, and you are moving through some major closures in your life right now. This is a creative time for you, Taurus.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 28, Oct. 29, Nov. 6, Nov. 20
This fall is all about taking care of yourself and valuing your time and energy, Gemini. The way you see yourself and your life are coming up for review right now, and you are being urged to look at yourself in a better light. Your ruling planet, Mercury, goes retrograde for the last time this year on December 13th, just before fall ends, and this time is all about taking what you have learned and choosing better for yourself. You may be tested to be more confident or true to yourself right now and over the next few months, and it’s about owning your part in this life and standing up for what you want.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 25, Oct. 21, Nov. 20, Dec. 12
This is an abundant fall for you, Cancer. You have worked diligently on claiming the opportunities and new doors that have been opening for you, and you are feeling free to be your successful self. You are encouraged in your independence right now, and you have proven to yourself just how talented you are and how much you have grown. No major aspects are happening in your sign this fall, giving you the space to breathe, create, and receive your rewards. Happiness fills your world, and even though you still feel like you are just getting started in a sense, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the gifts that are presenting themselves today.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 13, Oct. 15, Nov. 12, Nov. 13
This fall is a turning point for you in love, Leo. New developments are taking place in your relationships, and you are being received especially favorably. This is the time to open your heart to growth and new possibilities and to get creative with what you are looking for right now. The Last Quarter Moon happening in your sign on November 5th will be a turning point for you this fall. Your unique charm and charisma are enough, and you attract many to you through your natural energy and love for life. Your ship is coming in this fall, and your heart is fulfilled.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 1, Oct. 31, Nov. 5, Nov. 14
Virgo, this fall is a blessing for the heart space. You are feeling in tune emotionally, and there is positive energy coming your way and into your love life. You have spent a lot of this year healing, forgiving, and finding your voice, and over the next few months, you will be creating the spaces you have been looking to enter in your life. Venus enters your sign for a month on October 8th, and there are some pleasant surprises in store for you during this time. Fresh starts are coming in for you, and spiritually, you are awakening to the gifts within you and in your heart. Your beauty is showing, and love is coming in for you this fall.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 25, Oct. 22, Nov. 5, Nov. 20
This fall is a new beginning for your financial world, Libra. Autumn begins the same day Libra Season does, and you have some extra motivation and energy within you right now. You are ready to put the action behind the intentions you have been setting for yourself financially, and this is a time of plans coming together and falling through to success. The more you stay focused and diligent, the more opportunities that can come for you right now. The first month of fall, the Sun is in your sign, and this is really the time to get things moving in your life, especially with a New Moon Eclipse in Libra on October 14th happening as well.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 27, Oct. 14, Oct. 30, Nov. 20
It’s all about the vision for you right now, Scorpio. You are focused on the future, your path ahead, and manifesting your dreams, and there is something passionate about the next few months for you. You may be taking some risks this fall as you test the boundaries on how far you want to go with something and what worlds are opening up to you now. Mars is in your sign from October 12th until November 24th, and life is exciting for you right now. You have your eyes on the prize and are ready to move forward toward the things that are lighting you up right now.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 12, Oct. 13, Nov. 6, Nov. 13,
This fall is about taking a leap of faith, Sagittarius. Your guidance over the next few months is to do the things that you would do if you knew you would be supported in doing them. Less self-doubt is needed now, as you are walking on new ground. You are moving towards personal healing you have been wary of from the beginning, and you are ready to let go of some energy that has been holding you back. Trust that once you decide on something, the universe instantly begins to make it happen for you. Your season begins on November 22nd, and it’s time to put yourself first more. Have courage in yourself this fall.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 8, Nov. 22, Nov. 24, Dec. 12
This fall is all about clarity for you, Capricorn. You are a wise soul, and you are owning this energy about yourself right now. Over the next few months, you will be developing spiritually, helping those who need your sound advice, and evolving in life. You have found a new sense of enlightenment and are enjoying the clear perspective that has been gained. Mercury goes retrograde in your sign on December 13th, right before fall ends, and this is when you will be feeling more tested to take the lead in your life and use your voice. Overall, fall 2023 is your time to surrender to the good within you and in your life, Capricorn.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 10, Oct. 23, Nov. 4, Dec. 1
Things are moving fast for you this fall, Aquarius. This is a successful, harmonious, and passionate time for you, as many opportunities come your way at once. It will be hard to settle down with all the energy flowing through your life over the next few months, as you have so much to do and so many people to see. Overall, however, this is positive energy that you have been looking forward to in your life, and everything is coming together and moving forward where it was once stagnant. Fall is giving you the closure and the opportunity to reinvent yourself and start on new, solid ground in your life.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 30, Oct. 31, Nov. 20, Nov. 28
Your guidance for fall is to have balance in your life. There is a lot of new coming in for you, but you are also working on letting go of what has fallen. You have grown in many ways this year, and financially, you have seen growth as well but may be feeling the weight of responsibilities this has come with now. To move through this season with the most grace, give yourself more time to rest, to be, and allow things to fall into place on their own. Saturn has been retrograde in your sign since June and goes direct this fall on November 4th, Pisces. This is your opportunity to see things more clearly, protect your energy, and feel more in tune with your internal guidance system.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 22, Nov. 4, Nov. 6, Dec. 12
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Featured image by myriam meloni/Getty Images