Rajni Jacques is the Fashion Director of Allure, infusing a distinct creative point of view (and passion for great content) into everything she does. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and two children, Diego and Lucienne.
What does “wellbeing” mean to you?
To me wellbeing means having a sense of self and a sense of peace. Wellness right now is a super big business—everyone is venturing into the wellness circle in things like fashion and sport, and it’s a buzzword at this point, which is good and bad. There was a time when everyone thought we should just “work, work, work, do, do, do, perform, perform, perform” and take care of yourself later. I like how wellness is transforming to, “take care of yourself now,” because then you’ll be the better performer, the better mother, the better sister, the better person, if you just take care of yourself now. In that way, I’m in love with the wellness boom.
Wellness for me has always been being at peace—at peace with who I am, even when I’ve done wrong; at peace with what I’ve contributed to the world, with what kind of a mother I’m becoming or will be, and what kind of a partner I am to my husband.
Wellness for me is making sure my private life connects; it doesn’t necessarily have to do with my profession, or my career—it’s more about my private life and when I go home and lay my head on a pillow to go to bed, am I satisfied with myself and what I’ve done for the day, and do I feel like I am enough.
Tell us a bit about the mind-body connection, for you...
I think the mind and body should be intertwined, but it’s hard at times, especially for me after my second child. It’s hard to love the body that you’re in because your body has changed so much. I think at this stage (I’m seven months postpartum), I’m still trying to get there—my mind and body haven’t fully connected yet. I know it takes time, and I’m hoping to treat myself better, knowing that my body has changed and will never go back to the way it was, so I need to embrace the new changes. Or, start doing things to help garner that feeling you had before, which for me is the feeling of weightlessness. It’s about coming to terms with who you are now, and not punishing yourself for changing.
What do you love to do to stay active and whole?
I love to run and I love to dance, in my bedroom by myself, until I work up a sweat. And I truly do try to eat eat well, although I don’t deprive myself of things. I do things to make myself feel better and be active, and now is the time to bulk it up. I’m a super visual person and I'm a person who loves the feel and touch of things. I love doing and I love feeling and immersing myself in things that I believe in and things that have many layers or that I can learn from.
How important is recovery? Any tips for recovery that you can share?
To me, recovery means stretching. A good stretch can go a long way—it's always been a part of my recovery. When I sit down and just chill, I stretch and open my body up. I don’t know what it is, but something gets released in your body.
What is your ritual for relaxation? At the end of a long and active day, what do you do to restore and reset?
To relax I like listening to music—no TV on, just music, while I’m either doing stretches on the floor or on the couch relaxing—there’s something about music that fulfills me in a way that a lot of things can’t.
Any favorite artists or tracks that you’re listening to on repeat?
I like to make playlists for myself, and in the past two months I love listening to Blood Orange (the album, Negro Swan and his new album, Angel’s Pulse). I love the song, “Somebody Else,” by The 1975—it just puts me in a chill mood. I love Moses Sumney, he has a song called “Don’t Bother Calling,” that puts me in a great mood, and I love the song “Doomsday” by MF Doom. Beyonce’s song, “Party,” always brings a chill vibe for me, and anything old school Mary J. Blige. I also love the song, “What Once Was” by Her’s, and I love The Internet for relaxation.
What are your go-to products for self-care?
I love pure shea butter—true, not like Palmer’s, shea butter in blocks—I usually buy it up in Harlem or deep in Brooklyn. I lather myself in that, which makes me feel great. I use a serum on my face that helps, and I use a hair oil by Dr. Miracles...you put it in your hair and it gives this minty tingle. Usually I do those things before I go to sleep.
Favorite healthy, on-the-go snacks?
Pineapples, raspberries, avocado.
How has motherhood changed your relationship with yourself and your well-being?
Motherhood has changed a lot of me. I still think I’m the same person that I was beforehand—it's important to me to still be Rajni and make sure that person is still here. When it comes to wellness, I’ve understood why you need to be right in the head. If I’m not well, how am I supposed to raise these children and make them feel good about themselves if I’m not correct myself? It’s a work in progress and it’s an ongoing thing, and I’m trying my best every day.
We're in a world where you see all of these gorgeous women, and you see all of these “snap backs,” and so you judge yourself and compare yourself, and it’s very hard to push that away and say, “I am enough.”
How has self-love impacted your relationship with your body?
I love myself, and I know I’m a good person, and I know I’m a kind person, and I’ll never question that about myself. I do think that it’s a work in progress, and when you go through something as traumatic as childbirth, which changes you, you have to get back to that love. And I’m not fully there yet—I’m getting there—but I’m working towards it.
Do you have any words of wisdom to share?
It sounds corny, but one thing I do have to say is, just be kind. It doesn’t take much to be kind. There’s no added effort to being kind, to smile at someone, to tell someone that their hair looks nice, to give someone joy in some way. To hate or dislike—there’s so much energy there. To be kind is just a simple way of being.
We believe that self-care is health care. What is one thing you do to prioritize your physical, emotional or social health?
Being with my tribe, whether that’s my husband and two kids (although my three-year-old is driving me insane!) or being with my girlfriends who truly know and understand me and have my back. I think sometimes just sitting and chilling with company that get you and you don’t have to explain yourself to them, is a way of prioritizing yourself.