Flex Mami: On Self-Love and Vibrancy
Photograph by Chloe Nour
A curator of important looks, tunes, and one-liners, Lillian Ahen is Flex Mami. Best known for her impeccable self-expression and vivid internet presence that preaches nothing but self-love, she is a Sydney-based DJ, radio presenter, digital content creator, writer, and personality.
VERTIGO: To start off, as a self-proclaimed ambassador of self-love, what are your views on happiness?
FLEX MAMI: Everything in excess. Positivity, love, friendship, good food, feeling — all of it. I’m an extreme person by nature so I require excess and abundance to put anything into perspective.
V: Can the journey to self-love ever end?
FM: Never, ever, ever. As long as you grow, your thought process, rationale and understanding of yourself and the world around you will continue to change. While this is happening, it no doubt has an effect on your perception versus reality, causing you to question anything you’ve thought you’d known previously. Of course this includes ways in which to love yourself unapologetically.
V: What would you say is your formula for self-love and vibrancy?
FM: An echo chamber of positivity and positive affirmation.
A good understanding of who you are and why you are that way.
Self-reflection and improvement.
An inflated sense of self-worth.
Undertaking daily gratitude.
Integrate daily for the best results.
V: Why do you think there’s such an aura of being narcissistic and obnoxious when you do choose to love, accept, and express yourself? Why is it cool to not like yourself?
FM: Some of the most prevalent misconceptions about self-love are a result of how excessively people overcompensate for their lack of it. Meaning there are too many people who have taken the get-rich-quick scheme, feigning understanding to distract from the obvious lack of time taken to truly love their being.
Also, quite obviously it’s easier to bond over common hate or disdain than love. It evokes a stronger emotion, spear tackling through pre-existing social barriers. A very effective short-term tool to extinguish perceived awkward social situations, but a very poor strategy for long-term knowledge.
V: Your personal style is bright, vibrant, and playful. How important is your expression of fashion and its connection to your identity?
FM: It’s a visual resume! As a stereotypical extrovert with textbook introverted qualities, it’s an easy way to superficially show the masses what I’m “about” without having to speak. It’s an effective and powerful tool, and I take it very seriously. I don’t see my style as a separate extension of me that’s thought about on the off occasion — it’s truly integral to understanding myself.
V: Do you see your role as a DJ as a means of spreading your energy and good vibes to the world?
FM: Not actively, but it has, which I’m hype about.
V: How big of a role does the internet play in curating one’s identity and self-confidence?
FM: It’s vital, for me anyway. Similar to how style is a visual resume, the internet is the next chapter to superficially communicating who you are. I’m of the opinion that the way a person chooses to curate their online persona is really telling as to how they see themselves. I believe it’s extremely telling.
V: Do you think the growth of social media has impacted the authenticity and truth of one’s personality, as everything is carefully curated and controlled?
FM: Authenticity and truth are extremely vague concepts as they rely on the theory that your personal perception and that of someone else’s needs to align before it’s deemed “truth”… which is very untrue.
As mentioned before, how someone consciously chooses to present themselves should be more important than an uninformed opinion.
V: What would you say to those who have not yet found themselves and bloomed?
FM: Always tread the fine line between perception and reality; your outlook on a situation is just as important, if not more, as the “truth”. Live for a learning experience.
If anything sparks a positive response from you internally — explore it. It’s important you give yourself a chance to be, grow, and figure yourself out. Manifest and read The Law of Attraction (Esther Hicks). That’s the major key.
Interview transcript has been edited for length and clarity.