Hayley Kiyoko on how she’s normalizing queer love and confidence
Hayley Kiyoko thinks that women championing other women shouldn’t be abnormal. Can we get a hear, hear? The actress, director, and singer believes in the power of women lifting each other up, and we second that notion. As a pioneer in the music industry, Kiyoko is fighting to spotlight her own and every woman’s inherent strength. As for us, we’re cheering her on and peeling our ears for advice on how to join the movement ourselves.
At 28 years old, Kiyoko has taken on many roles in her life—on the small screen, onstage, and in her community.
The roles she’s currently embodying the most? Artist, feminist, and LGBTQ activist.
Kiyoko writes deeply personal music, much of which is inspired by her love life as a gay woman. Her latest project, I’m Too Sensitive for This Shit, is a collection of singles—the first was released in October and the last will come out in January. So far, the project includes four singles, ranging from catchy pop bobs (“Runaway”, “L.O.V.E. Me”) to dark confessions (“Demons”) to heartfelt yearnings (“I Wish”).
The common theme woven through it all? Vulnerability. Kiyoko puts it all out there for the world to hear.
"I just want to normalize love for all," Kiyoko tells HelloGiggles. "I’m very grateful to be celebrated in the community, and hopefully, eventually, people in the industry will just be able to celebrate all forms of love. Being your authentic self and being bold with who you are is the only way to start to normalize [queerness] in society."
For many people in the LGBTQ community, opening up about their love lives is a journey, and it’s been no different for Kiyoko.
"It’s taken time to build that confidence up," she says. "For me, it’s just been about going for it, whether I knew how to express my feelings or not. It’s very liberating to know who I am and to be able to celebrate that—and hopefully encourage other people to celebrate who they are."
How Kiyoko suggests others learn to take part in this liberating act of self-celebration?
"We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be a certain way, and maybe we’re not there yet, you know? Sometimes it just takes time, patience, kindness, and love to really allow yourself to blossom. I think it’s about not beating yourself up, but allowing yourself to grow and loving yourself while you learn to accept yourself."
Over the past year and a half, Kiyoko has allowed herself to blossom by focusing on self-care like she never has before. Her preferred self-care practices: therapy, journaling, acupuncture, walking in nature, and simply taking time alone to breathe and rest. Another aspect of self-care that Kiyoko spotlights daily is her beauty routine.
Like any non-natural blondes know, dyeing your hair takes a toll on its health. Kiyoko combats this harsh treatment on her hair by using products like It’s A 10 Miracle Hair Mask and Unite 7 Seconds Detangler. As for skincare products, Kiyoko’s recent go-to is Olay Body’s Ultra Moisture Body Wash.
“I have very dry, sensitive skin, she says. “I’ve always had to use lotion or oil after the shower to cover up my dry skin, but with this Olay Body Wash, it’s so moisturizing that I don’t even have to do that.
Kiyoko recently embarked on Olay Body’s 14-day skin transformation to prepare for hosting the Billboard Women In Music event, which took place on December 12th. We chatted with Kiyoko the day before the event to hear about her 14-day journey, and how she felt heading into the big night.
“I'm excited because I usually have to fake a glow, but my skin is just naturally glowing since I’ve been preparing for two weeks, she said.
Kiyoko totally did visibly glow at the event, and we’re guessing she was glowing inside as well since she viewed the night as a big stepping stone for the music industry.
"Having a dedicated event to highlight the full spectrum of female talent in our craft is a transformative moment for the industry, and we need to see more of those," she said. "Representation matters. [We need to be] hiring women in all facets and making sure they are heard and seen, not just as the face or the singer, but also how we show up in the liner notes."
Although Kiyoko admits that women in the entertainment industry are experiencing adversity, she’s fueled by this time of imminent change and possibility.
"It’s good that we’re having this moment of realization that we need to fight for equality and representation," she said. "I wouldn’t change that because I think that’s really empowering. It has created such an incredible wave of strength and hope for women."
It’s no secret: Kiyoko is strong and hopeful. Not only does she embody these traits, but she encourages others to emulate them, too.
"Being a woman is very powerful," Kiyoko says. "Lifting each other up, acknowledging our issues, triumphs, and struggles, and having equality no matter who you are or what you look like, is extremely important. As a society, we just want the opportunity to be the best version of ourselves."
One thing’s for sure: Hayley Kiyoko is inspiring us to be the best version of ourselves, today and every day.