LGBTQ+ Activist & Model AJ Clementine On Exactly What It Means To Live Authentically

Over the past three years, Sportsgirl has been pushing the envelope when it comes to all things diversity and inclusivity thanks to their #BeThatGirl campaign. Each year the campaign features a host of incredibly talented and unique ambassadors, from all professions and walks of life, to showcase just how important it is to be yourself.

One person who knows damn well how important that is, is AJ Clementine. A model, social media star and LGBTQ+ activist, AJ is known for bringing her trademark creativity and authenticity to everything she does.

We had a cheeky chat with her after the campaign was shot, to get an idea of what it really means to live authentically.

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Joining Sportsgirl’s campaign seemed like a no-brainer for AJ. She’s already vocal about being individual and leaning in to your true self, and so is the campaign — but what does that even mean?

“[It’s] being the type of person you always wanted to be, living authentically, and the campaign is all about being THAT girl,” she said.

“It’s speaking up when you feel like you want to and just telling your truth. Not letting anyone else get to you or letting anyone’s opinions change who you are. I’m all about that.”

But she wasn’t alone in the campaign, with Kate Wasley, Jacob Stella, Inka Williams, Grace Koh, Erin Cleaver, Sabina McKenna, Maeve Haim, Mikele Syron and Victoria Devine rounding out the class of 2020.

“Grace Koh, she’s one of my close friends, so it was very cool to see her be part of the campaign. But it was also cool to meet the other cast members as well, because they’re all just such different energies and different vibes. It was a hectic day with so much to do but we still had those moments in between. Lots of us were from Melbourne so we all ended up chilling at the airport afterwards.”

“Seeing so many walks of life, from business owners to athletes, it was just so crazy that one campaign can embody all of these different souls.”

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When asked about all the younger girls who are still trying to figure themselves out, AJ had a couple of pieces of advice that frankly I’m going to sit up and pay attention to even at 25 years old.

“I’m watching my younger sister, who’s 14, grow up. I always tell her that no matter what you see online, no matter what people are trying to tell you, your own journey is a process. It doesn’t need to be all figured out overnight, especially in your teen years.”

“Mind yourself, but life is a journey and no matter what age you are, you’re still finding out these things about yourself. Not everything is set in stone. Life is about creating yourself.”

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If you’re all about individuality and really resonate with AJ’s words, you can come hear her speak for yourself at Selfish Saturday in Melbourne on the February 22nd (tickets available here) — and folks, she’s pumped.

“I’m so excited. I’m doing a panel discussion about LGBTQ+ voices,” she said.

“[I’m keen] to be in a space where you can discuss it openly, in a safe place as well. To get that message across is just so important right now because there are so many issues around the community being silenced.”

And she’s well and truly done with being silenced. It just goes to show that you never really can guess what’s gonna happen to you when you’re younger, given that even AJ is surprised at where she’s been and where she’s come to.

“I was a shy kid and I never really wanted to do anything from the fear of being wrong or nobody liking me. So the fact that I’m even just speaking to people would be crazy in itself for my younger self. It just shows that people evolve and it’s one of those things — when you become your true self, things start to get better.”

AJ will also be at the Sportsgirl Beauty Pop Up activation at Selfish Saturday, where you can score free hair braiding and beauty touch ups, and they’ll even be running a polaroid station so you can capture a memory of your authentic self to keep hold of.

I’ll cheers to that.