Since winning Love Island in 2017, Kem Cetinay has launched his own restaurant, designed his own Primark clothing collection (with the help of his mum), and most recently, launched his own grooming line, Kem Cuts. As someone who’s thrived under the pressure of fame, and rejected the Love Islander to Instagram influencer pipeline, it comes as a surprise to learn that this is a man who used to struggle so deeply with anxiety and PTSD that he got taken out of school at 14, and when his mum signed him up for a hairdressing course in London, was so nervous that he couldn’t get on the train the first four times - until his mum went with him the fifth time.
Fast forward to today, the world is at his feet, and with the public’s eyes upon him, he is adamant about the importance of speaking about mental health. Cast aside your stereotypes about the “bros” of reality TV - throughout Kem’s interview he emphasises the importance of therapy, self-knowledge, and the ways he helps his friends to feel valued and secure. Staying grounded and in touch with himself through a practice of therapy, meditation, morning affirmations, and gratitude, he’s never lost sight of himself. This emotional intelligence is, it seems, the secret to his success since the show - and he’s only just getting started.
Rollacoaster caught up with Kem to chat about the importance of being open about mental health, how his romantic priorities have changed since the show, and the affirmations that changed his life.