How did you get involved in Girls Out Loud, and why did you feel it was important?
I was actively looking for a charity to work with that meant something to me personally. I am very aware of the things teenage girls go through. Although I had great parents myself, and a great childhood, I went off the rails a bit as a teenager. I had my first child when I was 18, so I really want to try and educate girls about life as a single teenage mother and just how much it really changes your life. Girls Out Loud run some really amazing and life changing programs for teenage girls such as their ‘Big Sister’ programme, which does just what it says on the tin. They give girls someone to turn to, who they can talk to about anything and everything.
You have cultivated a large and growing audience, why did you decide to start a blog?
I have always been interested in fashion and beauty. I love to travel too! I lived in Sweden for four years and wasn’t really able to work there as it’s quite hard to get a job if you don’t speak fluent Swedish. I am really conscious of wasting my life and not being happy, so one day I sat down and thought “I’m going to start a blog.” I got such an amazing response from my first few posts and the rest is, as they say, history!
What do you feel that the fashion industry can do to promote healthier body image amongst young girls?
I think its really easy… just portray real women! The constant cycle of skinny, mainly caucasian, models in nearly every advert is just ridiculous. We are such a multicultural country. I find it crazy that brands still think that women will buy from them when their models look nothing like their customers!
Working in the industry, do you ever feel under pressure to change your own image, how do you stay confident?
I’m not going to pretend that I don’t have body insecurities, but I am also a very self confident person. I do look at some girls and think I wish I looked that good, but then I remind myself that the way I look is fine too, I am still beautiful. All these feelings come from the media, and I know it’s only because we are made to feel bad about ourselves. We don’t have many glamourised, normal sized girls to aspire to in the media.
Fashion is often perceived as indulgent and elitist, do you feel that the new generation of bloggers such as yourself are helping to change this?
Yes absolutely! The best thing about being a blogger is that you are making yourself successful. Brands can’t help but want to work with you if they think you can help them reach their customers, no matter what you look like. It’s very much about personality. Fashion is an expression of yourself. It’s as if you’re an artist, where the clothes, shoes and bags are your paints.
What have been the biggest challenges of starting a blog, and where would you like to take your platforms over the next few years?
I think getting brands to work with you when you’re just starting out is the biggest thing — obviously they want a big following, which takes time to achieve. Secondly, there is no real, all answers manual on how to be a successful blogger. It’s kind of like a secret of the trade that you don’t want to share with your competition. You really just have to find your own way to success. It can be hard but perseverance and hard work is the key. Ultimately I would love to bring out a fashion collection with a brand and then a beauty line of my own.
You also love to travel, if you were to take Culture Trip on holiday where would we go and what essential fashion items would we need?
Oh man… I would like to say this is a hard question but it’s not! The Maldives every time! I went there in March and I can’t even describe how beautiful it is. It’s paradise: ultimate luxury and the most amazing food. I would take a pair of Celine sunglasses, Dune sandals and a Wildfox bikini.