In the past ten years, social media platforms like Instagram have paved the way for business exposure in several ways.
People with large followings have become essential components of every business outreach effort, from influencer marketing to social eCommerce.
We spoke to the Instagram model and influencer DawnyLou.
She is a beautiful and multi-faceted woman to prominence influencer, and leading Instagram model with more than 42 thousand followers.
DawnyLou, how did you get your start in the modeling industry?
DawnyLou: I won a photoshoot by entering a competition many years ago. I loved the photos they took and so entered them in a modeling competition called Only New Faces. I won it. This led to paid photoshoots and I really enjoyed it. But somehow one lingerie photo of me ended up in FHM. I was disciplined in my job because of this. So I gave up modeling at that time.
During a lockdown, I realized that I had all these lovely outfits that I had saved for best, that potentially may not get worn. I started to dress up in them and take photos for my own amusement more than anything. Then decided to post them on Instagram. This gave me something to keep me occupied during the lockdown, but things took off from there. When the legitimate brand ambassador offers started to come through it was so exciting.
Do you think that for women, in particular, body confidence is still an issue?
DawnyLou: Yes, I think body confidence is a huge issue for women. We are bombarded with images of perfect women and many of us cannot attain it. I learned this at a young age. I was Stone underweight when I was 16. My mum bought me a pair of size 8 jeans, but they wouldn’t go over my hips. My hip frame was too wide, even though I was underweight. So when it was fashionable to be size 6 or even 4, it was something I could never attain even if I lost significant weight.
As I’ve aged I’ve actually learned to embrace my curves. Sure I’d like a flat tummy, bingo wings to disappear, and a sharper jawline.
But I try to focus more on the bits I do like instead.
What has been the highlight of your career so far? Did you have an “I did it” moment?
DawnyLou: I think it was when my photos were added to the website for Dolly and Dotty (modeling their dresses). Even when younger I was told I could not model for a living. That I was too short at 5ft3. I was also too small for plus size modeling as I was a UK size 12/14, and too big for regular modeling.
I was told all I would be able to do was glamour modeling. So finally seeing myself on a clothing website, wearing their dresses showed time that you can be and do whatever you want. Regardless of size.
What do you think about social media being the new model scout?
It’s a good thing. We are now seeing more natural women modeling. I like to see what outfits look like on models of my own build, not tall slim models who can wear anything. I want to see it on someone shorted with curves and a bit of a tum to give me a clearer idea of what it will look like on me.
In that sense, I think it’s been a positive thing.
So DawnyLou, what would you say is your personal style?
DawnyLou: My personal style? I like things that are a bit quirky. 1950s fashion as it had a very feminine aesthetic and is well suited to curvy women.
Recently I’ve started to really love the gothic look too, as it contrasts well with my bright red hair, and can also look feminine, very Morticia Addams.
If you could change one fashion rule, what would it be and why?
DawnyLou: That you have to be a certain size or age to wear certain outfits. Absolutely not true. If something makes you feel confident and happy wear it.
What advice can you give aspiring models?
DawnyLou: Be yourself, completely. You don’t need to be perfect, just be you. Let your personality come through in what you do. Don’t give in to media pressure about what a perfect model should look like. You do not need to look like anybody else, being unique is good. Believe in yourself and have fun.
How would you define the word “confidence?”
I used to think confidence meant being untouchable. Like somebody had forcefield around then and any criticism or negative comments or insults just bounced off it….never affecting the confident person.
I now realize that confidence really is just liking who you are as a person. Knowing that you try your best. Insults and criticism still hurt, but you are able to realize that these are just other people’s opinions. As long as I go to bed at night knowing I did my best, and that I tried to be a good person, then I am happy with that and at peace.
DawnyLou is @dawnylou2 on socials, for an insight into her fashion life.