The truth about modelling
"The simple reason as to why I quit being a model was I'd been doing it for about a year, and been sent on some really unglamorous photoshoots, and a lot of test shoots. I was sent to very obscure and nasty areas of London on my own that I had never been to. I had one paid job in my whole year of modelling. And as we were coming up to our next fashion week and I began to get texts through for various castings. One came through from Acne Studios, and I called my booker about it because I was so excited. She told me to ignore it because it wasn't for me. Then a couple of weeks later, I asked her why I had had only one paid job, but all the other girls were getting really big jobs. And they told me that I needed to lose three dress sizes to start making money- I was a size 8 then, and they wanted me to be a 4. That's when I walked away. I had had enough. Unless you are naturally that body shape, and have that confidence, it will be a big struggle. I would have had to have done some really crazy dieting to get to that size, and to also maintain that size. I was 17, and it was so daunting. I wore some amazing clothes when I was modelling, but I was changing into them in a public toilet in the park- it's not at all glamourous."
On not being perfect
"It's very difficult to ignore the pressure around us. I fell into pressure quite a bit when I was at school, from not having great friends and such. I got to the point where I thought, as much as I try, and as much as I wear this, or buy this, I'm not going to fit it. I'm never going to be that 'image' that everyone wants us to be. I'm just going to do my own thing, and essentially do what makes me happy."
On what makes a woman beautiful
"Aside from confidence, I think some of the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, are people who don't care about the opinions of others. They just don't care. I love that in a woman. It branches off from having that confidence, where you can wear anything, just do your own thing and not care. If you're confident and walking down the street, confident and loving it, that for me is beautiful. Being secure in who you are, and not being ashamed to show it."
Vintage vs high-end fashion
"My style has definitely changed. My channel used to be called 'Shannon Louise Vintage', and that name came from when I first started YouTube. I couldn't find anyone in the UK that was covering vintage fashion, so I thought that's my niche. I started doing that, and then put it in the name. Then as I kind of developed, and changed things around a bit, I became more into high fashion. I've always been interested in high fashion, but of course it was absolutely not in my budget. But now as it's become a bit more realistic for me, I'm focusing more on that. There's still plenty of vintage in my wardrobe- lots of vintage blazers that I bought when I was about 13- and of course they take pride and place in my wardrobe. Vintage will always be a part in my wardrobe, but now I prefer high-end thrifting more."
Breaking the binaries of YouTube
"The main reason that I've been so on and off with YouTube, is that I'm quite easily uninspired by it all. When I first got into it, it was very much new, very much still growing and developing. Now that it's settled into being quite a big thing- quite a huge platform- we've seen quite a lot of the same thing. The same trends, the same groups of people doing the same things, posting about the same things, with the same hashtags. Earlier this year I was in talks with a publishing company about a book deal with Lexi (from SoTotallyVlog), and had two meetings about it. But, after much thought, we decided not to go ahead with it. Because at the time there were so many other people releasing books everywhere. It was all very similar stuff. There was nothing we could think of organically that was going to be really special. It wasn't the right time, it wasn't the right thing. If anything, it's going to be more damaging to release something like that just for money. If you're really interested in fashion then a blog is a better place to go- that's what I'm looking at now."
"I want to keep being creative and to keep doing creative things, I just need to find the right way to do it. It can get uninspiring if it becomes your job. As much as it would be nice to make a living from it, I don't want YouTube to be my job. Something as creative as that is nicer kept as a hobby. If it becomes your job then it stops being fun. There's a lot of pressure too, especially if you've got quite intense management. YouTube is a very self-involved thing as well; you're working for yourself, and you're the only person who can put yourself down. You can often end up being very self-critical. When I started YouTube, it wasn't, 'I want to be a YouTuber.' It was that I wanted to share something about something I was passionate about. It wasn't anyone's job at that point. I know a lot of people say this, but don't get into it for the wrong reasons. Because the people who are in it for the money, for the free things, to make a job out of it, very rarely do very well. Find something that you are passionate about, so that you can make something genuine and honest about."
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