An exclusive interview with ‘The Brighton Girl’
This week, we were lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with ‘The Brighton Girl’.
The Instagram influencer and blog-writer is renowned for her secret identity, only ever revealing glimpses of her long blonde hair.
We love how she’s always keeping it real – offering advice about anxiety, love, sex, and relationships; while also suggesting the best spots to eat and drink at across our beautiful city.
Her take on the ‘influencer’ life-style is extraordinarily refreshing. She takes responsibility for her prominent social media presence and prides herself on being trustworthy: only ever promoting bands she truly believes in and uses herself. And, despite having over 30 thousand Instagram followers, she hasn’t lost sight of what really matters to her – reading and writing, and soon hopes to become an author.
The Brighton Girl’s candid writing style, witty remarks and strong morals are what make her ever so relatable and extremely likeable. And it’s clear her fan-base agree with us, if you take a look at her increasing popularity and growing social media following.
To find out more about the secret identity of Brighton’s favourite influencer, read the full interview below.
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I wanted to write a caption about anxiety on one of my photos for ages but I kept chickening out and feeling embarrassed and thinking about what people might say but then I thought you know what, I don’t care – life’s too short. I want to help people; even if it’s just one person. When I flew back from Palma a few weeks ago I sat next to a woman on the plane and we spoke for ages and I ended up telling her loads about my journey with anxiety. It made me realise how far I’ve come and how there really is hope, no matter how low you may feel. Back in 2015 and 2016, I was suffering so badly with anxiety that I could barely function. I tried to act like everything was fine but inside, I felt like I was spiralling out of control. My anxiety centred around dying; this is something I’d never actually told anyone outright before except my CBT therapist. I was so petrified of dying that I could barely live my life. I was so convinced I was ill, so absolutely certain that everytime I left my house I was in danger, that someone was going to hurt me, I was going to get caught up in some kind of attack. I suffered crippling panic attacks every day. I stopped wearing makeup when I went out, I wore a grey baggy jumper everyday because I thought if I blended into the background hopefully no one would hurt me. Some of the lengths I went to to ensure I was safe everyday break my heart when I look back on them and one day I’ll go into detail, but this caption is already very long! One thing I would do was wear layers of clothes as I thought if someone attacked me I’d be safer. Every day was a battle, and any glimmer of happiness I ever felt was very short lived. I was essentially a prisoner in my own brain, and I remember one night calling NHS 111 because I was so unbelievably low I was afraid I was going to do something to myself. I thought there was no way out, no light at the end of the long, dark tunnel but there was, and there will be for you too. It’s a long and painful journey but it’s liberating when you come out the other side. Keep going no matter what you’re going through; the only way from rock bottom is UP! ✨⚡️ #Freedom
When did you start up ‘The Brighton Girl’ and what prompted you to do it?
It’s been nearly 6 years – I started in December 2013! It started as a kind of parody Twitter account, and then a blog as I loved to write and wanted a platform that allowed for more characters! I’d been thinking about it for a while but I didn’t see it as being anything serious, or anyone caring enough to read it.
What came first: your blog or your Instagram?
Back then, Instagram wasn’t a very big deal, so it was my blog first.
Have you always wanted to write? And what’s your dream job?
I’ve always wanted to write. At the age of 4, I wrote a 10-page book that I stapled together called ‘The Junk Food Girl (haha) and I loved reading so I desperately wanted to become a writer. Writing is all I’ve ever wanted really, but there were a few other short lived aspirations and jobs in between. I never went to University so I got turned down for every writing job I applied for because I had no qualifications. In the end, I thought my dreams of becoming a writer were never going to happen, so I created my blog as a writing outlet. It ended up leading to opportunities which I’m so thankful for! My end goal has always been to be an author, something I hope to achieve in the next few years.
When you started on Instagram was becoming an ‘influencer’ the end goal?
Definitely not – when I started I don’t think anyone was even getting paid for Instagram posts! I’ve only ever wanted to write, that’s always been the goal. However as I’ve grown a following and as influencer marketing has grown, I began to get offered Instagram jobs. If I’m asked to promote a brand or product I love, I’ve always seen it as too good an opportunity to say no to. Who wouldn’t love to make a career out of promoting books or restaurants they love? It’s amazing! I also love recommending things to people. If I’m going somewhere or looking for a certain product, I’ll spend so long researching and trying to find information out. I think it’s so great that there are ‘influencers’ you can go to, to get this information from, as long as you trust them. Trust is a really big thing for me, which is why I will turn down certain jobs. The second that people who follow me stop trusting my opinion then it’s pointless. I want people to know that the restaurant I’m saying is amazing, really is amazing – regardless of whether it’s free or not.
What do you think is the best/worst thing about social media?
The best is definitely the way you can connect with people all over the world, you can discover places and things that wouldn’t necessarily have before, and the job opportunities it’s created for so many people. The worst is the anonymous nature of social media, in the sense that people can say whatever they please and hide behind a fake profile or indistinguishable picture. People become out of touch with reality and they think they have a right to comment whatever they like on someone’s post, not acknowledging the effect it could have on that person.
What’s your favourite article on Brighton Journal?
As a bookworm, I loved your This Summer’s Top 10 Beach Reads – anything to get a good recommendation!
What is your favourite venue in Brighton?
It may be cliché, but I love The Ivy so much – I think it’s more of an experience than a restaurant. The atmosphere is brilliant, the food is amazing even though it’s a chain, and it’s a beautiful place aesthetically. I have worked with them before, but I also pay regularly to go, because I never have a bad meal there. I think it’s perfect if you’re looking for a special place to go for a meal and cocktails.
What’s your favourite book of all time?
There really is so many, it depends what kind of mood I’m in! I adored This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay – hilarious, informative, witty and emotional. It made me appreciate the NHS on a whole new level. I’d recommend everyone reading it.
And what we all want to know…
Why do you choose to keep you identity private?
At the beginning, I didn’t see my blog going anywhere, I thought I’d be the only one to read it so I didn’t think it was a very big deal in my head. I was also embarrassed, I thought I’d be made fun of, as blogs weren’t such a big thing 6 years ago. I also thought if anyone did read it, I would rather they concentrated on reading the blogs rather than what I look like. It also helps to write more candidly about things. I’ve kept it that way as it’s all grown a lot more than I ever anticipated and it’s a bit of a daunting prospect now!
Do your friends know you’re the Brighton girl?
They do, yes! I’d find it really difficult to hide it from them, as a lot of the pictures I post are from when I’m out with them!
Do you think you’d ever reveal your identity?
Definitely one day – my biggest dream I have in my career would mean I would have to reveal my identity in order to do it, but I’m not ready quite yet. I can’t take it back once I’ve done it, so I’m biding my time!
How did you grow your social media platform? How long did it take to get to where you are now?
I honestly don’t know! I’ve just kept at it for the last 6 years and it’s grown – there’s loads of people that started more recently and have ginormous followings in comparison; I think if you have tweets or videos that go viral it helps, and being relatable. Everything is so polished and perfect online these days, I do try and be as ‘real’ as I possibly can.
Any suggestions for up-and-coming journalists/bloggers/vloggers/
Be yourself, 100%. People can see through you trying to be someone else, and putting on an act. Just be yourself, and the rest will come. Write about and post about what you want to, and be true to yourself and your own beliefs and values! I’m sure there’s many people that don’t agree with my views on certain things but I’ll always remain true to myself, and I think it’s key to having an online platform.
You can read her blog here.