The ‘Love Island’ star (30) got huge plaudits online for showing off her grey hairs and posting a picture of herself with no make-up on.
A former hairdresser from Longford, she said she wanted to be a positive role model as she has so many young girls among her 3.1m Instagram followers.
“For me, I just feel it’s important to show the realness,” she told Independent.ie.
“A lot of people look at us in the public eye and think we’re just perfect and we have glam and make-up and all this every single day. But we don’t; we’re actually as normal as everyone else.
“We have blemishes as well but I feel it’s important to show that because on Instagram, we have all these filters and with my amount of followers, it’s good to show that we’re not always perfect.
“I take off my make-up, I'll show my grey hairs, it doesn’t bother me in that sense. It’s good to encourage younger people to do the same.”
She said a large portion of her fans are young girls who are easily influenced and need to see genuine images on social media.
“Even when I put up the grey hairs [picture], I got so many DM’s from people thanking me for doing this. So many younger girls are self-conscious about them,” she said.
“I got people in my DM’s saying ‘Oh my God, I've had grey hair since I was 21 and I’ve never told anyone. I was so embarrassed but now looking at your story, it makes me feel so much better about myself.’ So when you see DM’s like that coming into your phone, you know it’s worth it.”
She said part of her down-to-earth nature and open attitude is as a result of her Irish background.
“As a nation, we are very forward; we don’t care what people think,” she said.
Although she partnered up with ex-boyfriend Curtis Pritchard on the show, she has been dating fellow ‘Love Island’ star Chris Taylor since last summer and said that things are going “really good.”
“We were very, very close on the show and we never lost contact and then we got closer and closer,” she said.
She hasn't been back to Ireland in a year as a result of the lockdown restrictions, so her family in Longford have not yet met him in real life but she said that her mother Sharon approves.
“Yes, Mammy's happy,” she said.
She was speaking as she launched her first shoe and handbag collection with EGO as she continues her lucrative collaborations with top brands. Featuring ten pairs of shoes and five handbags, it’s available to buy online from April 28 and she said she was “so excited” for the launch.
“I look catwalk fashion and I just feel this collection is very different. It’s very out there with the bolder prints and the colours. It’s very much statement pieces and I’m just obsessed with it,” she said.
Speaking about her all success over the past year, she said: “I just take every single
day as it comes. I’m feeling very, very lucky and grateful especially getting to work in these times because I know there’s so many people are struggling so I’m just staying humble and getting on with things.”