Wednesday 26 July 2017

'I have to work hard to stay this curvy,' says Ireland's top plus-size model Louise O'Reilly

Louise O'Reilly for Arnotts
Louise O'Reilly for Arnotts
Daniella Moyles, Rosanna Davison, Louise O'Reilly
Louise O'Reilly for Arnotts. Picture: Kieran Harnett
Louise O Reilly tonight on the Red Carpet at The Peter Mark VIP Style Awards 2015 at The Marker Hotel,Dublin. Pictures Brian McEvoy
Louise O'Reilly at the Arnotts Autumn Winter 2014 Lingerie Collections in their Henry St Store. Picture: Kieran Harnett
Model Louise O'Reilly

Eimear Rabbitt

Louise O'Reilly can have up to 300,000 unique views of her blog every month and is seen as Ireland's leading curvy model.

But the Dublin beauty - now signed with eight agencies around the world - has admitted that keeping her Style me Curvy blog successful is "really hard" work.

"Things have been going great and I have been so busy, but it is also really, really hard," Louise told the Diary.

"Blogging is so popular now there is always that risk that the market will become over saturated.

Louise O'Reilly for Arnotts. Picture: Kieran Harnett
Louise O'Reilly for Arnotts. Picture: Kieran Harnett

"It is also my blog and is about the readers, so I have to turn down opportunities that I don't think are right for me or won't benefit my readers."

While collaborations and advertising are an important part of any blogging business, Louise said that she would only promote brands that fit in with her body image.

"I have had some brilliant collaborations on my blog - like Forever 21 in LA - but I would easily turn down other ones that are not about Style Me Curvy.

"You would never see diet pills on my blog because it is about diversity and promoting a positive body image.

Louise O Reilly tonight on the Red Carpet at The Peter Mark VIP Style Awards 2015 at The Marker Hotel,Dublin. Pictures Brian McEvoy
Louise O Reilly tonight on the Red Carpet at The Peter Mark VIP Style Awards 2015 at The Marker Hotel,Dublin. Pictures Brian McEvoy

"No matter how big the blog gets - and it is doing really well internationally - the first question I always ask is: 'Will this benefit my readers?'"

While Louise said she has been lucky to get positive feedback, some of her friends in the curvy model industry have experienced negative comments.

Read more: Irish model Louise O'Reilly: 'I was body shamed as a kid but I'll be in Cosmo next month'

Brunette bombshell Ashley Graham made history in February when she was the first plus-size model on the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue. Louise said she has been surprised at the negative comments directed at the curvy cover girl.

Louise O'Reilly
Louise O'Reilly

"The thing people seem to forget is that, as a curvy model, you are like any other model and you still need to eat right, exercise and lead a balanced lifestyle," she explained.

"You don't know where you are going to be, so you have to be fit and able to run around so many shoots a day. I definitely feel that the industry fails to see that."

"As Ashley Graham has pointed out, just because you are curvy it doesn't mean you are promoting an unhealthy body image. It is about uplifting people and making them feel good about themselves."

The 27-year-old returned from Australia recently, where she was signed up by an agency.

She also has more work lined up across Europe, including Madrid after impressing during fashion week there.

Herald

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