We live in a strange, new Instagram world, full of self-proclaimed 'influencers' who share every aspect of their lives.
Some use their children to promote and sell products to their followers; others document every step of childbirth, diet, exercise, even colonic irrigation. Before social media existed, certain milestones and intimate moments were kept among those who were directly involved, as opposed to appearing on the Instagram feeds of hundreds of thousands of people. Not any more.
It's a weird, cyber world that has primarily taken off in the last five years; and it's a world that most of us are still trying to grasp and navigate. So it's refreshing to stumble across someone like Jess Redden who doesn't want to rely solely on being an influencer. Jess says that the considerable following she has amassed online was totally unintentional, and that she plans to work as a pharmacist once she qualifies.
That said, Jess isn't completely unfamiliar with the media world. She regularly attends events with her fiance, rugby player Rob Kearney.
Jess came to 'influencing' almost by accident, when she started sharing tips and tricks online covering all sorts of topics, from how to deal with dandruff and hay fever, to her workouts, to quick, healthy recipes, which could be anything from a beef chilli stir-fry to healthy oat and banana pancakes. She has since accumulated an online following of almost 30,000.
From her teens, Jess worked part-time in the pharmacy close to where she grew up. "I was totally fascinated by pharmacology and how the drugs worked," she says. "I would bring in my notebook to work, and write down notes. Thinking back on it, I was probably such a pain," she says, laughing.
Rob Kearney and Jess Redden became engaged in January. Picture: Instagram
She spent three years studying psychology at University College Dublin, but knew her ultimate goal was to become a pharmacist, and she's now in her final year at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, with her thesis nearly complete.
"My parents have always been so encouraging. I could tell them I want to fly to the moon tomorrow, and they would do everything in their power to make sure that became a reality for me. They are both solicitors, and maybe they would have wanted us to follow in the family footsteps, but the youngest of the family, Ali, is doing law."
Jess is a fitness fanatic and avid gym bunny, and it's hard to believe that someone with abs like hers doesn't spend every waking hour toning her muscles in the gym, but, she says, "I go to the gym five times a week for 20 minutes to an hour. But never more than an hour. I'm a big fan of Pilates, too."
Originally from Dundrum, Co Dublin, 26-year-old Jess attended Alexandra College, along with her four sisters. Jess claims it wasn't like World War III growing up in a house of five girls, and remains close with her sisters and her tight-knit family, saying, "They have always protected and guided me with whatever was going on in life."
As her relationship with Rob blossomed, she moved in with him, and embarked on a new life in Ranelagh, one of south Dublin's trendiest neighbourhoods.
The wives and girlfriends of the rugby team all get along quite well, and are "great pals" according to Jess, and they regularly attend weddings and sporting events together. So it's not like footballers' wives in the UK, I ask, alluding to the recent infamous Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy feud. "God, no!" she laughs. "All of the girls are so lovely, and everyone gets on so well."
"Penelope [wife of Australian Leinster player Scott Fardy] read my tarot cards back when the boys were in the World Cup in Japan," she says.
Are you into that sort of stuff?
"I'm open to everything. I mean, I'm a woman of science, so no, but at the same time I would never dismiss anyone else. She did predict that I was going to get engaged, though."
Jess and Rob met through mutual friends, but Jess can't quite remember exactly where or how. Or maybe she is being coy. The duo have been together for seven years, and Jess knew an engagement was on the cards at some stage, but was taken by complete surprise when Rob proposed with a blue sapphire and diamond ring in a moonlit Central Park, New York, last New Year's Eve.
"I spent Christmas Day in Seville with my family, and then I flew out to New York three days later... It was so lovely and nice to just be in our own bubble being away."
The celebrations continued when the couple arrived back in Dublin, where they partied with family and friends in The Bridge Pub in Ballsbridge, which Rob co-owns with fellow rugby players Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip and Rob's brother, Dave. "I had such a comedown the day after the engagement party at home," says Jess, "I can't imagine what it's going to be like after the wedding."
They are hoping to get married in next spring. When we meet, Jess is excited about the weekend ahead; she and Rob will be travelling around the country, staying at different hotels, five-star I presume, to choose the perfect venue for their special day. She's careful not to reveal the hotels on her list, keeping them top secret, but admits she has already found her dress. "When you know, you know. I tried it on, and my dad told me, 'That's it, that's the one, you're not trying on another dress'. I had no make-up on, and my hair was in a greasy bun. If I could fall in love with the dress [looking] like that, then you know it's the one."
You won't find Jess sharing too many details of her wedding online in the coming months. Although she shares the odd photo featuring herself and Rob, she's keen to keep her relationship separate from her Instagram. When it comes to her private life and her wedding preparations, her legions of followers will just have to use their imagination.