Too many insta-famous people these days are only concerned with showing the “perfect” sides to themselves. There’s nothing wrong with being aspirational, but isn’t it damn refreshing when they let their guard down for a second to show us the other “non-perfect” sides to them? Makeup-less selfies, vulnerable confessions, glimpses into “real life” that isn’t always all glam and sunshine… we love to see that stuff because women love to relate!
May we introduce to you a total gem: Janey B aka @Hello_Janey! She has over 250K followers (DAMN GINA!) and an impressive list of accomplishments. Girlfriend has been on Tosh.O, starred alongside Motorsports hero B.J Baldwin in Monster Energy’s RECOIL video –almost 10M views!– and has appeared in many magazines and music videos. She even holds a 9-5 while doing it all! But here’s something we really like about her:
Girlfriend is not afraid to get REAL. Scattered on her Instagram, you’ll see some vulnerable posts. She lowers the mask and invites her fans to get into some real-deal talk with her. It’s a breath of fresh air in insta world.
She’s also a HUGE women-supporting-women advocate and encourages her fellow females to be themselves but also make their own cash money. Among all her success, she stays relatable. That’s rare these days. We love her for it!
She ain’t just a pretty face y’all. She works hard, she keeps it real. And she has some interesting takes on the insta-famous world. She shares more of that side of her today- read on for the interview!
Violet Fog: Girl. You’re refreshing! You’re willing to lower the mask and show the “less perfect” sides to life and we appreciate that. You’ve talked about the shitty feels of getting out of shape, skin issues, and what a bitch it is to have to fill in your eyebrows everyday. You often post makeup-less selfies too! We’d love to see more people like you (in the spotlight) with that Hey-I-Also-Pop-Zits-Get-
Janey: I’m human, I go through the same insecurities too. I’m not afraid to show my vulnerable side and I think that a lot of my followers appreciate that. Believe it or not, I actually get more compliments from the male fans on how “refreshing” it is.
VF: You’re known to share the limelight by promoting other people you believe in. You highlight the notion of women making their own money. How important is it for you to advocate the message of female empowerment?
Janey: First of all, my mom always stressed to me the importance of never relying on a man for anything when I was growing up. I learned how to be a strong female through her. Secondly, I am all about women supporting women! There is enough spotlight for all of us to shine in our own way.
VF: All this instagram success- what does your family and friends think of it? And do you ever have to deal with people trying to ride on your coat tails? Are you getting recognized on the street often?
Janey: When I first started performing at nightclubs and modeling it was during the MySpace era (gasp!) and my family wasn’t too stoked. In fact, some of my biggest “haters” came from relatives. So it became something that I never talked about when we all got together. It was either they didn’t believe in me or they just didn’t understand my lifestyle since it was so different from theirs. Once I started booking bigger jobs on TV, magazine covers, and brand contracts, my family started being supportive of me.
After a day/night out, I often get comments like “I saw you there…” but every once in a while I’ll have someone actually come up to me and ask me if I’m “Hello Janey.” I love that my social media handle has become a part of my identity. It takes a lot of courage for someone to walk up to a person in a crowd and admit that they follow someone on social media. I love each and every one of my followers so I always give them a huge hug, chit chat a bit, and thank them for their love and support.
VF: That’s so sweet! Let’s talk more Instagram! Have you ever posted something and later deleted it? Insta regret is a real thing!
Janey: Of course! We have all done it. Bad eyebrows, blurry photos…even though I usually have good judgement on what I send through, I still have those insta regret moments here and there!
VF: Haters. Ignore them or call their asses out?
Janey: Block, delete! Bye, Felicia! But I will admit, every once in a while…you just need to call a troll out. I have amazing followers who sometimes do the dirty work for me. Shout out if you’ve defended my honor and you’re reading this! You’re the real MVP!
VF: It’s also obvious that you’re all for women celebrating their femininity and feeling confident in their skin. What are your top three beauty/health routines that you stick with to feel good? And when you’re not feeling at your prime, what measures do you take to bounce back quickly?
Janey: Skin is such a sensitive topic for me. I’ve suffered from deep, cystic acne in the past and have had eczema since the day I was born! I began documenting my skin transformation back in January 2012, and although I havent shared those photos online, I’ve shared them with my friends or people I meet and no one believes the state in which my skin used to be. I have a pretty intense skincare regimen that I stick to day in and day out. But here are my top 3 beauty/health routines I swear by:
1.The Clarisonic! It is the most vital product/tool in my skin care arsenal and has been for the past 5 years. It’s disgusting to see how much makeup is still sitting on my skin even after I use a makeup wipe. I can’t believe I went years without using it, I don’t even want to know how much product built up on my skin before using this magical tool.
2. The Obagi Nu-Derm line. It’s the one skin care line that I’ve used for over 3 months that still generates results. It’s basically transformed my skin I finally feel comfortable and confident walking around sans makeup. I’ve been using the line for about a year and a half now and my skin is the healthiest it’s ever been.
3. But most importantly, if I start breaking out in pimples or a rash, I take a moment to reflect on what’s going on in my life. Is it something that I’m eating or drinking? Is it a high amount of stress that’s throwing me out of whack? I believe that when my body freaks out like this, it’s trying to tell me to take a breather and re-balance myself.
VF: So let’s talk Instagram secrets. Did you, or do you have a strategy to growing your Instagram? What tips would you give to women who would like to make a business out of social media? It’s not as easy as it looks!
Janey: My strategy is to stay true to myself. Sure, I could use specific tactics to grow extremely fast if I wanted to, but I have chosen to grow steadily instead. To me, it’s important that my followers feel that I’m a real person and that they can engage with me and that I’m not just a walking online advertisement.
VF: Engagement is huge. It’s so rad to see that you take the time to interact with your followers through the comments. A lot of insta-famous don’t take the time to do that. Beyond it being clear how much you adore your fans, would you say that interaction with them is key to your success?
Janey: I try interact, but sometimes I cant get to everyone’s comments. But interaction definitely does play a big part in my success.
VF: Girl. Is it Christmas every day when you come home? You must get a LOT of free stuff. Is there a lot of negotiating back and forth with these brands? With promoting them, how do you deal with the fine line between remaining authentic and “selling out”?
Janey: My husband does joke that it’s like Christmas every week. And despite getting offered to promote things, I have always promised myself and my followers that I would never promote something that I would not use or believe in myself. I understand how hard people work to make their money, so the last thing I would want is someone to blow their hard earned cash on something that doesn’t even work! It doesn’t matter how much free stuff or money a brand is willing to offer me, if I wouldn’t use it, then I’m not posting it.
VF: If there was one thing you’d want your followers to take away from you- what is it?
Janey: Your dreams don’t work unless you do. I’m still in the middle of making my own dreams come true, but I’m pretty proud of the things that I’ve accomplished thus far. And not one of those things were simply handed to me, I busted my ass to get where I am today. And you know what, there is so much more satisfaction in that then taking the easy route. Hustle hard my friends!
Thank you to our fellow girl in the #NiceGirlClub, Janey B! Again, you can follow here!