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From gallivanting across the globe with her modelling work to stunning us all with the perfect Insta outfit picture, former Miss Universe Ireland Joanna Cooper is definitely one of our favourite people to follow. 

Showcasing behind the scenes details of her majorly successful modelling career, as well as nights on the town and travel excursions, the 25-year-old has almost 100,000 people following her career. 

We chatted to the model ahead of her appearance at last week's Nasty Gals Do Dublin event, to get the suss on her attitudes to social media, her modelling motivators and what the hell she uses to get her skin that stunning: 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by JO COOPS (@joannacoops) on

 Working in modelling, Joanna is exposed to the full force of fashion influence, but maintains her classic, comfortable but chic look. 

Describing her personal style as 'comfortable but cool,'  she often looks to social media for inspiration.

'I spend a lot of time on Pinterest looking at trends on there, and I get a lot of style inspiration off Instagram, the likes of Olivia Culpo (@oliviaculpo) – just people that show their everyday style, so then when you're travelling you can look to them for ideas. They always know how to make comfortable clothing look really chic.' 

'I wear a lot of black and a lot of leather so anything that looks effortless but cool,' she finished, described her own look – and one glance at her Instagram is evidence enough.  

The model is loving boiler suits as a trend this season, rocking a particularly edgy leather one-piece from Nasty Gal to the brand's Dublin event last week. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by JO COOPS (@joannacoops) on

When it comes to fashion, the Derry native definitely has a look that screams off-duty model. From statement jackets to  perfectly fitting jeans, teamed with crop tops and simple separates, it's clearly a recipe that works. However, there is a trend that Coops isn't particularly fond of: 

'I see everyone is wearing cycling shorts at the minute and I just cannot do it' she laughed. 'Not for me – they look fab on other people but I'm not feeling it.'

While fashion is clearly a strong suit for the gal, when we discovered we would be chatting to Joanna, one question immediately sprung to mind – her skincare routine. 

Joanna is definitely renowned for having one of the most striking faces in the modelling industry, and a flawless complexion to match. 

'I'm lucky that I don't have bad skin but its not amazing. What you see on instagram is a lot of products, and I think if you're going to invest in anything, invest in skincare because if you don't, then your makeup doesn't go on half as well and you're not addressing the problem underneath. I would invest in skincare and a good glowy highlight because then you can fake the glow.'

Stressing that she has never been sponsored by the brand, she revealed that her ultimate skincare hero product is the Alpha-H Liquid Gold – a glycolic resurfacing treatment toner. Joanna explains how using the toner every second night helps her to maintain her fresh faced glow. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by JO COOPS (@joannacoops) on

Despite her whopping 96k following on Instagram, Joanna does not consider herself a social media influencer. The key to striking the right balance between running her day to day, hectic modelling work alongside having an online presence is not forcing it. 

'I just like to keep it natural. If im on set or doing a job ill post about it and that seems to gain the most interest for me,' she detailed.

'I wouldn't really consider myself as an influencer. but people seem to be interested in my work so I just try and share as much if that as possible.'

While for many, the positives of putting yourself out there online are freebies, endorsements and encouraging comments, for Joanna, what she gets out of the online community she has crafted is the opportunity to chat with people she would not otherwise meet. 

'I like to get to interact with people that you wouldn't get to interact with in real life, and if anyone has any questions I try to answer them as much as I can,' she said.

And while being an influencer, or in Joanna's case, a model with a huge following, can bring many opportunities to the table, the pressures and negative aspects of social media can be vast. Luckily, Joanna has not had to deal with too much online animosity.

'If I want to post something, I will, but I wont be like "oh I have to post something on Insta" so maybe it's because I'm not on it all the time that I don't really see any negative stuff.'

'I feel like because it's not my main job, I have my main job and I just post about it, that I don't worry too much. But I completely understand (the pressure) when it's your bread and butter to keep up with posts but because its not for me, that's why I can be a bit more laid back about it.'

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by JO COOPS (@joannacoops) on

As a model, Joanna has worked worked with huge brands, and her social media documents the hectic work schedule she keeps up – to remain motivated, she recalls always having wanted to work as a model, and her gratitude to be able to do the job she loves pushes her on. 

'I like being busy. I've always wanted to do the job im doing, so now that i have it i just really appreciate it all the time and if something comes up id rather go and get it than sit back and later think 'oh I should have done that.' Its the fear of regretting not doing something.'

When it comes to the highly competitive modelling industry, Joanna remarks that there are two women in particular who she thinks are really changing the game. 

'I love all of the plus size models like Ashley Graham.'

Louise O'Reilly – I love her. She has changed the game and changed how women look at themselves and has given women so much confidence.'

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by JO COOPS (@joannacoops) on

'Speaking of modelling she remarks: 'I'll never get bored of it,'  but highlights how comparison syndrome can get her down like it would any other woman. 

'The comparison aspect – when your job is based on your image sometimes its hard. You feel like shit one day and you have to go and stand in front of the camera. Every girl has insecurities if they are comparing themselves against other people and it becomes more prevalent when you are a model – you just have to understand that everyone is their own person and embrace yourself.'

'And with social media it has gotten so much worse, particularly in younger girls comparing themselves.'

Finishing up our chat, she left us with a major mic drop moment: 'You need to realise that social media is curated and what's online is probably 10% of that person's real life.

'Remember that everyone had their own struggles.  You're just seeing curated images online – that's not real life.'

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During her time in the Love Island villa, Megan Barton-Hanson was judged for many things – her attitude to romance, her choice to have plastic surgery and her on-point style were just a few. 

However, nothing drew more judgement than the revelation that she had once worked as a stripper and the fact that she had sex in the Love Island house on camera – two things which speak to the discrimination women who enjoy their sexuality still face. 

Since exiting the villa, Megan has become a vocal spokesperson for gender equality and personal sexual empowerment – championing women to embrace their power and be unashamedly themselves.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Megan Barton-Hanson (@meganbartonhanson_) on

'We are no different than men. Why should women get penalised for saying they like to have sex?' she told SHEmazing, who chatted to Megan about her new role as an ambassador for PrettyLittleThing – a role that is exceptionally fitting, with Megan and the brand's attitudes to self-empowerment and individualism harmonising perfectly.  

'Why if you dress in a certain way you get penalised? Why if you're in a certain industry you get put down for that? I don't see why for men, it's applauded and they're praised for going out and getting a load of girls and have sex on TV, but if you're a girl, it's like everyone is in shock.'

'Especially the fact that I slept with not one but two guys on Love Island, people can't get over it, it was groundbreaking. But I don't see why its like that Adam (Collard) did exactly the same and he didn't get half the stick I did for it. '

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Megan Barton-Hanson (@meganbartonhanson_) on

When discussing her female role models in this space, the model cited vocal women like Amy Schumer and Amber Rose – who faced serious slut shaming at the hands of her ex-boyfriend Kanye West when he said ' I had to take 30 showers before I got with Kim,' following his relationship with Amber – literally implying that she was dirty. 

'I think its time to move on and I think the more people like me who are in the public eye to say that there is nothing wrong with it, people like Amber Rose and Amy Schumer, the more girls will be open about it and honest, I think the more accepted it will be,' Megan said. 

'I think it's really old fashioned to look at it as women need to be virginal.'

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Megan Barton-Hanson (@meganbartonhanson_) on

Megan revealed that she receives countless messages from women and girls who are facing bullying based on sexuality and slut shaming in their personal lives.

'Loads of girls DM me about similar things. Obviously it hurts when someone is negative towards you – it's taken me years to just own it and say 'do you know what, there's nothing I can do, this is just me and why should I feel bad that I have a high sex drive.' 

'Im not ashamed of it, I'm not ashamed that I was a stripper. The first thing is, you have to accept yourself amd not care what anyone else says.'

Megan has always been open about her journey to self acceptance – despite being an exceptionally confident and empowering woman, she faced hardships like anyone else. 

'It was difficult. My whole school life I was put down, bullied, for having different boyfriends and stuff like that, and then in my area I started dancing and everyone was like 'oh my God, I can't believe Megan's done that.'

'It was a journey and it wasn't easy but I think with age you just grow in confidence and learn to accept yourself.'

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Megan Barton-Hanson (@meganbartonhanson_) on

When it comes to personal style, Megan is known for her on-trend medley of high glam and street wear – with feminist slogan t-shirts being mixed and matched with curve-skimming dresses and edgy jumpsuits. 

Her advice to anyone who wants to be more experimental with their personal style? 'I think you shouldn't take fashion so seriously, dress how YOU want to dress, don't worry about what other people are saying as long as you're happy.'

'I think people just take it too seriously, especially with social media, there are always pictures of what you have worn to this event and that (event), but it doesn't need to be so serious,'

'If one day you want to war a short body-con dress, do that if the next day you want to dress in street style like baggy combat trousers, do that,' she continued.

'Just embrace your body, everyone has got different shapes and sizes so just do you.'

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Megan Barton-Hanson (@meganbartonhanson_) on

The Love Island stars get a bit of slack for being fairly prolific with the sponsored Instagram posts – but Megan's social media is noticeably devoid of sponsorships. 

Megan revealed that this was a choice of hers, as she didn't want to champion every brand which came her way as a gesture of authenticity to her audience.

'I felt like I had a responsibility, because a lot of people who watch Love Island are younger girls and they don't have loads of money, so I didn't want to put my name to everything just for the sake of me getting paid and advertising things I didn't believe in.'

'PrettyLittleThing really is a brand that I really do believe in, and I love the fact that they cater for all different shapes and sizes, it's affordable, it's on trend, and it's always been a brand I've loved.'

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