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Under the influence: Freya Dudding

This May, we are under the influence of Freya Dudding – a content creator from Manchester/Yorkshire who shares fashion inspiration and supports body positivity and self love on Instagram and TikTok.

Photo: Freya Dudding

Q: “How did you become a creator?”

A: “I’m actually a full-time Data Analyst at the moment and I studied Maths at university! I have always had a creative side though, I loved doing Arts at A-level but just didn’t want to pursue that as a full-time job. I loved photography and then I started thinking I could be in the photos myself.

“When I went to Walt Disney World in Florida some time ago, all the cute pictures of people at Disney inspired me to get back into it. Then once lockdown hit, I had some more time do some research into hashtags, and to build connections with other creators.”

Q: “What does an average day look like for you?”

A: “Ooh, my days are pretty mixed. I have a 9 to 5 job, but in the summer when its lighter in the mornings I try to get out and take pictures. When I used to live in the centre of Manchester it was lovely because I could walk anywhere in the morning to get my photos done. Now it’s a little more complicated. Sometimes I’ll go in the evenings after work, but usually I create most of my content at the weekend, I don’t do it everyday. I post stories throughout the day, but I usually only start interacting with other accounts and posting my own content around 6pm.”

Q: “Which platforms do you use the most?”

A: “Instagram mostly. I use Pinterest but I don’t use it for my own content. Apparently, it’s a great way to get Instagram booming but I have no idea how it works haha! TikTok is probably my second biggest platform. Instagram’s Reels work hand in hand with TikToks so I can post the same content on both platforms.”

Photo: Freya Dudding

Q: “Do you believe that influencers have a moral duty to represent values they stand for?”

A: “This depends on the person. If you’re the kind of person that, within a group of friends, sits back and stays quiet, then social media is the same – it’s just like having a bigger friendship group, so if you’re not comfortable doing it with your own friends, then it’s fair enough to sit back.

“UK politics can get quite heated so I think it’s okay to step back from that! But when it comes to human rights issues people should take a stand – that shouldn’t even be a political thing really.

“I’m quite comfortable with saying what I think. People will always make their own decisions, but if I can spread awareness about something I believe is true, then I would love to share that.”

Q: “What has it been like to see the world of Body Positivity boom on social media? Has traditional marketing done enough to represent real bodies or is there still some way to go?”

A: “Since I have started TikTok I get lots of heartfelt messages thanking me for showcasing my size and showing that you can still look and feel good in what you’re wearing no matter what size you are – it’s really nice!

“I do feel like Body Positiviy as a whole wasn’t really a ‘thing’ when I was growing up. I look at younger generations now and they watch shows like Keeping up with the Kardashians when they’re twelve and I worry they’re all going to grow up thinking they should look just like them.

“I love that Body Positivity has formed this community. Actually, one brand that has stood out to me is Hollister. When I was growing up it was the ‘in’ brand and they only used to have small, medium, large, and if you didn’t fit in the large that was it! Now, they have many more size options, so they are listening to what people are saying, and they’ve started working with a bigger variety of influencers.

“There is a way to come, but magazines and social media seem to target everyone now.”

Photo: Freya Dudding on Instagram

One tricky issue in the world of fashion influencers is fast fashion’s impact on climate change.
Q: “What are your thoughts on sustainability and the work you do?”

A: “My family feels quite strongly about sustainability, so they discourage me from buying anything from places like Amazon. I did grow up thinking that it is important to consume consciously, but yeah, I do love clothes so it’s hard!

“Where I can, I buy from independent shops, especially jewellery! It’s easier with accessories to find affordable alternatives to fast-fashion. With clothes it gets more complicated because sustainable clothing tends to be a lot more expensive. I do get people asking me for more sustainable brands so I try my best to promote some.”

Q: “Do you feel pressure from followers to produce a certain kind of content?”

A: “At the minute, I’m at a confusing point because I think I need a smaller niche. I have so many different interests, and while my followers seem to prefer my fashion content, that’s not always the one that does best so it’s quite contradicting.”

Photo: Freya Dudding

“Sometimes I do need to think of what will do well online and not just what I want to make. I prefer to post less content that is really good quality than weaker content more often.”

Q: “What is it like being a content creator in Manchester as opposed to London?”

Photo: Freya Dudding on Instagram

A: “I think sometimes I do wish I was down in London, just because there are a lot more opportunities. I love living in a place with nice surroundings and a place where I feel comfortable going out and taking photos. But I have a good group of influencer friends in the Manchester area!”

Q: “What is your favourite thing about being a creator?”

A: “Probably the fun and creative part of going out and shooting content, editing it, and working with brands which I would purchase from anyway!”

Q: “What’s your least favourite thing about being a creator?”

A: “It’s probably the stress of feeling that I have to post at certain times and over-analysing what I post. It might get worse when things open up again as we’ll all be going out and I’ll have to remember to post at the right times.”

Q: “What advice would you give to any of our readers who would like to start content creating?”

Photo: Freya Dudding on Instagram

A: “Use hashtags! Think about what you love most about your content, it will help you find a niche – maybe its fun editing, or body positivity. It’s important to interact with other people too, to build relationships with other creators and your followers.

“Sometimes I get messages and people start off by saying ‘I know you’re probably not going to read this…’ which I think is odd because I always read everything, I want to know what everyone thinks!”

Tags: FredyaDudding, influencer, instagram, TikTok

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