Erin O’Connor is the ambassador for the new ISPCC Childline “Headbomz” campaign (supported by Vodafone). This campaign encourages children between the ages of 8 -10 to share how they feel, because “talking makes us stronger”.
“This campaign is about engaging more kids. I am still dumbfounded that children struggle with the pressures of resilience and they mightn’t have a person to talk to, and so that’s why this is so valid”. said Erin.
Erin went on to share tales about her experience of growing up and breaking into the modelling industry.
“I had a very interesting, kind of unique, access to the industry when I dipped in, because there was a whole wash of rebellion against the idea of aesthetic ideals and it was more character and personality based – and I was really ready to unleash that in a medium. I didn’t know I had that in me, so that was incredibly liberating.”
She also opened up about the time she was at a fitting and was told her bum was too big for the pants, so she told the designer to just make the pants bigger! “I didn’t worry so much about losing the gig. I worried more about leaving that building with my dignity in tact and that to me will lead me throughout the rest of my life.”
Erin is a big supporter of regulating the modelling industry. “I am not anti-modelling, but I am anti underage modelling. This is for 2 reasons.
One, at under 16 years of age, they are children … and there are pressures and responsibilities (in this industry) that they shouldn’t have to take care of.
And two, grown women trying to emulate themselves on girls who are not yet fully formed in mind and body – problems arise with that. There’s unrealistic expectations to compare and contrast and to judge, and I am so over that.”
Erin also shared what she would like to do next.
I have to say, this was one of my most interesting, refreshingly honest and positive interviewees yet.
For the full interview, listen below.