Tracy Kiss’s inspiring journey from modeling to becoming an authentic influencer showcases her commitment to challenging societal norms and promoting mental health. By advocating for embracing imperfections, Tracy empowers others to prioritize authenticity and make a positive difference. Her story serves as a valuable lesson for aspiring influencers, emphasizing the importance of staying true to oneself while inspiring others.
Who is Tracy Kiss?
Tracy Kiss, a mother of two and influential figure, has journeyed from modeling to becoming a beacon of authenticity. With social media’s rise, Tracy emphasizes the importance of a human approach rather than projecting an idealized image. Her transformation into a vegan bodybuilding professional showcased her ability to inspire and make a positive difference.
She encourages others to embrace their natural selves, focusing on mental health and personal progress. In a world of filtered content, her advocacy for authenticity is empowering and inspiring.
Transitioning From Glam to a More Natural Look
Tracy has decided to present a more realistic image on social media. She highlighted the disconnect between her public persona and her real life, saying, “People then thought I was this beautiful, glamorous princess who didn’t lift a finger, and they didn’t see me doing night feeds, changing nappies.” The negative impact of her image on a young girl was a turning point, as was her daughter’s healthier relationship with beauty: “I haven’t influenced her to have to do this, to be beautiful,” she noted.
Shifting from glamour to authenticity, Tracy remarked, “I do not want to be a role model to people who consider beauty getting as many likes as possible wearing as much makeup as possible.” Now, she shares real experiences without filters, stating, “This is me and, you know, taking filters away. Showing, this is what skin looks like.” Tracy’s goal as an influencer is to counter a world that “strives for perfection that doesn’t exist.”
Challenges and Backlash Along the Way
Tracy’s transition online was fraught with challenges, including a drop in male engagement and negative comments about her appearance. Some accused her of looking “old” or not trying hard enough. To maintain her well-being, Tracy chose to block these users, removing their negativity from her life.
The impact of this transition, however, had a silver lining: an increase in female followers. Tracy stated, “Because of that, I’ve seen an increase in female following…a female audience that you are inspiring, and they need you, and they need this.”
Tracy’s choice to present herself authentically, without filters, attracted criticism but also sparked important conversations about self-image. Her honest depiction of her hair transplant procedure, viewed by 30 million people, addressed the often-unspoken issue of female hair loss.
Despite dealing with harsh criticisms, Tracy advocates for honesty and realism in her content. She stresses the importance of embracing imperfections and fostering connections through authenticity. She encourages her followers not to strive for perfection, but to be themselves, reinforcing the importance of empathy and understanding in online communities.
Importance of Authenticity
In her discussion about the importance of authenticity in the influencer industry, Tracy has been a part of it for several years since “blogger” or “social influencer” were often looked down upon. “They had to work very hard, most of the time for free,” she says, comparing it to how today’s influencers seem to expect everything handed to them.
Tracy noticed a shift towards entitlement and fame-hunger, which often lacks authenticity and genuine experience. “You end up with fame-hungry people who just demand attention. And do outrageous things to get that attention. But don’t have the skillset and the healthy mindset behind it,” she adds.
Speaking on the impact of this behavior, Tracy observed, “Reality TV stars who… sign up for fashion deals and collaborations… can’t deal with the trolling and the negativity and criticism and judgment. And ultimately become suicidal; their mental health suffers.”
In contrast, she praises an agency, Sintillate Talent, for focusing on the mental health of influencers and fostering genuine interaction and support. Tracy describes how they encourage face-to-face engagement, leading to supportive interactions, not competition, a rare occurrence in the industry.
Role Influencers Play in Promoting Body Positivity and Self-Acceptance
Tracy believes influencers are crucial in promoting body positivity and self-acceptance, stating, “I think influencers are actually more important than the media themselves than television or magazines.” She argues that the power of influencers lies in the ubiquitous presence of smartphones and our constant engagement with online content.
According to Tracy, many people online fabricate their lives, from bragging about the wealth they don’t possess to hiding their insecurities with filters. “They portray this perfect image. And people believe that; they compare themselves to that; they feel inferior. It builds on depression, mental health, and suicide,” she warns.
However, she firmly advocates that influencers can also play a positive role, saying, “You can have this beautiful perspective of people who are entirely natural. People who are entirely glam.” Tracy emphasizes that showing one’s authentic life, complete with imperfections and struggles, could be an opportunity to positively influence others.
Dealing with online criticism, she advises, “You don’t have to engage in that, and you don’t have to take that to heart.” She believes negative reactions often reflect the aggressor’s insecurities rather than any shortcomings of the target.
Tracy shares personal experiences as a testament to the power of online influence, mentioning her decision to publicly show her hair transplant progress and cervical health to raise awareness and break taboos. She feels grateful for the opportunity to use her social media presence to support various causes dear to her, emphasizing that her ability to make a difference reaffirms her choice to embrace a more authentic image.
Balancing Staying True and Meeting the Expectations of Brands and Sponsors
Tracy shares her perspective on balancing personal integrity with brand expectations, stating, “So I say no to a lot of things. Whatever doesn’t resonate with you.” She acknowledges the financial pressures influencers face but strongly advises against compromising ethics, saying, “Rather than do something that is against your ethics and morals as a person, I would strongly discourage that.”
Tracy emphasizes the significance of staying true to oneself and selecting collaborations that align with personal values. She notes, “The brands that really associate with my feed and with my content… they appreciate you rather than saying, how can we reach as many people as possible, make as much profits as possible? It’s quality, not quantity.”
Tracy also encourages influencers to have alternative income sources, sharing her own experience, “I have my own businesses… So even though I’m an influencer, the money I’ve earned from influencing, I’ve invested to mitigate risk, to have financial security for my family.”
Tracy advises influencers to prioritize authenticity and reject collaborations that don’t resonate with their values while also having diverse sources of income to maintain financial stability.
How the Influencer Industry Can Promote More Diversity and Inclusivity
Tracy suggests removing default filters on apps, stating, “Every time you have the ability to go live or take a selfie, it should say, ‘Here’s the latest filter that’s been uploaded. Give it a go.'” She believes filters can provide confidence but advises against promoting them as the primary way to create content.
Regarding sponsored posts, Tracy expresses concern, saying, “I don’t think you should be able to pay for ads to get onto the feed of vulnerable people who should not be exposed to those things.” She emphasizes prioritizing well-being over financial gains and suggests creating a separate area for sponsored content.
Tracy highlights the issue of shadow banning and body shaming, stating, “Allowing people to be obese or to be anorexic… you have to show every part of the spectrum… not just what social media platforms deem to be the Disney version of life.” She calls for inclusivity and acceptance of different body types and appearances.
Tracy predicts a shift towards a more natural approach to social media, stating, “Instead of it just being about selfies and pouting… It’s about being you and letting your personality shine through.” She mentions the Dove campaign that showcased real women with imperfections, which sparked a trend toward embracing natural beauty.
She also highlights the importance of accepting oneself and not conforming to societal standards, saying, “To be able to say, this is me in whatever form that takes… And for your choice to be healthy for you.” Tracy believes that influencer marketing is heading towards embracing natural beauty and that people are starting to value and recognize it.
Additionally, Tracy admires how older individuals are defying stereotypes and living their best lives, whether it’s wearing high heels and dancing or embracing their own unique style. She emphasizes that it’s not about shaming others for their choices but rather showing the reality of one’s life and being true to oneself.
Lessons Tracy Learned
Tracy shares valuable lessons from her journey as an influencer, stating, “Not to change my appearance or actions to please others… I don’t have to objectify myself to suit your brief.” She emphasizes the importance of staying true to oneself and not compromising personal values for popularity or engagement.
She also addresses the issue of chasing likes and followers, saying, “Don’t be swayed into chasing likes… Likes today are not how they used to be… A lot of people are paying for likes, a lot of people are paying for followers.” Tracy expresses a desire to focus on content rather than the number of likes or followers, stating, “I would like to be judged for my content, not how people perceive the engagement of my content.”
While acknowledging the unlikelihood of social media platforms implementing changes such as hiding likes and followers, Tracy highlights the importance of letting the content speak for itself and not measuring a person’s success solely based on numbers.
Goals for the Future
Tracy shared her future goals and aspirations as an influencer, saying, “Personally, I’m actually looking forward to buying land and building an off-grid, self-sustainable home for my family. Growing crops and having an orchard. Just living in nature…that beautiful balance between work and life.” She also expressed her desire to create a space where her children can be alone in their own slice of the world, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Regarding her professional goals, Tracy mentioned her interest in podcasting, telling us, “I would love to speak to people from all over the world. Whether they are celebrities and influencers or just people I’ve met and come across. Even to interview you, to pick your brain…to show humanity in every form and interacting, not just chucking content at people, but actually saying, ‘What’s your opinion of this and how do you view this?’ Listening, connecting with other people.”
Advice for New Influencers
Tracy advises struggling influencers to prioritize authenticity and effort. She encourages individuals to be themselves, stating, “Your voice is you, your appearance, it’s you. Nobody can pretend to be you or replace you.” She emphasizes the importance of genuine content and warns against faking it for success, as people appreciate authenticity more. She also highlights the value of building a portfolio of quality content over time, which attracts brands that appreciate the effort and connection.
Most importantly, Tracy acknowledges the evolving audience preference for realness and concludes by expressing her desire for more authentic influencers in the industry.