Opinions expressed by Digital Journal contributors are their own.
When Jackie Leigh first decided to start posting content online, her life was anything but business as usual. The world was in the middle of a pandemic. She spent most of her time at home, just like anyone else. The school was out.
Still, none of that prepared her for the effects her burgeoning online presence would have on her life when things started going back to normal, and school resumed. Knowing that she worked better in a less structured environment, she attended online school.
“It’s gratifying to do what I do, but life has some tough moments, and you have to do what works best for you,” Jackie Leigh explains. “And the trick is to enjoy the good and deal with the bad, like with anything else in life.”
When it comes to enjoying the good and having an influencer career that’s reaping the rewards, her confidence was the one personality trait she found to be the most important. “I am shy and quiet, but I’m confident about myself,” she explains. “I say what I want, try to do what I want, and I don’t need to meld in a group to be safe. I’d rather be interesting and risqué than safe.”
Her confidence has also protected her from some of the more sinister aspects of having a career that involves taking pictures and posting them online. Body image issues are prominent among models and creators who cannot help but compare themselves with the impossible standards presented in photoshopped images.
Her weight isn’t something she obsesses over. It’s normal for her weight to fluctuate, and there are better things to obsess over when one is in the content creation business. Things like making sure to post the exact right picture from the dozens, and sometimes even hundreds, of photos she takes for every social media post.
While confidence helped her deal with the challenging bullying situation, her courage enabled her to persevere and continue building her online career. All of it happened at a time when her life was a bigger mess than the ordinary teenager’s life– her mom was undergoing an operation to treat her cancer at that time. Yet, she never flinched, never veered.
“I’ve never had too many friends. I’m a shy and quiet person,” she explains. “But I’m not afraid to say or do the things that others are too afraid to, and I’m not afraid of possible consequences. I don’t want to spend time at a place where I might be jumped. But having that happened to me, I learned it only gave me more power to be even more invested in what I do.”
Setbacks and all, Jackie Leigh, made her choices, and she’s firmly decided to live by them. With her career kicking off even more, this year and her expansion to other platforms, she’s hopeful she won’t need to reach for all those traits that helped her through the tumultuous first years of her online career. “It’s good to know those personality traits are there,” she adds.