My beautiful cousin, Hannah, is probably best known to her thousands of social media followers for her style, healthy habits and behind the scenes glimpses of life with her gorgeous dog, Monty and rugby playing partner, Beauden.
But behind the ‘gram is a woman I know to be is so natural, kind, fun and full of integrity. Read on as we catch up with Han and find out how she nurtures her inner happiness, stays true to herself and what qualities she loves about her friends!
Thanks for having a chat with me for realyou.co.nz! First off can you share with us some of the qualities you love and appreciate in your friends?
Well, all my friends know how to have fun, that’s for sure. We are crazy when we get together!
But what I really do value is their loyalty. I think especially when you’re teenagers, girls can be so bitchy so to stick up for each other and say “No, that’s my friend, don’t talk about her like that” is something I really appreciate it. It’s so easy for people to be two-faced in this day and age and for me if I have a friend who is two faced, it’s a waste of time. So, loyalty is an important quality for me.
The other thing I would say is when you’re in high school you feel like you have to be friends with everyone because you see them every day. The beauty of leaving school and university is that you can actually pick to be friends with whoever you want to and then it does become easier.
What does it mean to you to be authentic and "yourself"?
I think it starts with knowing your values and understanding what is important to you and then just being natural and yourself as you uphold those values. It’s important to be true to yourself and not try to give in to peer pressure and the challenges of today's society.
Peer pressure is a really big thing nowadays and it's not always easy to handle. How do you say “no” to something that doesn’t feel right for you?
I just think at the end of the day your life is for you and you should never feel obliged to do anything you don’t want to do. It’s horrible that people are put in such situations in the first place but at the end of the day, it’s your life and the decisions you make define you, not anyone else.
So, it is important to stand up for yourself and underneath we all tend to know what is “right”. I would say to anyone who feels a lot of pressure to do something that they aren't comfortable with to try and not be too afraid to follow your gut and do what feels right for you.
What truly makes you feel happy in life?
So funny that you ask because the last couple of years I’ve sort of struggled with that. I’ve relied on other people to make me happy and I think I’ve only just this year really realised I need to be happy within myself first. It’s not anyone else’s job to make me feel happy so it’s been important to find out what makes me tick and what I enjoy doing. Whether it’s alone time, going for a run, a bubble bath and a face mask, that kind of stuff. I try to make sure I have time for myself and realise that I’m in control of how I choose to feel in life.
It's so true. After a while, it does get tiring looking for happiness outside ourselves...
That’s actually just how I felt! Happiness is something that comes from within and you can’t rely on superficial things or friends to give it to you, although it does help. I think happiness really does need to come from within yourself first and foremost.
Do you feel any pressure to look in a certain way?
Yeah, I do sometimes, especially going out with Beauden. I’ve had a lot of people say things about me like “Oh, she’s not even that pretty” or, “Oh, my friends are way hotter.” So naturally, it makes you feel a bit inferior. I have to practice not listening to any of those sorts or comments and remember it says more about the people who say that kind of thing than anything else.
I’ve always loved exercise, looking after my body and learning how to nurture my health. I think that ultimately it’s really important to respect your body and everyone’s body is different. You’re not always going to look like that tiny model but it’s actually about loving and nourishing your body and feeling comfortable within yourself. And it is really hard to feel like that sometimes but I think and it does get easier with age and as your happiness from within.
Having such a social media following are you conscious about the way you present yourself on social media?
Yeah, definitely. I think it comes back to integrity and also, I’ve got my grandparents on Instagram! I always say to myself don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want them to see. I don’t really believe in posting really sexual or provocative pictures on Instagram anyhow, it’s just my opinion. I guess again, it comes back to staying true to yourself and what you feel comfortable with. At the end of the day, we all know what get's posted online is there forever so it’s just important to make conscious decisions about what you share.
If you were to go back and have a chat with your 17-year-old self, what would you like to tell her?
I don’t actually regret anything I did when I was 17! I tried to take every opportunity that came my way and live life to it’s fullest.
But what I would say is, don’t get caught up in the small things. If someone is mean to you or your boyfriend cheats on you, it’s painful but a lot of people go through it and unfortunately it is part of life. But I do think that everything happens for a reason and it all works out alright in the end. When you’re going through a tough time and you might not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel it is there and you’ll find it again eventually.
A big thank you for chatting with us and sharing yourself in such a beautiful and open way, Hannah!
If you're not already following Hannah, you can find her on Instagram @hannahlaity.
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