Get to know the UK's Most Hilarious Instagram Star
The people have spoken, and we’re listening; we’re taking our products international so we can better serve our community aka you.
We are so excited to announce our products are now available to all of our friends in the United Kingdom at Self & More. They're our first (but definitely not last) of international stockists that offer discreet shipping for all things sex related in the UK.
At S&M (euphemism only partially insinuated), they believe that everybody deserves to experience pleasure without judgement, and we couldn’t agree more. We also believe that nobody deserves to accept vaginal or sexual discomfort, irritation, or pain as normal, so it’s only natural we joined forces.
Self & More dubbed us their "favorite vaginal wellness company" and interviewed our co-founder Lindsay Wynn to learn more about our range of products and company origins and share a few simple tips for vaginal care. Read that interview here and shop the goods at Self & More.
We’re always working on developing relationships around the globe, and we recently connected with one of our new friends from across the pond: UK based self-loving go-getter Joeley of @mynameisjoeley. Her unbridled honesty will have you snorting in laughter and shedding tears in the same sentence as she addresses issues surrounding the body and self, fat-shaming, inclusivity, mental health, and a myriad of other topics so often uplifted but also exacerbated by social media.
Joeley shares some pro-tips for a healthier, happier life and advice on how to learn and—perhaps more importantly—unlearn how to better serve marginalized bodies in our community.
Who is Joeley!? Tell us everything :)
Well, it depends who you ask; I’m a dance teacher, a person-centred counsellor, a stage manager, and, very occasionally, influencer. My demeanor changes depending on where I am and what I’m doing, but a few things remain constant: always beautiful, always hilarious, and always weird.
Why did you start your instagram account @thevagaggle?
Before I started my degree in counselling, I was working in a secondary school as a Learning Support Assistant. Around that time, my friend Megan was really starting to make a difference online and the conversation within our friendship group was shifting from talking about the goings on of our small seaside area, to talking about intersectional feminism.
Those conversations about feminism and body positivity really lit a fire under my arse to try and make a difference. But unfortunately, as I was working in a school, I couldn’t safely talk about my chubby rolls and political beliefs on my own personal account so I started an anonymous account and I named it after the group of friends who I’d go down to the pub and chat shit with.
Tell us about managing your Insta life—the good and the bad.
The good is definitely the people who follow me telling me how much of a difference it makes, because that’s all I’ve ever wanted—to just make someone think twice and make a slight difference in the world, even if it’s to just one person.
Megan (@bodyposipanda) and I recently toured around the UK and I hang about in the background at some of the meet and greets and couldn’t quite believe that some people wanted to have pictures with me as well. It’s easy to understand why, as I am quite obviously a living legend but it was very surreal that other people are starting to discover that as well.
The bad is definitely that people assume they can demand certain things from me, whether it’s creepy old men demanding nudes or followers expecting me to be an expert on every single thing that’s ever happened or existed in the world. There’s no wiggle room to be seen as learning or making a mistake. I also get a lot of people telling me their issues via DM and then asking how to deal with it because they know I’m a counsellor, and rarely do people think about how that affects me.
It’s difficult because when I’m counselling, there are processes I go through to protect myself and sometimes I’m really not prepared emotionally when I’m just checking my DMs. But there it is in front of me and also they’re essentially asking me for free counselling, which, after 2 years of training and nearly £50,000 worth of student loans, it doesn’t feel very fair that people expect this for free, and will even get angry if I don’t reply in the way they wish.
Your account talks a lot about the body, fat-shaming, inclusivity, mental health, and a myriad of other things that can be uplifted and exacerbated by social media. Do you have any advice for how to manage a healthy relationship with Instagram and other social media platforms?
Do something fun at least once a week that isn’t broadcasted or documented on social media. At one point I was putting a lot of my life on social media and it meant that people had access to my life 24/7, whereas now I keep things for myself. And that counts for my personal instagram as well which I use quite sparingly—some holiday snaps here, a friend’s birthday there. I don’t post everyday on either of my accounts and if I do post something, I usually do it before I go to sleep so I don’t keep checking my phone obsessively. But most importantly, I make sure that I’m never forcing myself to post something because that’s when it becomes inauthentic.
Give us some advice. Who should we follow? How can we learn (and unlearn) to better support our friends and community?
@the_feeding_of_the_fox is an incredible queer disabled activist who’s all about radical body politics (and is also incredibly cool)
I think the best way to learn and unlearn—especially as white people or anyone existing in a place of privilege—is to actively listen. What are people saying? What do they want and need from us as privileged folks? Acknowledge their feelings and try and let go of any defensiveness that is often the natural reaction.
And then, most importantly, continue the discussions behind closed doors. It’s all well and good to talk about it online, but a) it’s taking away space from marginalised voices and b) we need to be challenging the views of the people around us, the people we interact with everyday. And as for advice: always wipe front to back and the vagina is a self-cleaning organ.
What are your goals for 2020 and beyond (personal and/or professional)?
I recently got rid of all my professional goals (apart from finishing my degree and qualifying) and then after that, who knows? I used to have a 30 year plan that was quite detailed, but my life has taken several twists and turns in the last few years so I scrapped it and made a 5 year plan and then scrapped that and now I’m just seeing where life goes, which has been a real learning curve and absolutely terrifying. Life is exciting, so I’m trying to enjoy where I am instead of trying to rush ahead to the next thing.
In terms of personal goals, I only have one. It’s a goal I’ve had for several years, but I do feel like I’m really making strides to get there. One day, my dream is to be hanging out with a celebrity, get papped, and then to be described as their ‘mysterious blonde friend’ by the tabloids. A girl can dream.
Pssst if you're dreaming of having Momotaro Apotheca products but you're outside of the US, UK, or Canada, discover our international stockists or drop us a line. We are adding stockists all of the time and they may be able to ship internationally on our behalf.
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