Love Island

Love Island's Tayla Damir is turning the tables: "I want to teach girls about toxic relationships"

The reality star is a positive force for young women.

By NW team
Tayla Damir has had a whirlwind couple of months since appearing on reality dating series Love Island. The 21-year-old wholeheartedly fell in love with fellow contestant Grant Crapp only to have a very public break-up two weeks after the show's finale.
Yet through the turmoil and heartache, the journalism and broadcasting graduate has kept her composure, remaining an uplifting figure for every one of her 253k Instagram followers.
"I just wanted to take the positive from this and use it to help other people," Tayla tells NW.
"I've been through so much and I just wish someone had warned me."
Inspired by her recent experiences, Tayla really wants to make a positive impact on young women and girls as she plans to use her new platform to educate women on unhealthy relationships.
Here Tayla speaks to NW about her plans to make a difference.
"I can see how many young girls are looking up to me." Love Island's Tayla Damir wants to be a positive influence for her young followers.
How has being in the spotlight affected how you look at yourself?
Tayla: I think for me I always felt that kind of pressure, especially when I was modelling, to look a certain way or be a certain weight. And it wasn't' until a year or two ago that I realised it doesn't matter what weight I am or what I look like, at the end of the day if I'm true to who I am then the people who are meant to be around me will stay around me.
What's more more important [than appearance] is who you are and what your values are. I could completely put all my emotions and energies into exercising, but that doesn't mean I would be happy. It's about finding that balance and realising that appearance isn't the most important thing in life.
Have you had a lot of people contacting you after Love Island?
Tayla: So many. And it's so nice. The types of messages that come through fall into two groups. The first is, "we support you, you're a role model," which is so amazing to hear because that's literally what I wanted when everything went down.
The other messages I receive are from people who've seen me doing fitness vidoes. I spoke before I went into the [the Love Island villa] that I use fitness as a therapy and I've had so many young girls and even Mum's writing: "I have daughters and I can tell that they're stressed and do you really think boxing will help?"
I'm like, "Yes! Do it! Put them in boxing and teach them self defense and let them release their energy in a positive way".

You've got a huge social following, how are you planning on using your platform?
Tayla: I can see how many young girls are looking up to me so I'm not going to be that person who promotes just everything and anything and turn my Instagram into a shop.
First of all, that's not me and second I'm not going to feed these people fake stuff. I would rather promote something I'm completely passionate about.

You're also spreading positive and empowering messages by making visits to schools, tell us about that?
Tayla: I'm going to talk to young girls about toxic relationships - what are the signs, how to stay safe and how to get out.
I feel like in schools and sex education, they teach you how to put on a condom and what sexual diseases are. They don't teach you the how to spot the signs that someone may be manipulative, or what to do if you're feeling depressed in your relationship. There's so much more to it and that's what I really want to talk about.
The other thing I want to talk about is the fact that social media is just a painted picture of someone's life.
I want young girls to know that just because someone's life looks so perfect on social media doesn't mean it actually is.
I want girls to understand that, yes, you can look up to people, but also own your life and own your body and be happy within that.

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