Ceilidh Garten aka @lilmixedhunny is not your typical “insta-girl”. She’s a certified paralegal with a genius-level IQ, who started pursuing modelling and acting after realising a law career wasn’t for her. The NY-based 21-year-old has appeared in a film clip for The Weeknd, a campaign for Milk Studios, and modelled for people like Opening Ceremony and VFiles.
Ceilidh kick-started her web career through an advice Tumblr years back and is passionately against bullying, admitting that she’s learnt from personal experience both as victim and perpetrator. We caught up with the young model to talk about the pitfalls of Instagram, female togetherness and staying humble.
Ava Nirui: How and when did you start your Tumblr?
Ceilidh Garten: I’ve been expressing myself on the internet for years, which I think is normal for our generation. It started as a band fan account, and I was always on message boards. Because I was home schooled, I spent lots of time on the computer doing homework, and on the web. That led to me having my own blog — I was young and immature, I wasn’t always the most responsible on it, but that’s where it started. It morphed into me trying to give advice to girls from my experiences in school and life. I was just trying to help people who felt the same way as me.
Do you think people often prematurely judge you based on your Instagram?
Yes, most people who meet me are very surprised. I am not as outgoing as I portray myself and I’m not as dark — people think I have a dark, angry vibe. I think I use outlets like blogging and IG to get energy out. When people meet me it can be stressful, I feel like I have to promote that behaviour. I’m blessed to have the friends I have who treat me normally, but most people, who don’t know me, treat me differently.
The first time I met you I had no idea you were a certified genius…
I always had great grades in college. I’m really focused and good at things when I apply myself, much like most people. I got into a bunch of schools, I had letters from Cornell — I can’t really keep track of all the schools I had offers from. I’m a certified paralegal and I had a law professor who really believed in me and wanted to see me succeed. It’s something to fall back on, but at the time, I didn’t really think it was for me.
What are the pitfalls of having a big following on social media?
The pitfalls are trying to share your body without being called a slut and, how exactly do you do that? Also, how am I supposed to handle people telling me to kill myself or hurt myself? It’s hard to feel safe and make sure I’m being a good influence on fans. Am I doing the right thing? I have to ask myself these questions when I post things. Having a large following makes it so much harder.
How damaging do you think cyber bullying, especially girl-to-girl, is to our sense of female togetherness?
I have admittedly been a victim and perpetrator of cyber bullying. There was one point where I had a personal conversation on direct message that was leaked, and it came after a friend bullied me for a long time and me lashing out. In turn, I got cyber bullied and not on a small scale — I was put on blast to hundreds and thousands of people. It was really hard… If I had a chance to take it back and say sorry in person, I would. Not only have I been bullied there, but in many different situations. It’s so common. Girls should be nicer to other girls, and that includes me.
How was the experience working on The Weeknd’s video for ‘In The Night’?
It was super fun! When I first got the email, I thought it was a joke. It’s funny because I’m really friendly with Legs Media, the group that made it. I thought it was just going to be a bunch of girls shaking their butts. I’ve always loved acting and wanted to act, it’s my passion, so getting to be on a big set was crazy. There were people walking around with walkie talkies like, “Abel is in the building!” and, “Bella Hadid’s here”… We had days of footage and pulled all nighters, but it was so worthwhile. It was a beautiful experience. I made friends, and met the boy who I am now dating through it. He was the director of the video. It was amazing, the connections I made, and seeing how it all worked.
What are your long term goals?
They’re simple. In the long term, I want to be happy, I want to feel fulfilled, I don’t necessarily want to make a lot of money, but I want to do something creative. I love acting and need to build more self-confidence to do more castings. I would like to write. Most of all, I want to inspire people and make them happy. I want to give as much as I can.
Written by Ava Nirui, writer for oystermag.com