Life in College as an Instagram Public Figure: An Interview With Sixtine Rouyre

Sixtine Rouyre is a first year student at The New School stuyding in the Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts. She is a Belgian-born, Texas-raised girl who has always been charmed by New York City. Between binge-watching "Criminal Minds," going to classes, and having movie nights with her friends, Sixtine managers her own Instagram platform which has gained a mass following. Unlike most people who use this social media platform, Sixtine is being watched by 26.8K followers. And while Sixtine faces some obstacles by having such a mass audience, she has a positive outlook on her role as an Instagram figure. 

HC: What does social media mean to you?

SR: "For me, social media is a way to motivate myself and grow. It’s a way for me to show the world 'Hey! This is who I am!' Social media has also given me countless experiences, opportunities, and friendships that I would not have otherwise had without it."

HC: How long ago did you become a public figure on Instagram?

SR: "I think my Instagram really exploded during the middle of my sophomore year in high school. I remember one day being envious of my friend’s page that would get 100 plus likes, and then the next thing I knew, that was me getting those 100 likes. And then 200, and then 300, and it just kept going from there."

HC: What made you become a public figure?

SR: "Modeling. I started shooting with a well-known photographer and that’s what got my Instagram going, and then from there I just kept going. I quickly realized that with this mass following, I had a way to reach a large group of people who would listen to me and anything I would advocate for. It’s still a weird feeling to think that all of these people who don’t know me follow me just because they find my life interesting enough to follow."

HC: What is it like being a public figure?

SR: "It’s funny, most other people I know who are big on social media will tell me that they can’t post certain things or choose sides on a political solution because it would hurt their 'brand.' While I can see why this is, I’ve never really been one to hold back on Instagram because I feel that’s the problem with most public figures/celebrities these days. They are afraid of getting 'haters' so they never stand up for anything. For me, I do the exact opposite and use this mass following to advocate and stand up for what I believe in. I won’t hold back on posting my 'Pussy Grabs Back' poster on Instagram because I want people to know that we need to fight back. I hope to encourage people to go out and stand up for what they believe in, instead of just being another 'pretty gir'” that people follow."

HC: How did your life change overall/on a daily basis when this occurred/how has this impacted your life?

SR: "Growing on social media really made me see how much work is put into building a following. There’s thought that goes behind what pictures to post, when to post, what brands to work or not work with, how to take pictures for brands, how to make an aesthetically pleasing feed and so on. I remember the first time I got a brand deal I was like, 'Woah, wait. I can get paid to post a picture?' It opened my eyes to a whole new world. Suddenly kids at school knew me as the girl with 15k followers. I even had a few people ‘recognize me’ when I was out shopping or eating, which was such a crazy and humbling experience. That being said, I think the biggest way Instagram has changed my life is the doors it has opened for me. It has given me so many opportunities to grow myself and advance my modeling career. Without Instagram, I don’t think I would even be modeling."

HC: What do you think the general public doesn’t really understand about being a public figure?

SR: "I think that the public tends to forget that 'Instagram famous' people and public figures are still just people at the end of the day. We still have families and jobs and good times and bad times. The life that people see is just a small portion of what our lives look like and while it may look perfect online, it’s often not the complete truth. The public sees this lifestyle that is full of good pictures, perfect makeup, bomb outfits, and endless adventures, and travels and exploring. Essentially, the public only ever sees our 'best selves.' But we still have our bad hair days, our days when we never take off the sweatpants or get out of bed, and even sad days where we feel bad about ourselves. We’re just like everyone else."

HC: What’s it like being a college girl in the public eye?  

SR: "Definitely empowering. I’m at a point in my life where I am learning so many things and I’m surrounded by new experiences and opportunities and I love being able to share that with the world. I am figuring myself out as well as the countless things I can do. And I use Instagram to show my followers that they can do the same."

HC: What are some obstacles that you face as a public figure?

SR: "I think the main obstacle that I face is the fear I have of spreading a negative image. I want to spread things like self-love, women-empowerment, and advocacy to make the world more loving and kind so my biggest obstacle is making sure that I remember these ideas and stay true to myself."

HC: What do you hope to do with your platform?

SR: "I feel like I can answer this question with two words: Emma Watson. The way she uses her fame platform perfectly describes what I hope to do with mine. She does what she loves, acting, but uses the power that comes with it to make a difference and stand for something she believes in. She’s my idol, honestly.

HC: What are your future plans as an Instagram figure?

SR: "Keep growing as a human being and continue to show the world as I do it. Plain and simple."

HC: If there is one thing you could tell all your followers, what would it be?

SR: "Thank you for loving me and getting me to where I am today. Now go and do it for yourself. I believe in you."

HC: What do your friends and family think of your career in social media?

SR: "My family is definitely in support of my social media presence. My mom and my sister (who is a YouTuber) are constantly pushing me to reach out to brands, improve my feed, go out and do more shoots, and just grow altogether. The rest of my family doesn’t really know much about the social media lifestyle, but I know they are proud of me nonetheless. Sometimes I catch my dad bragging to his coworkers about his 'Instagram famous' daughters or my brothers telling their friends that their little sisters make money by posting pictures. My friends are also super supportive of my social media, but they never let it get to my head, which I love. They are a constant reminder to be humble and remember who I am outside of this online world."

HC: What is something that you’ve learned from this experience so far?

SR: "I’ve learned so many things from my experiences so far, but I think the best thing I’ve learned is to stop comparing myself to others, focus on myself and my goals, and to always strive to be a better me."

 

All photos were pulled from Sixtine's Instagram account. You can follow her at @SixtineRouyre