Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on social media: ‘I’m really pleased I lived pre-all of this’

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley covers the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia. She’s not promoting anything in particular, so I guess she was just a model for hire for this particular editorial, although Bazaar Arabia did a somewhat exhaustive interview with her, like she had something to promote (she did not). Rosie keeps a somewhat low profile, and I can’t even remember the last time I wrote about her. I also didn’t realize that her baby – son Jack – is already 10 months old. Rosie and Jason Statham are still together and happy, or at least that’s what she said in this piece. Mostly, she’s just chatting about social media, the modeling industry and how she’s non-judgmental about most things. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

Social media skews our perceptions: “Sometimes I feel like you’ll go into a wormhole on Instagram and then you’re like, ‘It didn’t make me feel good.’ Social media can leave people, myself included, feeling insecure.” Not only that, “You waste a lot of time on it. You spend your life in a phone rather than engaging with people and having conversations.” Her solution to the technological drain? “I always think you feel your best when you’re in nature. Being outdoors, being with animals, being with your friends. Dancing, listening to music…”

Life before the prevalence of cell phones & social media: “I’m really pleased I lived pre-all of this. I have my teenage years, my early twenties. I was wild and out there, I was doing my thing and there was no social media, there was no paparazzi. I had those years to be free. Everyone is taking pictures now and it’s so funny for me to see a 10-year-old girl who knows how to pose…I think it can be cringe-worthy…”

#MeToo in the modeling industry: “There’s definitely been instances where I’ve felt unprotected and moments where I found myself in situations that were uncomfortable. The fashion industry is so relaxed and casual, there’s this expectation on models that the more up for it you are, the better, the further you’ll go along in your career…. With modelling, it’s always been deemed as not a real career and there’s a lot of expectation on girls that the better the model you are, the quieter you are and the least amount of fuss you make.”

One thing she’d like to see changed: “For the first time some designers put private changing areas backstage at New York Fashion Week. I’ve done countless fashion shows where you’re in a room, undressing, photographers flying around, people with iPhones, all the crowd and audience coming after the show and you’re still half dressed, people are taking photographs of you whilst you’re getting changed. It blows my mind that that’s acceptable.”

Her baby, Jack, is 10 months old: “I took a bit of time off and had my baby; I tried to take the time at home to enjoy those first special months with my family. I have a wonderful personal life with lots of love and fun.”

Raising a feminist son: “I think it’s so much about raising boys and girls the same. I love the book by Chimamanda Ngozi,” We Should All Be Feminists, “I saw her TED talk and it was very inspiring. It’s about raising girls and boys with the same values; communication and respect. That’s how I was brought up, it’s how the people I love were brought up, and they are the values I hope to instil in my loved ones.”

She’s not all about diet & exercise: “I eat well because I want to be healthy but it’s not something that I feel super passionate about. Some people are connected to food and nutrition in a way that they want to sing about it all the time. For me, I work out, I try and eat well. It’s not like I’m the new Jane Fonda. Food is my biggest vice. Cheese, bread… It’s getting harder to eat what I want.”

[From Harper’s Bazaar Arabia]

The way she talks about life before cell phones and social media make her sound like she’s a Gen-Xer. She’s not! She turns 31 years old on April 18th. She was born in 1987, which makes her a smack-dab in the middle of the Millennial generation, the generation which we were led to believe was born knowing everything about computers and cellphones and social media. Or not. I get what she’s saying, and she’s right – I’m years older than Rosie (I’m Xennial) and I look back wistfully on my teenage years, before social media, before everyone had a cellphone, before everything had to be documented online.

Vanity Fair Oscars Party 2018

Cover courtesy of Bazaar Arabia, additional photos courtesy of WENN.

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21 Responses to “Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on social media: ‘I’m really pleased I lived pre-all of this’”

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  1. Kathleen Penland says:

    I’m 32. While I’m technically a millennial I do not relate or consider myself to be one at all nor do any of my friends. I’m much more like a Gen-Xer. Either way though when I was in high school no one had a cell phone and we had myspace, which is nothing like today’s social media. When I was in college most people had a flip phone and facebook was still in it’s exclusive phase.
    In short, I totally agree with and relate to all this.

    • LB says:

      Ya – technically a millenial at age 34 but I feel like the actual delineation for the next generation should be a lower age. Because I remember a time when having a computer at home was a big deal, then having (dial up!!) internet was a big deal, then having a mobile phone was a big deal, etc. Didn’t even convert to a smart phone until after I graduated law school.

      She’s not saying anything new but she’s right just the same. It’s weird now to be totally non-present in your real life just to be totally present and accessible in a virtual one.

      • Kathleen Penland says:

        Yep- we got a family computer for Christmas one year and it was a BIG DEAL! I remember when I was around 23 telling a friends how much I hated texting, now look at me LOLOLOL

      • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

        I think it depends on how you grew up. I’m 23. When I was 12/13/14….I had a track phone for emergencies, and was only allowed to use the family computer for school work and to play games sometimes. I didn’t get my own laptop until I was 18, nor did I buy myself a cell phone until I was 21. I communicated via messenger.

    • nb says:

      I’m 33. I got my first computer around age 12 because my brother built one for us, but not many people had them. I just played games on it. I convinced my parents to get dial up around age 13/14 and went in AOL chat rooms, had myspace and downloaded music. I got my first flip phone with a green screen at 17. I started with facebook in college. But yeah, I do feel nostalgic about growing up without constant social media. There are certain things I love about having a phone with me all the time (google, navigation, texting, having so much information at my fingertips) but I also do wish for the days when everything wasn’t a photo op and people didn’t post every little thing online. I feel like it would be really stressful to be a teenager now with the constant pressure to keep up with social media.

  2. Red says:

    I’m a year younger than her and I feel the same way. I didn’t have a cell phone until I was in college, and I didn’t have internet on it until after I graduated. Social media was just starting to get big in college, but it was no way as massive as it is now. I grew up playing outside, only had a computer when I became a teenager and even then it was shared by my family (and you’d get kicked off if someone used the phone). The millennial age is wide, I don’t relate much to those born in the mid-nineties. I like Rosie, much more than any Instagram/nepotism model.

    • Milla says:

      Rosie grew up on a farm on something similar, she only dated few men, famous or from famous families, she’s always had somewhat normal life and career.

      I think she’s gorgeous and i love her style. She’s also very lucky, considering that fashion industry shows no mercy.

      Wasn’t she fired from vs for gaining weight? Srsly…

  3. SK says:

    She’s so elegant and beautiful. Every time I look at her I wish I had better posture!! Oh for that posture! Ha ha ha ha ha! A few years ago she got scarily thin for a while though and it was such a shame to see because she’s always had such a lovely figure.

  4. Millenial says:

    Rosie is actually my favorite VS model from that generation (Candace, Doutzen, etc…) and I’m glad she’s getting more outspoken about the industry and #metoo. I kinda wish she were a bigger deal in America, like I wish her makeup line was sold here (I think it’s only in the UK).

    • Starkiller says:

      Seconded, her makeup line for M&S is inexpensive and actually great. I really wish we were deemed worthy to buy it.

  5. Christin says:

    I can remember 1987, when the show off college guy was bragging about his new bag phone (which cost several hundred dollars, which was – and still is – a lot of money).

    Somehow we survived without a cell phone. If in an emergency, you simply found a pay phone. And we survived!

    • Maya says:

      I miss those days when children were more into sports or other activities instead of social media and games.

      • Christin says:

        And people actually interacted more. I’m baffled by people (sometimes in the same building or room) texting each other.

      • RYotGrrrl says:

        The good/bad news is my son was born into a cult and he didn’t have contact w “real world things” until he was around 3. We extricated, but I was still paranoid of social media and cell phones until my son was around 7. So the bad news is I had to pull my head outta my A** in terms of “Life”, but at least I avoided living life online for myself and my son. WE are both super healthy and of course eat well and exercise- he’s already an “elite” athlete at age 12. I guess there is good in everything, we are doing really well just saw extrication therapist today. Lesson in extremes for sure.

  6. jetlagged says:

    I adore her! One of the few supermodels working today that I think deserves the title. Every interview I see/read just impresses me more. I even think better of Statham because he has the Rosie seal of approval.

  7. Lucy says:

    I like Rosie! She just seems like a good gal. And she’s a great model.

  8. Helen Smith says:

    I was born in 1974. Our first computer was in middle school and it didn’t have internet access. Even my college computer didn’t have internet access. I’m glad to have been born then too. Parents were less afraid of letting us outside alone too. Be home before dark was the rule. We ran around in the field building forts and riding our bicycles. No one freaked out. Now you hear stories in the media about parents having child services called for letting their children run around the neighborhood outside playing. Crazy. We learned a lot of skills like creativity, communication, leadership, organization, negotiation and cooperation out there while we played.

  9. Lyla says:

    I think it also depends where you grew up. My cousin is 35 and everyone at her high school had a cell phone.

    I’m still in my early twenties and got my first phone in fifth grade. And although we grew up social media, not everything was put up online. Sure we took pics, but a lot of times we didn’t post it. I’m not as active on social media compared to my older cousins or sister.

  10. Amanda says:

    I’m the same age as her, so I can relate to what she’s saying as a fellow older millennial. On another note, I had no idea she and Jason Statham had a baby. I guess that explains why we haven’t heard much about her lately.

  11. Melissa says:

    Or she could have shaved a few years off à la Agyness Dean. I think it’s standard practice for models.

  12. Thorhelg says:

    Quite true. Agencies will push a girls age back a few years to give them time to build clients and experience. 23 will get pushed back to 20 or 19 if a girl can get away w it. A model I knew was 26, the agency made her 21.

    I love Rosie , she’s stunning and seems to have good sense of self. I agree w what she is saying.