As you’re probably aware, I have a whole lot of love for YouTuber and West End star Carrie Hope Fletcher – especially when it comes to her poignant body positive posts that make us all feel so much better about scoffing three blueberry muffins at lunch time.
Which is why when I bumped into the 23-year-old at her sister-in-law Giovanna Fletcher’s book launch party for ‘Always With Love’, I just had to nab her for a chat.
And I have to admit, it was pretty bloomin’ inspiring.
Speaking exclusively, Carrie told me that she felt it was her responsibility to use her platform to spread positivity, explaining: “I don’t think it’s a pressure I think it’s a responsibility, especially when you have a young following.
“There is a choice you make about what you want to put forward to that audience and I just think why not use that platform to your best advantage? Why wouldn’t you talk about things that will make people feel better?
“It’s not a pressure at all because it’s something that I want to do, it frustrates me so much – I get messages from really young girls saying they’re not ‘normal’ because they’re such-and-such a weight or size and they’re absolutely healthy. It’s so upsetting.”
And Carrie reckons teenagers of this day and age have it a lot harder than she did thanks to the ever-growing use of social media, adding: “The media is so skewed, we’re always pushed images of photoshopped women and it’s not real even in the slightest.
“When I was younger social media was just starting to come into play but now these fourteen year olds were born into the realm of social media where images are pushed at you left, right and centre about how you should look and it’s really frustrating.”
Thankfully teens of today have Carrie to look up to, and the release of her first book ‘All I Know Now’ last year helped her 400,000 Twitter followers deal with some of the trials and tribulations of growing up – even if the in-depth, warts-and-all recount of Carrie’s life made her own mum cry.
“My mum said it was like reading my diary,” Carrie tells me of the non-fiction release, “She never said that she felt uncomfortable but she said that she wished I’d just talked more but she completely understood that every teenager has their own secrets and privacy because she was exactly the same.
“My mum couldn’t talk to me about the book because she started crying every time so she wrote me a really lengthy email once she finished the book and it was when I was living at home; I came downstairs one day and she was in floods of tears and I thought someone had died and asked what happened and she said, ‘I’ve just finished your book, I’ve written you an email, you need to go and read it now.’
“She’d written how she wished she’d had a book like that when she was fourteen and it really struck me that we went through almost identical issues when we were growing up even though we are generations apart. That’s exactly why I wrote it; because I wish I had someone to tell me these things when I was growing up.”
And despite sharing intimate details of her entire life in her first book, Carrie admitted to me that it’s the upcoming release of her fiction novel ‘On The Other Side’ that has her really quaking in her boots.
She told me: “It’s out on July 14th and it’s really strange because I feel more protective over this book because it’s all my own creation rather than things that really happened.
“All the things that happened in ‘All I Know Now’ had already been told, I’d told people those stories before, whereas this story nobody has ever heard and I’m terrified and excited at the same time because it’s like my baby.”
And how does Carrie even find the time to be writing books inbetween starring in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, running a successful YouTube channel and being generally amazing?
“I think I’m just scared of being bored,” Carrie laughs, “I just find anything to fill the time. I’m so grateful and lucky to have these opportunities, it’s incredible.”
And I;m grateful that Carrie chooses to fill her time in such a productive way and I certainly can’t wait to read her latest offering next month.
In the mean time, Giovanna Fletcher’s novel ‘Always With Love’ is available to buy now.