With her tropical beach aesthetics and summertime vibes, social media influencer Josie Jabs hopes to spread feel-good positivity through her online platform, both on Instagram (@josiejabs) and TikTok (@josiejabssss). As per her Insta bio, she shares her lifestyle and fashion inspo with followers through the "point of view of her camera roll," serving up major Summer 2020 goals. The Teen Magazine had the opportunity to get to know Josie, from her plans for future travel adventures to what it means to be an influencer. Let's dive in:
Getting noticed and gaining social media traction in her senior year of high school, Josie's content ranges from providing feed aesthetics to uploading vlogs on her YouTube channel that document fun trips, feature her friends, and give us an insider peek into her life. When asked if she considers herself to be an influencer, her honest response was:
I actually don’t like the term influencer, if I'm being honest...I feel like it doesn’t portray as a whole the meaning that I hold behind my work. It’s amazing and heartfelt to me to know I influence people, but I, in turn, am influenced as well. I do love that I’m having an impact on others’ lives, but I just don’t like labeling myself.
Her ability to influence her followers is clearly reflected in the comment sections of her posts, with many touching messages about Josie being an inspiration and a role model for body positivity, mental health, and a free spirited attitude to life, or as one follower put it: "I love how you post what you want, when you want!" These reactions fit perfectly with her hopes to spread positivity to her audience, and, as she says, "meeting people and them telling me how much I've helped them and that they look up to me - that means the world to me."
However, there are "ups and downs" to having a huge platform. There is a lot of pressure that comes with having a popular, public platform, which does get to Josie. "I feel like I'm walking on eggshells, because if I say one thing wrong, it could become a really bad situation."
While the majority of her posts are beach centric, with backdrops of surf, sand, and sun, Josie comes from a small town in Wisconsin, and surprisingly, doesn't live near the beach. She instead "travels very often. Everytime I go somewhere else, I make sure to take a lot of photos to post later on my feed!" Talking about growing up in a small town, Josie has experienced the judgment of her peers for authentically being herself:
I liked doing different things from what was considered the norm, which kind of had me sticking out. But from this, I want to tell others that others’ opinions and judgments should not bring you down! You should always do what you really love doing with your life. It won’t get you anywhere if you’re, in a sense, surrendering to the negative opinions of others. Don’t let it get to your head.
She wants her audience to know that she too has been through obstacles in life, and is "not a person that has had everything handed to her." While recognizing that "no life is easy and set," what she has been through has shown her that she is "a strong person and that no matter what, you can still be happy!" Josie has also used her online platform to advocate mental health awareness based on her own personal experiences with both anxiety and depression.
"I've had suicidal thoughts and tried to overdose, and I definitely want to advocate for mental health, because even if it may not show on the surface, it's something everyone goes through. I want to show that it is never something that should be overlooked, and that it is very important.
In regards to her bright future, in 5 years, Josie hopes to relocate to California or New York. Inspired by her interest in fashion, she hopes to get her "first big girl job" in New York City's high fashion scene, hopefully in the stylist department because she confesses that designing isn't her forte. Josie also gave The Teen Magazine hints at an upcoming fashion line and merch release, a "big secret in the works."
10 Fast Facts with Josie
- Favorite Movie: Titanic
- Secret Talent: I can wiggle my eyebrows!
- Dream Brand to Collaborate with: One of the high-end brands like Vogue, Prada, Gucci, or Louis Vuitton…that would be such a dream!
- Dream Travel Destination: Bali
- Favorite Personality Trait: I'm a very loving person. It can be a bad thing sometimes (lol!) but I do feel like I give a lot of compassion and love
- The Best Trip: A while back, I went to Italy with my friends, and it was such an amazing trip!
- An Alternate Dream Career: I love working with little kids, so maybe an elementary school teacher! I do like what I’m doing now, though!
- Biggest Pet Peeve: Chewing with mouths open! So gross!