Allie Bloom (she/her) - aka @avocado_allie - talks self love, body acceptance and, of course, her tattoo collection.
Although Allie Bloom - known as @avocado_allie - has gathered a large following on social media, she somewhat shuns the term 'influencer'.
"I have kind of a funny relationship with the word influencer," she says, "because I feel like there's this idea that an influencer is just selling products or trying to get you to sell products. But to me it's more of this idea that people actually want to hear your opinions on things and you have something meaningful or worth listening to."
It's fair to say she definitely has something worth listening to. As well as promoting self love and body acceptance to her thousands of followers, Allie shares important information about a condition that according to the NHS affects about 1 in every 10 women in the UK: polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS for short.
We recently caught up with Allie to hear more.
Can you tell us about the messages you use your socials to spread?
I want people to feel comfortable with who they are and to love themselves and not feel like they have to meet these societal norms. I want people to come to my socials and feel that they can see someone that either looks like them or makes them feel seen or just feel comfortable.
That's my thing - I just want everyone to love themselves no matter what they look like. Because it took me so long to love myself and love my body.
Have you always been interested in tattoos?
I have always been really into tattoos. Since I was a teenager, I knew I wanted to get tattoos. But yeah, I've always always wanted tattoos. I used to create Pinterest boards or write down ideas of all the tattoos I wanted when I was like a kid.
Luckily I did not, but I almost did try to get tattooed when I was under 18. I know that the first tattoo I thought about getting was swallow birds. I was always really into traditional style tattoos. I watched a lot of LA Ink and Miami Ink and I went to school for art and I've always been interested in art.
Image: Allie Bloom (@avocado_allie) shoulder tattoo
We read you're teaching yourself to tattoo?
It's so funny that you saw that I'm teaching myself how to tattoo, as I’m in the very very early process of doing it. I'm a creative person. I'm always trying to teach myself some kind of new medium. And tattooing always seemed really non-accessible, but now with the internet it’s really easy to get a tattoo machine.
It's been really fun to practise on fake skins and just kind of challenge myself. My goal is to eventually tattoo skin and I will definitely be doing myself at first. It's been a lot of YouTube videos and reaching out to tattoo artist friends.
Can you tell us about your tattoo collection?
I feel like I have a mix of really pretty tattoos and then very silly ones. And there's not too much of a rhyme or reason. My first tattoo was on my right ankle. I got a peace sign at Silk City Tattoo in New Jersey as soon as I turned 18.
Honestly, I'm not really sure why I got that. I think I just knew I wanted a tattoo and a peace sign seemed easy, and it was all I could afford. I think my mom stopped by during the tattoo and she was horrified that I was getting one. It’s very basic but I still like it.
Which tattoo has the most meaning?
So I feel like the tattoo that has the most meaning is the one on the back of my left arm. I have this little outline of a cartoon character - Wesley Willoughby. And he's this cartoon that my dad designed, I think when he was in college.
He was always doodling these really silly comics, which is funny because he's not good at drawing and Wesley Willoughby is just some character that I always saw growing up.
Image: Allie Bloom (@avocado_allie) cartoon character tattoo
I used to think that I really wanted all my tattoos to have so much meaning, that's what I thought when I was younger. As I've gotten older I realised that I just like things that are pretty and aesthetically pleasing, and I really like flowers. I really love the tattoo I have on my sternum of the peony. It's just really pretty.
Do your tattoos help you to love and accept yourself?
Actually, yes. There’s a tattoo on my sternum, which I got for myself one birthday. It starts between my breasts on this little roll on my belly and goes onto a larger triangular space. I used to be really insecure about this very specific part of my body, as I don’t have super perky breasts. Even when I started to love myself more it was like a part of my body that really was challenging for me to love. And eventually I came to really accept myself more and love all parts of my body but I really wanted to put something pretty there.
Image: Allie Bloom (@avocado_allie) sternum tattoo
The artists drew this really beautiful design and it fits so nicely. So even though I don't hate this part of myself anymore, it has helped me love myself more just because it just looks so nice. It also reminds me that all parts of my body are beautiful.
I think being fat and growing up wanting tattoos, I never thought that I would get a tattoo on my sternum or my stomach or anywhere. I felt like I wouldn't even be confident enough to sit in a chair and have someone tattoo me there.
You mention that your unibrow is your most controversial feature?
I love my unibrow, I think it’s so cute.
People have such strong opinions on it and it’s so funny. It’s why my TikTok grew cause I was making funny TikToks for myself and then people started noticing my unibrow. I hadn't really thought much of my unibrow and I don't know why it's such a big deal.
It’s funny, because when I’m outside in my daily life no one mentions it. Or if they do they compliment it but social media isn’t real life. I feel like it's such a big topic online but I feel like people in my life don't even really notice it. I think that it's controversial because it's so in your face, because it's literally on my face! It's probably one of the first things people notice about me when they're looking at me.
"It’s a big fuck you to society and beauty standards because I don't care."
I feel like it's also so controversial, because it makes people question why they do the things they do. Like a lot of people just go get their eyebrows done because they're supposed to but they don't think about it.
If you could go back to when you were a teenager, what would you say to your younger self?
There's so many things I would say to myself. I think I would just try to tell myself to not be so hard on myself. I think when you're a teenager, it feels like you're gonna be a teenager forever. And everything that happens feels so dramatic and so extreme. It seems like nothing's ever gonna get better at least for me.
I hated myself so much. I would do everything I could to not look at my body, to pretend I didn't have a body to just ignore it as much as possible. Like I wouldn't even look at myself in the mirror before I got in the shower. I just hated my body.
So I would go back and tell myself that I don't need to hate myself so much. That eventually I would come to a place of self love. I would tell myself that I'm a fucking badass and I am way cooler than I give myself credit for.
You share a lot of content related to PCOS, what do you want readers to know?
I just want people to know that polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is extremely common. There's this misconception that only overweight people have PCOS. No matter what your body type is, you can have it. It's so so so common.
I also really want people to know that it's not researched enough. I think that there's not enough solutions to PCOS. There's a lot of band aids and there's a lot of doctors just telling you to just to just go on birth control. There's not really a discussion of why this is happening. I really wish they would put more research into it, but it's women's health so they're not.
It's really uncomfortable and it can create a lot of issues and it's not so simple. PCOS can look so different for so many people and there are so many different side effects. It's also really difficult to get a diagnosis. It took me years to get an official diagnosis and even after I did, I had a doctor question my diagnosis! The healthcare system is a mess in general, in my opinion, but with PCOS it’s very complicated.
How do you hype yourself up before a photoshoot?
So I've only been in one professional photoshoot and that was Teen Vogue. And I had my best friend Maddie there and she hyped me up - she was a hype woman. And that was amazing. But usually, I take all my photos myself. Everything I post is all with myself, my phone, maybe my camera and my tripod.
Surprisingly, I need to just be in silence a lot of the time, lately I feel like I have to really focus because I'm usually trying to capture something very specific for a brand or an idea for a post. So I do a fair bit of planning in advance and come up with concepts. I have ADHD so it’s hard to get a result and to get started.
So I'll play some music and kind of get myself in the mood or listen to a podcast to hype myself up, but when it comes time to actually take photos I have to not have any distractions, especially since it's just me I don't have anyone helping me.
How do you practice self care?
My biggest self care thing has been tidying up my apartment every day. I think that gives me the most clarity. Because that's just gonna keep me in a good mood and keep me more focused rather than having clutter around. I will say one of my biggest, biggest self care things I've done for myself, is turning off all of my social media notifications.
I don't get the notifications on my phone. I have to go into the app to see what my notifications are.
Another practice that I love; I've gotten really into baths. I've never had a garden tub or a bath big enough for baths and that's been my favourite thing for self care. I leave my phone and just listen to some relaxing music and just disconnect, because it's so easy to get stuck in technology.
If you’re not already, make sure to follow Allie on Instagram.