A friend of mine said to me, early on, when I had a couple of shoots that I'd done and a couple of TV commercials, she said to me you need to put your photographs on Instagram.
And honestly, I didn't know what it was. I said what is Instagram?
Hey there I'm Goli Kalkhoran and this is Lessons From a Quitter, where we believe that it's never too late to start over. No matter how much time or money you've spent getting to where you are, if ultimately you are not happy then it's time to get out. If you're feeling stuck and you feel like there's gotta be more, there's gotta be a way to feel fulfilled and excited about what you do, then this is the podcast for you. Each week, I will sit down with an inspiring guest who quit their professional career in order to forge their own path and create a life that they love.
Hi friends, welcome to another episode. I hope you're doing well. I know that the world is still a very crazy place right now and very heavy at times. And I hope that you are taking the time to really examine what you need to show up as your best self and realize that that is not a selfish thing to do. It is vital because nobody gains anything by you driving yourself into the ground. And I say this as a pep talk to myself that I give myself every single night to put down the phone and walk away, to figure out what it is I need to find joy and really recharge myself so that I can actually show up the way I want to because it is very easy to get sucked into the dumpster fire that is the world. Um so I hope you take some time to do that as well. I closed down the doors for enrollment and I'm so excited to jump into my new cohort of Stuck to Strategy students next week. And we will be doing that for three months. And I really am excited to bring you guys some of the lessons and teachings that we learned throughout that three months on the podcast so that maybe I can help you figure out your path. In July we will be doing another book. We're going to do Deep Work by Cal Newport. So if you want to pick that up, we'll be talking about that at the end of the month. And if there is a specific book that you'd like me to review, go ahead and send me an email at email@example.com. I'm so excited to do those. And as always, I do the monthly free coaching calls. So you can sign up for that at quitterclub.com/coaching.
Okay, now that we have all of that out of the way, I am so honored and excited to bring this conversation to you with the incredible Deborah Chambers. You know that this podcast is all about showing you what is possible. And so often we just create these rules that put us in a box, and then we live there and they're all made up. Like really the point of my podcast is to show you that everything in your head that is telling you you can’t is just made up, it's a made up sentence and you can change that sentence. And one of the biggest ones that I see, that we all live by is that it's too late or I'm too old to do blank, whatever that might be. And we do this with everything, whether it's finding love, whether it's starting a business, whether it's starting over, whether it's just following our passion or doing something that other people don't think that a person that age should be doing. And it's one of the most insidious ways that we limit ourselves because it's really just made up. And as we've all seen as we grow up, it's like there's no real actual barrier to you doing the things that you wanted to do when you were 30. It's just that you've told yourself that you can't. And that is why I love what Deborah is doing and why it's so vital in our culture right now. If you can right now, if you're not driving, I would love for you to pause this and go to Instagram and check out her Instagram before you listen to this because I think it's really important to see her and what she is doing as we have this conversation. Her Instagram handle is Deborah_Darling or you can go to her website DeborahDarling.com. But the reason I say it is because I think the image is actually very powerful.
Deborah, like a lot of us was stuck in a rut and she was dreading turning 50, she had been working at the same company for over 20 years and she wanted something else. Now the difference with Deborah is that she shows up fully as herself. She shows up in a way that a lot of people probably don't expect women in their fifties to show up. Her hair is this beautiful silver hair that's kind of cut in like a Elvis type cut. And she dresses impeccably, very trendy, very edgy, just a lot of ways that people may not typically think of a grandma as and I love that she is showing that you can show up as your full self at any age and it doesn't matter what people think. And I think she's she started seeing that this clearly resonated with other people because people would stop her on the street and ask to take a picture with her because she just looks that cool. And at 53, she pushed through all of the imposter syndrome and we'll talk about all the fears. And she applied to get signed by a modeling agency and she actually got signed and she started her platform on Instagram. And she now has over 40,000 followers on Instagram and over 75,000 on Tik Tok. And she wanted to create this platform to challenge the negative stereotypes around aging and to spread this message that it is never too late and you're never too old. And the response she got was overwhelming unsurprisingly and so two years after she started at 55, she decided to take the leap and really pursue this platform as her full-time job and her passion. And again, it's just so inspiring to see that really, I mean, it sounds so cliche to say like you can do anything you want but you really can. And just seeing that even how you show up in your day-to-day life is completely up to you and you can change whatever rules that you have told yourself you have to live by and you can have such a fuller life by really allowing yourself to be who you were always meant to be. So she has so much wisdom to digest so I will stop rambling and we will jump in and chat with Deborah.
Hi Deborah, thank you so much for joining me today.
No, thank you for inviting me.
Oh, I am so excited to jump into your story and hear all about all the amazing things you are doing. So why don't you give us a brief account of like what you were doing in your career before you became this role model and model and started this personal brand?
Most of my life I worked in and around IT departments and companies working with software. So software training, software testing, a technical writing, creating training materials, so all around the IT world.
So when you were working in that field, was there like a time when you were thinking about making some kind of a switch or wanting something different? Where did the idea come up to like create kind of this new business?
I never thought that I'd leave it. I'd worked for the same company for more than 20 years and I was happy and I liked the company and I liked the work. I always feel that perhaps I should be doing something a little more creative whenever I met people and they said, you know, what do you do for a living? And I said I'm a technical writer or I'm a software trainer or something. They always looked quite shocked and said I thought you were a fashion designer or aren’t you are a stylist or or something. So I suppose I was always a little bit of a strange fit in an IT department. I always loved clothes and it was sort of always always liked dressing up and expressing myself through what I wore but I didn't think I would make a career change in my fifties. Definitely not.
Yeah and so for anybody listening, before we even go further, I mean, I definitely think that you need to check out Deborah's website and Instagram so that you can see her style. And I think, that's actually was going to be my next question is, you know, before you got into this role, had you always been very kind of having your own sense of style and your unique kind of look because it's such a, I don't know, how would you describe your aesthetic? Like to me, you're just like the coolest rocker chick. I love it but I don't know like what you would say the aesthetic looks like so that we can give people like a picture of your brand.
I did always love dressing up and experimenting with clothes. My style now, goodness, I don't know. It's always got a little bit of edge somehow. I think cadre with very basic styles but I tend to have one wild thing, whether it's very wow earrings or a fabulous vintage wrap or something, one thing that sort of draws attention to. So I don't know. I think it's, oh goodness, I don't know, always like to add a little bit of drama or something that draws attention. I was chatting to someone the other day, we were talking about it, and I think one of the reasons I do that is almost because it starts builds connections with people because often something that I'm wearing people will start to talk to me about it. You know, I love my Converse sneakers and young people love those. So I often start conversations with young people based around my shoes that I'm wearing.
Oh I love that. That's such a great perspective. And I actually think it's really the opposite of what most people think. Maybe not consciously, but so many of us have taken on this perspective of just trying to kind of blend in. Like you don't want anyone to notice you, you know, it's like sort of this way of protecting yourself maybe, like you don't want to be judged or you don't want people to think you're whatever, I don't know, strange or unique. And so we all try to very much like just be unseen in public and kind of go with the masses. I do think that your look is very much unique and I can absolutely see that it would be like a conversation starter or someone seeing you and commenting on it. And I love kind of changing that perspective of kind of why are we all trying to fit in?
Yes and I think that one of the things that, you know, cause I'm all about pro-aging, as you know, and one of the things I think is it that we tend to feel invisible as we get older. But I think one of the thing is about that is that we don't have to. And part of it is our dress.
You're absolutely right.
It does take a little bit of bravery, you are right. I didn't dress outrageously.
But just a twist, just a little extra like wow, those are really cool earrings. It does take some bravery
Because sometimes you do feel that, you know, am I going to be overdressed, but honestly, I really do think it's better to be overdressed than underdressed for an occasion.
Yeah, I agree well I love that. So why don't you tell us, how did you make that switch, you know, in your fifties to building this brand and modeling and being this voice for, you know, this role model against ageism and kind of this role model for people that are growing older to be able to not be invisible and do the things that they want to do that they think they can't.
It happened a little bit by accident. When I was 50 I stopped coloring my hair. As sort of a blonde child and a mousy blonde adult and I used to highlight my hair so it was blonde. And roundabout when I was 50, one of my visits to the hairdresser for for my highlights, I realized that I had far more silver hair than I had anything else and decided then to stop highlighting it and to allow it to be silver. So my transition was quite easy because I had short hair always and the blonde and the silver kind of blends in. And once it was completely silver and my hair, I had sort of a pixie style at that stage, and as it sort of got taller and taller and I started styling upwards into what it is today, and I like the taller the better, um I started to get, people started noticing me for my hair I think because there's still many people who are very much oh, I like your hair but I could never do that. Or no, that wouldn't suit me. So they started to notice me for my hair and they started stopping me in the street and saying can I take your photograph? And it was quite amazing the reaction that I got, I really did get incredible response from all sorts of people wherever I went. And some of my friends said to me why don't you try modeling? And I thought oh, I don't know. So you know what they say you should never leave a granny alone at home with a good internet connection at night unsupervised. You'll never evers know what she does. So I sent my photograph off one night on a whim to an agency, to a model agency. I just popped my photographs onto the link to apply. And they asked me to come in and I didn't, even then, I didn't think I'd hear from them. But anyway, I went to to see them and then I got into a TV commercial and it kind of just started snowballing. A friend of mine said to me early on when I had a couple of shoots that I'd done and a couple of TV commercials, she said to me you need to put your photographs on Instagram. And honestly, I didn't know what it was. I said what is Instagram? And I really thought at that time it would be a place, you know, sort of a repository for my photographs, really. I didn't know what it was at all. So I created an account and I put a few photographs up. In fact, my very first photograph for Instagram was a building where we were going to have a shoot. I didn't know how it worked at all. It took me a little while to work it out. Inadvertently really, once I started working out how that, how the hashtags worked and so on and as I got more photographs that I was loading. So it started to grow and really just, you know, get its own life. And I've got more and more and more followers. It wasn't over me a few months. And then suddenly I had 400 I remember and it was all exciting. I was still working then and everyone in the office was going yay, 400. We're so thrilled. And then it just, as I got busier and busier and busier, it will take it more and more of my time. So I took the decision to see if I could make a go of it as a full time thing.
Oh, that's so incredible. I wonder like so many people, you know, when you're going back to the time when you're just going to send off the pictures, I think like so many people have an idea to do something right. Or want to do something. There's like a deep inkling of like maybe I could try this and then like the fears flood in, you know, and the thoughts and a lot of it might be well-meaning or even friends and family because they want to protect you let's say from being hurt. And I think for ourselves too, it's kind of like oh, this is crazy. Who am I to be a model at, you know, 53? I mean, it's not like you see a lot of images of older women with gray silver hair, you know, on magazines. And so we just start talking ourselves out. Like even if it's something that we really to try and it's like okay, worse happens, you try and it doesn't work. But our brain doesn't understand. I mean, I think it makes it so big and we're so afraid of being embarrassed or whatnot or disappointment. So I'm assuming you had those thoughts. So how did you push past that?
Absolutely. And even when she phoned me and said come in, I thought oh my goodness. And then when they sent me for a casting, I was terrified. I was really scared. And even now I'm petrified a lot of the time. And I think what has changed in me and the single thing when people say to m, what is different? What did you change? Is that I understand now that it's okay to be frightened. And I know that quite a simple thing, but I think before the fear I just thought I'm too frightened, I can't do it. Now I know that that fear’s awful when it's happening but now I know that I have to push through it. I am nervous even when I go for castings now, talking to you, any of these things, I am nervous. There's still a fear of saying the wrong thing or getting it wrong, a lot of fears. But I know now that on the other side of that fear, is where you grow, where the good things happen.
Oh, I love that so much. And I, it comes up over and over again, honestly, it's the reason I do this podcast is because I think it's so easy to look at somebody on Instagram or somebody doing something that you want to do or that you admire and to think that like oh, they have it so together, like they are not afraid or they, you know, had this confidence or for you, I mean, looking at your Instagram, it's stunning. And so when I look at it, there's no question, like of course you should be a model. Right. But I know like having gone through all of this myself and talking to the, you know, dozens and dozens of people that I do on the podcast, that every person is terrified and every person is still afraid. And like you're saying this, I mean, I was nervous before coming on this podcast and this is my, I don't know, 95th podcast. Like I do this all the time. And it's like the fear exactly what you're saying I think is the more you do it, you realize like okay, I just have to do this alongside the fear or I'll never do it.
Like it's not going away.
Yes and I didn't know that before. Isn't that bad?
Most of us don't, no, I'm telling you, that's why I'm doing the podcast because most people are waiting for the fear to go away. And it's like you're going to wait forever because it will never go away.
Yes. It gets a little bit easier. A little bit because yes, I've been for castings and had photo shoots and things, but it's still there. I might get a call for a casting and I tell myself oh, I'm going to be too old. I'm gonna be too young. I'm gonna be too tall. I'm gonna be too thin. I’m gonna be too fat. I've almost convinced myself to find my agent and say I'm not going to make it because I'm not going to get it, which is insane. But I go, but I still have those fears. And I think that is important. No, my friends say to me oh, but you're so confident. I'm actually really not. And there's also the imposter syndrome runs second fast.
Really I don't know what I'm doing and I don't know why people are watching what I'm doing most of the time. I think that's also very, very common thing.
Yeah and I wonder if for you, I'm I'm assuming um, part of what helps get over the fear, not that the fear isn't there, but I have to imagine that you get so much positive um reactions from people and you're helping so many people because so many people can then see themselves in you or, you know, are thankful that you took the brave step to say like hey, a woman with silver hair is still gorgeous and bold and sexy and everything. And we don't have to stop being um our full selves as we get older. And so many people need these messages. And I, I know for me, you know, like being afraid to do this and thinking all the who am I and why do I have this podcast? But then getting all these notes of people that you see you're helping it it sort of helps get over that fear. I'm I'm assuming that that it's sort of the similar situation for you kind of leading this charge on such an important topic.
Yeah, definitely. I mean, and I get such beautiful messages and validation from women and I know that it's important because there have been so few sort of older women that we could look up to. I can remember the first person I saw and I remember the effect that it had on me, a gray model. She was Beatrix Ost, before we had cameras on our phones. And I scanned the picture from the magazine. I couldn't believe that a woman, I think she was well into her seventies then with obviously gray hair was stylish and gorgeous. That's the first time I'd seen a woman depicted in that way as being modern and attractive and vital. And I think I must've been just 50 then. That was just when I was starting to make my changes. And I hope that I can be that, that somebody can say I can have silver hair and I'm not going to be dowdy. And I'm not going to look frumpy. That's what I hope for.
You are doing that. I guess that was going to be my next question. What is the mission behind what you're doing? I mean obviously the fight against ageism and to be, as you say, an ageless style protagonist but I mean, what are you hoping to really like to accomplish with this platform and with the overall mission and goal of your brand and your business?
Super easy question.
Very easy question. My overall goal. I don't know that I have one. I don't know if I'm allowed to say that.
No. Yes, you are absolutely allowed to say that. And I love that honesty.
When I get messages from women saying thank you so much. I had an email today saying you show that it can be done, that older women can achieve things. And that is so wonderful for me that because women, I think, get stuck in relationships and jobs and situations and partly because of their age, they don't feel that they can move out of them. They don't feel that there is another way or another choice because they're too old. They feel that way. Oh I'm 50. I'm 60.
My message is you're never too old and it's never too late to try something new. For the moment that's my mission. Where it's going to take me, I don't know. Encouraging women to grab their life with both hands and not to say oh, but I've got wrinkles and I've got varicose vains and it doesn't matter.
That you can get married again when you’re 80 for goodness sake. You know, you can find love again. You can get a different job.
You can move to a different town. There's so much that can still happen for you. It doesn't all stop when you are 50 or 60.
I could not agree more. It's funny because literally the tagline of our podcast is it's never too late to start over. You know, I would say it's like you're never too old. And we have tons, I try to bring on a lot of entrepreneurs who didn't start their businesses until their sixties, because this whole antiquated notion of like you retire at 65 and then what, like that's your golden years. And it's like people are living until 85, nine that's another 20 years. That's a whole other career. We're talking about 65, let alone 50, you're having 35 years of doing something like it's not time to hang up the hat and be like oh, it's done now, I'm going to ride into the sunset. And I think what you're doing is so powerful in changing that because we have bought into this stereotype that like now it's too late. Too late for what? You're still going to live on this earth for another 30 years, you might as well do the thing that you want to do. And it really takes brave people to show that can be in so many different ways, not just in, let's say starting a business, but like I think the way that you are showing too, that you don't have to be frumpy or, you know, have this one stereotype of what it looks like to be a woman in her fifties or sixties or seventies or whatever. You can be, whoever you want to be.
We can still contribute.
This idea of retiring. You might retire from your traditional, your, I suppose in a sense I retired from mine in a way, but I can still contribute in another way.
I think the notion of retirement is quite.
I don't understand it. I mean, I can't imagine ever really retiring. There are so many things to do and so many people to help and to speak to.
Yeah, no, absolutely. Honestly, couldn't agree more. And so I want to ask you a little bit about like the business aspect of it. So when you were retiring from your career and you have like a stable job, and then you're going into this and I'm assuming with modeling, obviously it's not like consistent weekly income or salary. How do you monetize or make this into a business? Is it just through modeling? Is it through your Instagram? What are you doing now?
So there are ways to monetize Instagram. Obviously a lot of people do that quite successfully. I personally haven't monetized my Instagram yet. I will probably have to do that because as you say modeling work isn't really consistent enough. I think it's a little bit sporadic. So some jobs pay better than others but to do it as a full time job, there has to be some monetization of the other aspects of what you do. So I'm still working that part out.
Mmm yeah and I think that it takes time. I think everybody right now on social media, you know, it's still the wild west and I think people are trying to figure out like how do you keep your brand the way you want it but then also you have to make a living and monetize it. And so how do you do that in a way that feels authentic? And and I’m glad that you're honest with that because I think that sometimes people think that numbers mean something. And so it's like oh, that person has a hundred thousand followers or a million followers. And that doesn't necessarily mean that they're, you know, swimming in money. Like they've built a brand which is valuable and important and it brings awareness and it's publicity and all that stuff. But there has to be trying to figure out how to make it into a business is a very difficult thing to do.
Yes and that's exactly where I am now. And I have got some ideas about expanding. Now, of course we are difficult stage where some of those I've had to put on hold until it becomes clear what's going to happen next. It's a difficult one because we all want to remain authentic. I mean, I am approached by a lot of brands and if and when one day I do go that way, as you say, you just want to really make sure that you are not taking on products that you don't completely believe in. So I think there is a way to do it in an authentic way. I will do that eventually. I will have to find a way to do it because what I do is takes a lot of time.
I probably spend the better half of the day talking to people, answering, because people reach out to me. And I do make sure that I answer all of my messages and all of my emails. So I spend a lot of time just engaging with people and answering questions and doing interviews and bits and pieces. So my days are really very full.
But most of the things are not paying work. So to find the balance is quite tricky, but I'm hoping to figure that out soon.
Well I I'll be rooting for you. I'm glad this topic has come up because I think that so many people I now work with who are trying to leave their jobs and do kind of a passion project. We sort of have again been like given this message in society that like selling is bad or selling is slimy or whatever. And so we come into this place kind of feeling bad, not wanting to make money, but you were just saying too. I mean, obviously I think doing it in a way that aligns with your morals and values a hundred percent but monetizing these platforms. I know a lot of influencers struggle with that because they don't want to seem like they're, I don't know, quote unquote selling out or what not, but what you were just saying too, it's like the way I look at selling is that right. If you do not sell, then you can't do the thing that you're going to do. And the thing you're doing is helping so many people, right? And so if you're not making money from it, then you have to end up making money somewhere else. And so you can't spend the time doing the thing, that's helping so many people. And so it really is a service to people to sell because it lets you be in that game. It lets you be that role model. I absolutely think you should monetize your Instagram. This is my personal opinion. And I get like you’ve put in so much effort to build a authentically true brand. And I understand it's like a lot of times we don't want corporations coming in and muddying that up, but I don't think there's anything wrong with making money off doing something that you are clearly helping people and you're doing because you love and you believe in, it's not like you're just trying to peddle something that you don't believe in. Like you're obviously doing something that is very important and you should be compensated for that. It’s just my opinion.
Yeah and I do sell things all the time.
But not for myself.
I mean, people ask me in the coffee shops, you know, where did you get that jumper from or whatever. And then you say well, I got it from here. And it's finding a way to promote the things that you truly do love and you are wearing and so on. It's just to find the right balance there because I am selling things, just not for my own benefit.
And how do you think that for you, like you started this, your Instagram, what, when you said you were 53, so about five years ago and now you have Tik Tok and you have Instagram and you have like I mean, that's amazing. I'm so just admire that you've done all this. And I know that that had to even be like a huge growth and evolution for you. So how have you seen yourself change in the last five years doing this type of work?
Wow. How have I seen myself change? Oh, I don't know. I mean, I've become a lot more confident I think. Even that I've said I'm nervous most of the time, I am making an effort to try new things. I know there is a famous quote about doing one thing every day to frighten yourself.
And when I'm nervous, I think I remember that quote, even if it's something small, you know, go and introduce yourself to that person and you think oh my goodness, I can't, what am I going to say? That quote sits in my age, you know, one thing to frighten yourself. So just take a deep breath and walk up and say hello, who are you? So um trying to fight myself every day. That's one of the things I've done. The Tik Tok thing is now that you bring it up, have you seen my Tik Tok videos?
I have. I love them.
It’s so much fun. And it's gone quite mad. I've only posted a few. I think I posted that night. And three of them have had more than million views, which is…
I'm quite flabbergasted by it but I'm having a lot of fun with it because it's almost like a different persona on there.
Uhh, I love that you bring that up actually because, so actually I recently got on Tik Tok and I actually found you on Tik Tok. So that video that you say got over a million, like I saw you there. And then I went and I stalked your Instagram and then I reached out and I was like I have to have her on the podcast. And I recently got on to Tik Tok as well. And at first it was just cause, you know, everyone was doing it. And I was like well let me see what this is. I resisted it for so long cause I went on there and I was like completely overwhelmed. And I was thinking I don't know, I have no business being here. Cause I just saw a bunch of young kids dancing and I'm like wow, this isn't for me. And then I left it for a couple months and a lot of marketing gurus were saying like everybody should be on Tik Tok. So I kept going back and being like I don't know. And now I'm completely obsessed with the app. And I think it's such a fun space. It's such a space to just like you're saying, like just be whatever you are, whatever it is that you want to do. And it does get a lot of organic reach and I've found the same thing. Like I have only done some videos and it's just exponentially grown my profile budge, which is just mind blowing to me. Five years ago there is no way I would have posted something on Tik Tok, you know? And when I look at my own growth, whether looking at it, you know, a lot of times you can measure something monetarily, you can look at like how good a business does. But like I really love looking back and seeing how different of a person I've become in the last five years since I've kind of started this journey and seeing like you were saying, it's not that I didn't feel dumb putting it on Tik Tok or have the, you know, imposter syndrome or all this stuff come up, like why are you on here? But I still did it and I wouldn't have done it five years ago. And I think that that has changed me so fundamentally in that, like you were saying, you now know that the fear is going to be there and you allow yourself to take risks. And that just excites me for the future because I know that I'm not stopping myself, you know, from doing, I mean, I still stop myself plenty, but for the most part, I allow myself to experiment and try and have fun and look dumb and do all these things. Whereas before, you know, it's like protecting the ego at all costs, like nobody can ever judge me. Nobody can ever say anything. And that's just such a huge leap for somebody like myself who was such a people pleaser and worried about what everybody thought. And you know, now seeing you on Tik Tok and I think a lot of people still don't know Tik Tok. And I do think that, you know, if you told other 58 year olds to get on Tik Tok, they wouldn't do it. And so the fact that you're doing it is just a testament to kind of that personal growth and having this courage to kind of show up even if you don't fully feel like you know what you're doing or you should be there.
One of my videos I made last week, I had a problem with the sound and I couldn't work out what, how I wanted it to be. And I asked my daughter can you help me with this? She said Mom, I'm too old. She's 32.
I love that.
She was no help at all. But I think what is also have this terrible fear of failure, awful. I think that's quite common and of looking a fool. That is a terrible thing for me. But I think more and more I'm being so ridiculous. It's okay, like my first Tik Tok video that went so mad. I mean, I was really the early morning face. I, It was a terrible, I mean I look absolutely awful. And it's the willingness to sort of expose your underbelly I think, which I do now more then I wouldn't. I mean, it's not all about glamor and so on. I mean, I've posted a lot of things that are really just me coming from the gym or whatever, when it's not pretty. Yeah, so that's something that's changed for me as well. So it's important because we don't all wake up looking like Elizabeth Taylor in the morning.
Yeah, absolutely. Oh, it's so important to like show the reality on social media. And that's what I was going to say too. I mean, beyond the fact of just showing that we don't wake up like that and we're all normal humans, I think what a gift that you're on Tik Tok where the majority of people are younger. So that younger girls are seeing this example from a young age that like, you know, there is no one standard of beauty and it doesn't just end when you hit a certain age and you don't have to do all these crazy things that, you know, society is putting on you in order to look acceptable.
So when I first went on, I've had some negative things from younger people actually.
A little spat actully with someone, but anyway, less than about that, the better. But since then I've had an, and it's so sweet, a lot of the young girls are saying oh, can you adopt me? I want you to be my mum and I want to be like you when I grow up. So it's very sweet, as you say, because it's completely different audience on Tik Tok, much younger, as you say.
And they are really responding to me mostly very, very well. Can you adopt me? So sweet. It's lovely.
Yeah, it is. That is very sweet. And I'm glad that you are an image that they are seeing early on and that it's such an important example. So I guess before we wrap up, obviously I think everybody needs to come and check out all of your work, but I don't know. Do you have any parting words for somebody that maybe, you know, just entering their fifties, isn't feeling fully fulfilled in their career and knows there's something more like a little bit creative, a little bit edgy, a little bit nontraditional. Any words that maybe helped you or that you think might help them?
I would say just take a small step, just do the first thing. A lot of women write to me and say, how can I explore the modeling thing? Just get a photo shoot. Just get one of your friends to do a photo shoot. Do something small. Or if you've got a hankering to work with animals and you have always been in the corporate life, you know volunteer at a local animal shelter. Just take one little step. Cause I find that that's all you've got to do. You've got to become mobile. And I think that sending two photographs off kicked off at complete change. And if I hadn't done that, it probably wouldn't have happened. So just get your sites and think about what you loved to do when you were a little girl.
I think it's almost like reclaiming your childhood in a way. And starting, I also started, I hadn't ridden a bicycle for, since I was about 12 and I bought myself a bicycle when I was in my early fifties and now I love cycling. So it's just take a step.
Oh, I love that. So simple and so true. Thank you so much, Deborah. How can people, where's the best place for them to come find you?
Probably Instagram and I'm Deborah Darling everywhere. My other name.
Wonderful. I will link to all that. Deborah, I can't thank you enough for joining us and for all the work that you're doing in the world. You're such an inspiration to me and I know so many others.
Thank you so so much. Thank you.
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