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Hadley Brawner is the brand-new teen influencer you need to know

We love discovering new content creators—and our latest real-girl find doesn't disappoint. Get to know Hadley Brawner, an everyday teen pursuing her social media dreams alongside her everyday life. We talked to Hadley, 13, (find her on Instagram!) about overcoming fear of posting, seeking self-confidence and building an audience (and so much more)...

Girls' Life: How'd you get started?

Hadley: It started as a private account for my friends—I'd just post random stuff, but I always loved putting out content. Then in July 2020, I uploaded my first video to YouTube and it did kind of well, but I started getting bullied for it so I took it down. Then I started again this February and posted my first Reel. Only two days later, I hit 2,000 followers! From there, I just started going with it.

Girls' Life: How'd you get past the judgment to start posting again?

Hadley: I'd gotten my nice filming camera in July for my birthday and I was super excited. When I posted those first videos, actually a lot of my friends dropped me and it was kind of weird. I knew I didn't have a lot of support—I was getting positive comments from people all over the world, which is cool, but at the same time a lot of my friends didn't know about it. I decided to slowly start telling my friends I would be creating content, but it wasn't like "Hey, I'm trying to be an influencer now" or any big announcement. Now I'm more comfortable hyping up my content.

Girls' Life: What are the good and bad sides of social media for you?

Hadley: I think a positive is definitely the support you get. The influencer community is so kind and outgoing and you're able to make friends in different states, which really helped in quarantine where you weren't getting that much social interaction. It's a new way of being social where I'm able to connect and make friends outside of my town. 

The negative aspects are definitely comparisons. Girls my age struggle a lot looking at big stars like Kylie Jenner or even Emma Chamberlain and Hannah Meloche. A lot of people lose self-confidence from staring at social media all day. They're not paying attention to their Zoom classes and just scrolling through TikTok and Instagram instead. It's an issue when you're just looking at other people's lives and thinking, "I wish mine was like that." It isn't good for your self-esteem.

Girls' Life: How does creating content align with your life goals?

Hadley: I've always loved fashion—styling outfits and shopping. For about a year now I've wanted to go to fashion school in New York City when I'm older. But [social media] has also changed a part of it because I've realized how much I love being creative. I love waking up and being able to put out a new Reel or a new video and that I have the ability to do that from my hometown. 

Girls' Life: Fashion trend you're loving rn?

Hadley: Definitely the sage green and brown color combination. I also love the leather jacket trend, and of course a basic soft girl aesthetic. I go for different aesthetics all the time.

Girls' Life: Advice for younger girls hoping to start social media?

Hadley: Just do it. It's hard and it's easier said than done, but when I really started I was like, "You know what, who cares and we'll see where it goes." I feel like, honestly, my confidence has just grown since then. Literally anything can blow up if you like what you're doing and you keep going with it. Even if you only have 100 followers, just keep going. It's your platform—choose what you want to do with it.

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Images: @hadleybrawner/Instagram.

by Katherine Hammer | 4/7/2021