Jenna Allard has been one of the creators who I've been following -and never considered of unfollowing- for the longest. Let me explain:
We've all heard Instagram being toxic and triggering for our mental health so it's outdated to even talk about its harms and toxicity at this point. From a lot of influencers promoting hair gummies that absolutely don't help with anything to false beauty standards that are being established via heavily shopped bikini pictures, it's kind of a roller coaster ride for our mental health. After spending hours on Instagram I would feel as if I've flipped through the shiny pages of an ad catalogue with all products that I don't actually need and care for.
I'm fully aware that creators should have sponsorships and I don't mind it of course, they have to pay the bills. However when ads overshadow the content and fuel the false image that influencers have created, (I'm so in shape thanks to this protein shake I used for a day and not because I've been working on my body for six years.) it gets hypocritical.
With Jenna's profile though, I never felt poisoned or manipulated into buying a false and unrealistic image, ever. So whenever I had my classic "unfollowing for my mental health" sprees, I quickly passed Jenna's name while I scrolled through my following list. Within Instagram's toxic sphere, she has created a lovely corner of ethereal beauty with her account @timedoesnotexisthere which is filled with beautiful and intimate photographs that shows her gaze towards the world. In her main account, she dedicates a certain space for activism: She talks about feminism, equality, makes sure to share petitions, infographics and any kinds of information that would make her followers act towards a great and important cause.
She also shares dreamy makeup looks and outfits which are always very versatile. With her beautiful tattoos, glittery makeup and interesting clothing pieces that she carries so well, it's impossible not to find something that sparks up your imagination. Today I interviewed Jenna to talk about her style, online image and the 1975.
1- When I look through your profile I see a lot of dreamy landscapes, tattoos, flowers, wine glasses and bathtub pictures. Would I be correct to assume that renaissance paintings, candle-lit dinners, heartfelt conversations and anything romantic inspires you and the way that you see the world? You remind me of an edgier Florence Welch!
Wow what an amazing compliment to start off with!!!! Thank you so much! Florence (and her music) definitely has been a deep and immense love of mine for many years now so that truly means a lot to me. And I would say that you are correct, I definitely enjoy things that make time feel like it's momentarily stopped or slowed down a bit.
2- I’ve been following you for over 2 years now and during those two years it always impressed me how you carried your style. I like how you don’t limit your stylistic expression with certain trends and “aesthetics.” How long did it take you to be comfortable with your style and establish it?
Oh thank you that's so sweet. Honestly, I've always loved fashion and dressing up ever since I really can remember. So that's definitely taken me on a long style journey that is ever-changing. I don't really know what my style is or when it started to fully develop. I think it was more-so a long, slow process of "I like what I like" and that's basically what you see on me today! 3- Who are some of your fashion icons and in what way you are inspired by them?
This is particularly hard because I love so many different styles. I would say I'm heavily influenced by not specifically one person but the entire era of street style in the 1990's. Vintage clothes are always my go-to when shopping so 9 times out of 10 at least half of my outfits were purchased second hand. 4- With your personal style, you mix masculine and feminine very well. What do you think about the gender fluid fashion ethos? Do you think that we should be seeing more clothing items that are unisex?
I genuinely think the concept of "dresses for women and suits for men" is suuuuch a dated and boring way of thinking. I think everybody and anybody can wear whatever the hell they want! And that's honestly what I do! I definitely shop in the "mens" section more than I do the "womens", but when you think about it.. what does that really even mean? Clothes are meant for bodies, and it doesn't matter whose, in my opinion.
5- I think visually appealing things play a big role in your style. For example when I look at your account @timedoesnotexisthere, I see a lot pictures where you’ve created a beautiful backdrop to execute your photo. Do you think that dressing up for certain “themes” play a part in experimenting and elevating your style?
Oh definitely. Sometimes I'll plan outfits to wear "just to take pictures" because I'm not feeling confident about wearing that specific thing out and about in real life or am just curious as to how it will look. Which always leads to me being like "oh, no, nevermind this is awesome. I can definitely wear this." If that makes sense. 6- Can you talk about your account timedoesnotexisthere? How long have been interested with photography?
I received my first Polaroid camera in 2002 from my parents on Christmas. I used all of the film that very day and immediately knew that this is something that I peaked my interest and that I could have a lot of fun with. And honestly, 10 year old me was right! I still love taking photos and I think I always will. It's fun to switch between film and digital and between portraits and landscapes. For me it feels like something that I can do forever because there will always be something to photograph. 7- You dedicate a big part of your online persona to activism by providing a lot of petition links for great causes but unfortunately not every influencer does that. Do you think that having a big following comes with a certain responsibility to make people act towards injustice?
Considering that sharing links, information and resources is literally the *bare minimum* I can do, I am honestly shocked that anyone would just refuse to do it. Like, it's so easy. You learn, and you hope other people can learn as well. Sometimes, I don't think people understand or realize the impact of sharing a link or petition even just on your story can have. Almost like they don't really see the point in it because it won't do or change anything. But it does. We've seen in real time small victories because of the action people are taking, and it's like, why wouldn't you want to be a part of that, you know? 9- A complete change of subject: Let’s talk a bit about music!! One of the many subjects that I can ask questions and talk about forever. I’ve seen that you were a big fan of the 1975. My best memory ever is definitely that one time where I went to Lithuania to see them play live and camped outside the venue with few of my friends. Some people don’t understand what kind of a dopamine hit you get from seeing your favorite bands play live but I’m sure you do as a big music fan! What is your best concert memory to date?
Oh man, there is so many I can think of, but one specific one would be seeing The 1975 in 2015. They played at Terminal 5 in New York, and Kurtis and I had taken a 12 hour bus ride from Toronto so we could see them. I just remember scream singing and dancing my face off (as one does at a 1975 concert) and it was the first time I had heard them play "The Sound" because it was unreleased at the time. I remember being like, "this is the best song I have ever heard in my life", and honestly that still stands true. If for some reason anyone has not listened to it, please do. 10- and who are your favorite musicians?
Oh man there are toooooo many. Off the top of my head: The 1975, Florence + The Machine, LANY, Lorde. But just know this list could go on probably forever. 11- Do you think that there is a link between music and fashion? Do you have some musicians that made you say “Oh shit they have a cool style!” And inspired you to experiment with your style more?
I definitely think so! Musicians obviously have an incredible sense of self-expression, and I figure for the most part that they do so not only through their music but also their personal style. If I had to choose I would probably say I resonate the most with Matty Healy's style. I love his "I'm laid-back but also an absolute rockstar" kind of vibe. 12- Thank you for being our guest! Anything you want to say to Tonitruale readers before you go?
Thank you so much for having me! I really means a lot. I would like to tell everyone reading that you should stop wasting your life caring about what other people think, and to live your life for you. It gets really good and really fun, I swear. Also if you're able to, please exercise your right to VOTE!